Oct. 13, 2010

7 Ways to Sell Your Home Faster

In the current market where there's a ton of inventory, loads of foreclosures and a record unemployment rate, it can be tricky to sell your property. Now, of course there's really no quick fix to this and you might just have to drop the price until it sells. However, prior to doing so consider these 6 ways (plus dropping the price as numero 7) as ways to get your home sold faster. Okay, here we go…

1) Photos

Seeing as the first place a buyer or their agent is going to look is the internet, the photos online will make or break whether your home is even considered tour worthy. The difference between professional, high quality digital photography and run of the mill point and shoot camera work is staggering. With the latter, the angles are often sub-optimal, the lighting sucks and the overall picture quality is substantially degraded compared to professional camera work.  This is your front line of marketing and want it to be the best.  So what if it's a few hundred dollars extra. It's absolutely worth it.  Take a look at the photos below.  One is a professional photo, the other…not so much!!

real estate photography

2) SOC Incentives

Let's face it, most buyers are already working with agents.  It's free for them to do so.  What this means is that agents are the ones sifting through listings and emailing them over to their buyers.  The agents have the power to include certain properties in their search and exclude others.  Call it selfishness, call it conscious ignorance, call it whatever…. but one of the criteria an agent is going to look for is the Selling Office Commission (SOC) or more bluntly, the amount of money he ( or she)  is going to make on the sale. Now I'll show properties regardless of the SOC as it's about the clients needs over my own.

However most agents will skip right over listings that offer less than the standard 3%.  This is especially the case if there are a multitude of listings that meet their buyers' criteria.  An agent can only show so many listings and if all else is  equal, the properties  they're likely to first weed out are going to be those that skimp on the commission.  It also works in reverse as well.  Properties that offer more than the standard 3% are likely to be shown and promoted more by agents which increases the exposure and ultimately increases the chances of it getting sold.  If you're really motivated to sell your property, it may be worth your time and money to offer the selling agent an extra incentive to show your property.

3)Stage It/Keep it Clean

Similarly to photos, how the interior and exterior of the property look can make or break whether an offer is presented or not.  Do your best to remove all of the clutter.  Nothing is worse than a nice home that's loitered with unnecessary, old, tacky junk. Just because you like it or it has some sentimental value doesn't mean other people will.  Be practical.  Remove the junk. Throw on a fresh coat or two of paint  if needed.  Just remember to use neutral, lighter colors as opposed to darker, heavier ones.

4)Get it in Hands of Right Agents

Recognizing that there are a small handful amongst the mass of agents who regularly sell property similar to yours, it's important to get your property in the right hands.  Of course agents will claim to present your listing at their weekly meetings and to all of the 18 billion people in their “sphere of influence”  but it's more important that it's seen amongst the heavy hitters who sell the most in your area in that particular range.  Communicate with your agent and make sure he/she has sent your listing to the top 15 agents who are working with the most buyers in that area/price range.

5)Set up Online Marketing Campaign

It's pretty much a known fact now that internet has shot light years past print advertising both in terms of visibility and cost.  That being said, having a detailed, laid out, online marketing strategy is essential to getting your home exposed.  The first place and the most obvious to market is google simply for the reason that  99% of consumers start their search here.  That being said, you need to ask yourself as well as your agent “how is a buyer going to find my property when they search on google?” Well likely when they first start their search for a home, a buyer is going to want to get a general sense of the market and is likely to search for something relatively broad such as “[city,town] real estate” or  â€[city] homes for sale” which more than likely they'll go to the 1st or 2nd result on google.  It is there that your property should featured.

*Ahem*…shameless plug…Fortunately, we at eXp have mastered the science of Search Engine Optimization (getting our websites to the top of google), making our featured properties much more visible to prospective buyers.  Here's a video I did on this here. If you don't have a high ranking website, there are still sites like activerain.comezinearticles, and articlebase that have great SEO. Just remember to make the keywords you'd like to rank for in the title of your article!

There are variety of other ways to gain exposure to your listing such as syndicating to online classifieds like Craigslist, Ebay Classifieds, Trulia, Zillow, youtube, Backpages, facebook, twitter, etc.  Posting every 48 hours is usually a good rule of thumb. You can also get the upgraded listing on sites like Realtor.com though I personally have not done this yet.  Regardless of what you or your agent decides to do, it's important to have a detailed plan and execute it.

Also, it must be mentioned that when dealing with social networks such as facebook and twitter don't spam out your listing every half hour. Post lightly and do so in an engaging, fun and interactive that's non spammy!

6)Just Listed Business Cards

I got this one from My Lender Dan Keller. As soon as you list your property, have your agent get 100-150 business cards with the listing information on one side and the agent info on the other.  Take 50 or so for yourself to hand out to your friends, family and other people you know and have your real estate agent hand the rest out to your surrounding neighbors/agents/and any other people of interest.  The more you get, the more you can hand out and the more you hand out, the more exposure the property will receive.  It's pretty simple and very cheap to do.

7) Drop the Price

If your agent has busted his butt marketing the property, has done all of the above and more and still nothing, it's time to drop the price.  Price is the biggest factor when purchasing a home and if your property is above market value, buyers recognize this instantly and simply push your listing to the side.  It doesn't matter  if you had it appraised in 2007 for 50% more than what you're asking right now, if it's not priced for the current market, it won't sell.

Note: You'll notice I didn't put Open Houses or Print Advertising on here and let me explain briefly.  Print is dead.  Open Houses account for 2% of properties sold according to N.A.R. I do open houses but it's more to build my buyer database than anything else.  If your real estate agent says other wise, he's either ignorant to the facts or straight lying.

Posted in General, Selling
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