You can’t expect a piece of property to sell itself. Even the most beautiful house will need some kind of exposure and marketing to get sold. I’ve seen a lot of great houses attract little to no buyer interest simply because the sellers didn’t know (or didn’t bother) to market or price the property appropriately. Here are some tips on how you can stack the deck in your favor and attract the most attention for the property you’re selling.
Agents are important
Who you’re in business with matters, and that’s especially true when choosing a listing agent. A listing agent isn’t just someone you casually hire to sell your property. Basically, you are entering a professional relationship with this person, so it’s important to pick a good one.
Ask about their list-to-sell ratio for the last ten properties. This compares a seller’s asking price to the final sales price. If they tell you it’s 98%, you’re off to a good start. On the other hand, a list-to-sell ratio of 70% should raise some red flags. The average in my local market is about 91.7%. These questions will help you find a good agent that can help you sell fast, and for top dollar.
Exposure to the market
Number two is exposure to the market. On top of promoting a property through traditional methods, video is becoming more important in today’s market. Stage the property accordingly. Have nice flyers and other promotional items printed out. Pictures are also very important. When possible, hire a professional photographer to make sure the appeal of your property doesn’t get lost in blurry, badly-lit photos.
Social media is a powerful tool you can use to promote your property. Apart from having a wide reach, social media allows people to share and pass-on information about your property. Think of it as a supercharged referral or word-of-mouth system.
You need to get an agent that’s a hyper-local expert. He must have a local presence within the community in addition to his online one. This agent will be involved in the city they work in, and will be aware of the different ins and outs of local business. This can include working with the chamber of commerce to local escrow, mortgage, and real estate companies. He knows where to find great business – and by extension, potential buyers and sellers.
Some sellers may not want to hear this, but price does dictate whether a property is going to sell, or sit around gathering dust. Sellers want listing agents to work magic and sell the property for $50,000 over the appraised value. You can get lucky, but I suggest you rely on strategy over luck.
One of the goals I have when selling is to encourage a multiple-offer scenario. Multiple offers can drive up the selling price considerably. Ironically, to do this, you need to first set an enticing price to generate a bidding war.
For example, I recently handled a trust sale. We needed to sell the place quickly, so I listed the house at $499,888 thinking we could get multiple offers to drive up the final price. The listing generated a ton of interest. Lots of people went to the open house, and agents were calling me to set-up showings. We received numerous offers ranging from $490,000 all the way to $530,000. Our initial price set the stage for the multiple-offer scenario, and allowed us to pick the best one.
I’m all about finding that balance. The goal for our team is to sell properties in the least amount of time, for the most amount of money, with the least amount of problem. Price the property accordingly, and it can be done.
Try to anticipate buyer issues, and act accordingly
I recently sold a home with no hallway; needless to say there were some staging challenges. The property had an awkward floor plan and was notoriously dark. However, we managed to spruce up the place by allowing more natural light to flow in, making this strange layout easier to live with.
From the start we analyzed the property and listed what the potential issues and hurdles would be. Specifically, we worked with staging experts to show potential buyers how the room space could be used. People could still tell that the house was old, but the renovations and staging addressed the age. Most importantly, the price made the listing enticing enough for potential buyers to look past the layout and see the value in the property.