Since you won’t be hiring a real estate agent to help sell your home you’ll be wearing all of the hats during the process. One of the most important you’ll do is the marketing hat. Marketing a home for sale is critical if you hope to sell it in a reasonable amount of time and for the most money the market will bear. How you differentiate your home for sale from others in the area requires creativity, effort and knowing which mistakes to avoid.
1. Sloppy photography
If every picture tells a story, does yours tell a Stephen King-type tale or does it echo something from Architectural Digest? Buyers, especially while shopping online, want to see photos, and lots of them. Toss any photo that isn’t compelling enough to make the buyer step away from the computer and into the car to take a look at your house.
Discard others that:
• are dark or blurred
• show dirty or messy rooms
• have to be turned sideways to fit the page
• contain unnecessary elements
• show anything that needs upkeep or repairs
• contain any family members
2. Not providing enough information
Even if you live in a tract home, chances are good that it’s not exactly like any other in the neighborhood so it’s important to highlight the differences when composing descriptions of it. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms isn’t enough – dig deep to find even subtle differences. If, on the other hand, your home doesn’t have any distinguishing characteristics, highlight neighborhood amenities and nearby conveniences.
3. Restricting Access for Showings
You might be surprised to know how many homeowners put unrealistic restrictions on the hours a home can be shown and even parts of the home that potential buyers can view. If you want the home to sell quickly, never restrict a buyer from viewing it. Sure, it’s a hassle to have to drop everything with little notice but you never know when a potential buyer may just be the buyer that falls in love with your home. The most common time that buyers view homes is on the weekends and in the evenings, after work.
4. Insufficient or amateur-looking printed materials
Aside from your online advertising for the home you’ll also want to have printed materials to hand out. These include flyers and feature sheets. The latter will list all of the features of the home (use your MLS listing for reference) and they will remain inside the home for buyers to pick up and take with them.
Flyers should go in a box attached to your for-sale sign. Remember the photography rules – only clear, compelling photos should be used in all marketing materials.
“Don’t sell the steak, sell the sizzle” admonished ace sales consultant Elmer Wheeler in his 1937 book, Tested Sentences That Sell. No matter how similar your home seems to others nearby there is something about it that sizzles. Find that something and then use it when advertising your home for sale.