On Real Estate & More – August 2017

The world we live in today is a digital one and searching for a home is no exception. Buyers now have apps that let them search by location and neighborhood. Online listings have virtual tours so viewers can look at potential homes while narrowing down their search in an effort to save time. Online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer even contacts a real estate agent.

While many buyers start their search online, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the majority of homebuyers (88%) ultimately worked with an agent to find their home. The difference is that home buyers are entering the process more educated about the market before they speak to an agent. A 2017 report prepared by NAR about real estate trends found that the typical buyer used a mobile device (not a desktop computer) to search for properties online. Then they contacted an agent and visited a median of 10 homes over 10 weeks (in 2016) before purchasing a home. The report also found that 99% of Millennials (born 1980-1998) search on online websites compared to 89% of Older Boomers (1946-1954) and 77% of the Silent Generation (1925-1945).

What does that mean to a home seller? The way your home is marketed will have a deep impact on its final sale price and that marketing is continually changing. Simply sticking a “For Sale” sign in the front lawn and then running an ad in the Sunday paper for your open house is not enough. The goal when marketing your home is to gain as much exposure in the market as possible. Increased exposure in the housing market will put your home in front of the greatest number of potential buyers.

Your real estate broker should have an effective strategy to market your home according to its price range in the market and to be ready to market your home as soon as it hits the market. Tools that your agent should incorporate in this marketing blitz include (but may not be limited to):

Printed materials such as flyers, pamphlets, and other information that buyers can take home (be sure to include photos and list major selling points)

Listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) complete with all descriptive details

Professional-quality photographs and virtual tour/drone video of your home on the Internet

Featured listing on numerous websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and other property-specific websites

Post the listing on social media sites like Facebook, as well as sites such as Craigslist

Host an “Agent Tour” soon after coming on the market and prepare professional email flyers to get maximum agent exposure

Newspaper and/or trade magazine ads

If done properly, these marketing techniques can help to propel your listing above the competition. And while your agent is responsible for creating these items, the key to their effectiveness is your commitment to having both the interior and the exterior of your home properly staged. If you stage your property well, you will make a good first impression—and there is nothing more valuable when trying to sell your home.

One final component to a successful marketing strategy is for your agent to keep up-to-date with recent sales and comparable listings. Too many sellers set the price based on what they want to get for their home rather than what comparable homes are selling for. Today’s buyers have access to enough information via websites, apps and online home valuation tools to know what a home is worth before they come to look at it. Having that information will allow you to modify specific parts of your marketing plan and adjust the price to market trends accordingly.