SELLING YOUR HOME – HOW TO MARKET EFFECTIVELY TO THE PUBLIC
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS): The number one marketing tool that cannot be overlooked is the MLS. Over 4,000 Realtors in the Greater Louisville area are using the MLS several times a day looking for property for their buyer. These buyer agents are not driving around town looking for yard signs or reading newspaper ads. The MLS is Realtor’s #1 resource, therefore if your home isn’t on the MLS, it’s not really on the market at all. The MLS also features an amazing tool that allows your Realtor to reverse prospect and find buyer agents that have completed searches that match your listing’s criteria. Once selected, your Realtor may then email those potential buyers a description, with photos and a video of your home. There is no better way to get your listing directly in front of buyers that you know are searching for a home just like yours!
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO TOUR: These days everyone is a photographer and carries a smart phone camera around with them everywhere. But it is impossible to catch the real beauty of a home without hiring a professional. Panoramic views, lighting, understanding angles, and having the correct camera, to name a few, are vital in capturing and showcasing property in a professional manor. I can’t tell you how many properties I have sold after a seller has moved on from their initial Realtor (expired listing), just from changing the photos and using a professional to take those pictures. There is nothing that makes your property stand out above the other homes like a virtual or video slide show tour of the property. You can then use this video on the MLS, other real estate websites, Youtube, and blast it all over social media.
REMARKS AND ACCURACY: Selling real estate is not only about pictures and marketing. You have to know how to sell the property through its remarks. Authors know that if a reader can’t make it through the preface of the book, they’ll put the book down before they get to the real content in chapter one. It is much the same with writing the remarks of your listing. If it does not grab the attention of the audience, you will never get them to turn the page, moving to the next step of scheduling a showing. A good salesperson will not just jot down a bunch of property features but will tell a story, creating immediate interest to the buyer. It is extremely important to have accurate information on your listing as well. Don’t ever copy information from previous online agents, land records, or from past owners. Your Realtor, for instance, should hire an appraiser to measure square footage rather than copying it from another source. Only use square footage from the builder, the listing agent (if trained to measure according to ANSI standards), or an appraiser. Anything less than can land you in court later down the road.
OPEN HOUSES: Don’t ever think that open houses don’t work or that they’ll only attract nosy neighbors. Your goal is to get as much traffic in your home as possible for a quick sale. Open houses are just another way of marketing effectively to the public to get potential buyers in the home. It’s important to note that your neighbors can be your biggest advocate in selling your home. They may want a family member or friend to live near them and word of mouth is always a good thing in any kind of sales. Mail post cards to the neighbors inviting them to the open house and place pointer signs throughout the neighborhood with balloons. I often get neighbors showing up with the invitation in hand stating that they’ve lived in the neighborhood for several years and have never been invited to an open house. Those are the ones that are so impressed with our marketing that they usually call us when it’s time to list their home. Also make sure your Realtor posts an ad on the MLS in the Open House section of the listing. This free ad posts to dozens of local websites, increasing your exposure to the public.
NEWSPAPER MARKETING: It is true that paper advertising is not as popular now that over 94% of buyers are using a Realtors and/or looking on the internet for their next home. However, we still get phone calls and open house visitors from newspaper ads. Depending on what area you are selling in, here are some popular local newspapers to choose from: The Courier Journal, The Voice Tribune, The Pioneer News and The Oldham Era. It’s important to utilize every resource available to move your property quickly! About half of our open house visitors tell me they saw the ad in the Courier Journal.
SOCIAL MEDIA: In addition to the MLS, I believe this is one of the most important ways to market your property and reach a vast amount of buyers. Some of the more popular media outlets that we use at Custom Select Realty are Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIN, Instagram, and Twitter. Facebook, for instance, has a unique feature that allows you to not only post to your followers, but gives us the ability to pay for a boost of the post straight to your community. Our boosts routinely reach between 5,000 to 8,000 more people than our current followers.
INTERNET DATA EXCHANGE (IDX): Ask your potential Realtor if they are a subscriber to the IDX, allowing your listing to be shared and posted on broker competitive websites. You want to make sure that no matter what real estate website the buyer goes to, your home will be advertised on that page. There are brokers that don’t care to share their listings on their competitor’s website, but it’s important that your Realtor focuses on the need of the client. You could potentially miss out on being on 50 plus real estate websites.
THIRD PARTY SYNDICATED WEBSITES: I bet it would be hard to find a Realtor that actually likes 3rd party websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Homes.com. One great example for their distaste is Zestimates on the Zillow site, because they prove to be very inaccurate time and time again. However, there are some buyers that love Zillow and will only use this one website for their home search. So, don’t you think your home should be posted on the most popular websites available? Remember, no stone should be unturned when focusing on the quick sale of your most precious investment. A good broker will subscribe to a multi-hub facilitator that will feed your listing out to 30 plus syndicated websites.
HIRE THE RIGHT BROKER: Make sure to interview your Realtor and ask them if they sell real estate full time, how long they’ve been in the business, how many homes they sell a year, and if they have any real estate designations. Make sure to discuss the details of marketing and ask if they will contractually agree to do the marketing. Don’t just take the Realtor’s word for it that they are going to do open houses for you; it needs to be in writing. The most common statements we hear from sellers who have had difficulty selling is, “We had to beg our Realtor to do open houses, they wouldn’t place the home on websites like Zillow, and he/she just wasn’t good at returning our phone calls in a timely manner.”
Make sure you are hiring a Realtor who is willing to spend the extra money and time going above and beyond to get your listing sold. Don’t settle for simply putting your home on the MLS and crossing your fingers that it will sell sometime in the next few months. Whether you are relocating, moving to a new school district in time for the new school year, or just need to get rid of that extra mortgage, your moving plans are important. Be sure you are hiring a Realtor who will handle your real estate affairs with the utmost professionalism and urgency.
If you are ready to sell your home and you want to work with the most outstanding professionals in the business,
CALL Custom Select Realty.
Rob Sightler, Principal Broker (502) 693-5289