Marketing a home for sale is a multi-faceted task. As a Realtor®, I am offered a huge variety of options to choose from when deciding on a marketing scheme, and I must find a balance between cost and effectiveness. Cost is a factor because I take a risk by listing a home and providing all of the marketing up front to the homeowner. If the home fails to sell, I will lose my investment. The marketing must be effective, though, and I must make enough of an investment to ensure complete exposure to the buying public, or I will again risk losing my investment.
There are several key elements to any marketing scheme. You must be honest about the product you are offering, you must make every effort to reach as many potential buyers as possible, you must have a great pricing strategy, and you must get into your buyers head and anticipate their needs and wants. I think it is important to adjust your marketing to each individual home in order to not only make the offering unique, but to focus on the actual strengths a particular home exhibits. In addition, you must make the necessary updates and stage your home to show it in the best light.
The Multiple Listing Service
My basic marketing strategy centers around the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Let me take a moment to describe what the MLS is, and how it works. The MLS is a highly detailed information exchange used by Realtors® to notify other real estate professionals about a specific home for sale. It contains information ranging from the offering price to the showing instructions for that home. Most importantly, it is indexed in such a way that allows you to search for listings using practically any parameter in the listing. It makes it very easy for a real estate agent to find precisely what a client desires.
You may have had the opportunity to get online and search the Louisville, KY MLS. While there is quite a lot of data available, it is a small fraction of what is available to a Realtor®, and the search functions are not as detailed. Also, semi-private information about listings is exchanged between agents to facilitate showings and negotiations. Simply, the MLS system is the most powerful tool a Realtor® has access to that benefits both sellers and buyers because it centralizes volumes of critical data. Therefore, it should be the foundation for any serious marketing plan.
When you use me as your real estate professional, I will take you through the MLS system in detail to fully answer your questions and concerns. It is important you understand enough about the system so we can communicate effectively about using it to your advantage.
The internet is a tremendous tool that will most likely completely dominate how homes are marketed in the future. No matter what your personal beliefs and thoughts are regarding the internet, you must be open to the reality that your typical buyer is going to have access to a significant increase in information through the internet, and it may possibly work against you in negotiations. I think it very important to embrace its utility now to ensure your home is widely available for potential buyers.
The internet is a massive, complex beast that can be a focused, effective tool, or it can be a colossal headache. Having spent years both using the internet (I built this site alone), plus studying it’s nuances and technical makeup, I am in a position to help you weed out the scams and dead ends to make my internet marketing successful.
The internet is used in two major ways to sell real estate; through the IDX exchange and through direct marketing. The IDX exchange is a service available to Realtors at a reasonable cost that allows information from the MLS system to be displayed on other websites. You can see a free example here, Free Louisville MLS, with my search engine. All of the homes that are available through the MLS are available through my website to the public, free of charge to you.
Direct marketing is custom designed by your Realtor® (me!) for your home, area, price-range, and personal goals. Since my research and experience with the internet has been acquired through hard work and diligence, I think it is in your best interest that I do not publish all of my techniques and secrets to internet marketing in this forum. I can tell you safely and confidently that I will reach far more potential buyers through my efforts than your typical real estate professional. I detail this information as part of my listing presentation and I will be happy to share it with you as a client of mine.
Yard Signs / Flyers
Thankfully, people still get in their cars and drive around looking for homes. Not only can it be a fun experience, it helps you get to know the area you are considering much better. Therefore, it is important a yard sign is visible from all logical approaches to the home, and that informative, colorful flyers are continually present for the drive-by traffic.
I can tell you from experience that all of your neighbors will be taking a flyer just to see what’s happening in the area, plus about 97% of your drive-by traffic will be what I refer to as ‘tire-kickers’, so you cannot use the flyer’s popularity as an indicator of your home’s potential sale. Knowing this, I constantly check to ensure you have an adequate supply of flyers available because it is highly probable your buyer will scope out your house from the street before scheduling a showing or making an offer, and we want to be certain they have access to the data they need to remember your home and make decisions.
Direct Mailings / Newspaper
I frequently send out postcard-style mailings announcing your home for sale to the local area, plus participate in my broker’s mass-mailing designed to reach a broad base of potential buyers. In addition, under the right circumstances I will use the newspaper to advertise your home. You have to know I do think the newspaper is a dying medium for selling a home, and this can be evidenced by reviewing the number of ads you see on a typical Sunday. They are a small fraction of the homes available for sale because buyers are turning to the internet for all of their search needs. I will still advertise Open Houses in the newspaper.
Holding a house open is another older marketing technique that is being replaced by the internet. I definitely still think there are positive benefits, but you compete with many unknowns that can affect your effectiveness. For example, the weather, sports, family events, and other factors outside of your control will divert traffic from your home. As a client of mine we will discuss and plan for open houses based upon the specific situation we face in marketing your home.
Thank you for reading about my basic marketing scheme and philosophy! During my listing presentation you will be afforded the opportunity to ask me any questions about any aspect of marketing your home for sale in order to have confidence and be comfortable. I look forward to this exciting process of selling your home and ask that you contact me at any time to get more information!
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