About marketing your house
Lack of consistent marketing is the number two reason homes don’t sell, behind over pricing.
There are two elements of marketing: (1) Making it as easy as possible for prospective buyers to get the information they’re looking for and (2) Reaching out to prospective buyers.
Marketing information tactics
More and more prospective buyers are doing their own homework before they ever pick up the phone to contact a realtor or home seller. Wherever buyers and their agents are looking for information about available properties, they should be able to find your property. And the information they find should get them thinking that they would like a closer look.
Make it as easy as possible for people to get information about the property. Making them work or wait to find out about it is a sure way to lose their interest.
Buyers want to talk to a real live person when they call. If you can’t always be around to answer the phone, be sure that you have an answering machine that lets callers know they have called the correct number and promises that someone will call them back. And then keep your promise.
Marketing information tactics that Realtors use include:
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – The cooperative directory used by real estate agents to announce to other agents that they have a home for sale.
- Online listings – A quick Google search can produce a number of websites that will let you list your house. The trick is to get your home on the lists that prospective buyers and their agents will look at; combine online listings with outreach marketing tactics to attract people to your website.
- Virtual tours – A number of services are available to set up an online tour of your home, some of them even in 3-D. Again, posting a virtual tour online will only help you sell your house if you do some outreach marketing to tell prospective buyers where to look.
- Yard signs – Call the city for signage regulations, then put up yard sign and a flyer box that are easily visible from the street, both ways.
- Flyers – Keep a fresh supply of good-looking flyers in the yard sign box at all times. The flyers should include beautiful photos of the home, inside and out, key selling points about the property and neighborhood, and basic information about utilities and taxes.
- Showings — Do not let buyers take your home by surprise! Every visit should be a planned visit, so you can take the time you need to prepare to show your home in its best light.
- Open houses – If your home is located in a high-traffic neighborhood, it might be a good candidate for an open house. Attract buyers with marketing outreach tactics and by placing additional signs with balloons and arrows on the busiest intersections around your neighborhood. (Call the city for rules first.)
- Social Media – If your prospective buyers check Facebook, Trulia, Zillow, Realtor, YouTube, make sure they find your listing there.
Marketing outreach announces to prospective buyers and their agents that your home is on the market. It shines a light on your property so people will notice it, even if they aren’t actively looking for it yet. It tells people where to look for more information.
Marketing outreach tactics that realtors use include:
- Invitations to open houses
- Invitations to agent showings
- Yard signs
- Direct mail and e-flyers
- Flyers and posters
- Print advertisements
- Web advertisements
Your marketing plan needs to be one that considers the process from beginning to end – a plan that keeps information fresh, catches the attention of buyers’ agents and new buyers entering the market, and regularly reminds the people you’ve already contacted that you’ve got a terrific home for sale.
Customer service is essential
An experienced Realtor has mastered the art of accessibility. That’s why, when you are looking for a Realtor, it’s important to choose one who does this work full-time – you’ll need someone who will be able to give his/her full effort to responding to inquiries, screening prospective buyers, making appointments, showing your home, and entertaining offers, and handling negotiations efficiently and effectively.
If you are employed full-time and trying to sell your house on your own, you have a part-time agent: yourself. An important element of good marketing planning is knowing what to do once you have attracted potential buyers to your home. How will you respond to inquiries and make the process of viewing and making an offer on your home a good experience for buyers?
- Put advertising, direct mail, e-flyer, and open house dates on your calendar.
- Keep a schedule buyers can count on. Post hours in your ads and flyers — and stick to them.
- Post your web address on your FOR SALE sign and in your flyers and ads.
- Respond to all emails and phone calls within 24 hours