Marketing doesn't just apply to products like ice cream or insurance, it applies to anything being sold, especially your home. However, most sellers haven't studied the art of branding, which is one of the reasons why their best offer doesn't always match their appraisal value. In some cases, the two numbers may be wildly different. Marketing a home means finding customized solutions that fit both the neighborhood and the buyer profile. Here are a few tips to get a seller started before they ever list on the MLS.
Pricing the Home
Pricing is the first piece of marketing that all homeowners need to consider. The idea of listing a home is to find the sweet spot, so buyers are neither turned off by the high prices nor tempted to make a low-ball offer. Pricing a home too high will likely mean that it sits on the market for quite some time. It may mean having to drop the price two or even three times before sellers start to see interested buyers. And while pricing a home very low will almost certainly spark a bidding war, sellers may be disappointed by the final numbers. Buyers may keep their bids low relative to the original price. The price serves as an anchor for buyers, so it's important to set the right expectation from the very beginning.
Using Social Media
Social media doesn't have to be a hodgepodge of unrelated status updates. Instead of merely posting the details of the home on a seller's personal page, they can also look for special groups on social media designed for people looking to buy a home in a specific area. These specialty pages give tips, share properties, and provide a way for buyers to swap stories. Sellers can learn more about what the average buyer really wants from their home, so they can showcase the most valuable traits. For example, if buyers are looking for fences and two-car garages, then sellers can post their photos on social media that really highlight these features.
Photos and Videos
Crystal-clear images are really a must when it comes to marketing a home:
- Hire a real estate photographer: Regardless of how good a seller's camera phone might be, they usually don't have the skills to really capture the home at its best. From lighting to staging, hiring an expert is the best way to distinguish the home from its competition.
- Branding: Is the home modern, rustic, French country? Photographs let buyers see the true colors of the home so they remember it when deciding which open houses to visit.
- Videos: Aerial footage or standard videos can really help buyers understand the layout and the scope of the property. It can even show the best parts of the neighborhood, allowing buyers to make an even stronger emotional connection.
Virtual tours are becoming more popular as real estate agents attempt to streamline their client's buying experience. And while the technology is still typically reserved for luxury homes as opposed to standard single-family homes, the cost of these gadgets have come down considerably. Sellers can really work on showing off their home's personality when they give VR tours. Interesting editing and lively music can be enough to entice a buyer to stop by an open house or to make an appointment for a private showing. If a seller knows there are plenty of other homes for sale on the market, this technique can be enough to ensure they aren't swallowed up in the crowd.
Find the Right Agent
A real estate agent is usually the best place to turn when sellers have questions about the marketing strategy. They know where to find professional photographers, when a home would benefit from drone footage, and how to price a home so it sells. They're using their many years of experience to show sellers how they make their marketing more effective. Ask to find out more about how they approach finding the right buyer. In some areas, it may make sense of the agent to design a full website for the home. In other areas, a paper-based strategy may be called for. The agent is the one who has the knowledge and resources to help the home's marketing really come together.
There's more to marketing a home than just sticking a sign out in front of a yard. Once a seller understands this, they can start putting together an effective strategy that will really make Hoover home buyers want to stop by. Consulting with a real estate agent can be an effective way to find the professionals and utilize the resources that will best aid in the sale.