There are a few things that are absolutely critical to whether a home sells quickly, and for as much money as it should. The first is price. Overpriced homes almost always sit on the market much longer than fairly priced homes. A home's value is based on the price of comparable properties that are for sale, as well as the sale price of homes that have sold recently. Value is NOT influenced by how much you paid for the house, what your family or neighbors think it's worth, or how much money you want to get from the sale. Pricing competitively is one of the key components to making sure the house sells quickly for a lot of money. When priced correctly, more interest is drawn and multiple offers often come in.
The next item that influences your home's sale is the condition and features of the home. Clearly, a home with more features and upgrades will sell faster than a similarly priced home with less features and upgrades. However, which house will receive more offers and more interest if there are two homes that are similar in their features/condition and both priced appropriately?
This is where marketing comes in! The home with the better photos, videos, flyers, and social media posts will get more visibility than the house without. There are many Realtors who take a listing, and simply post the listing in the MLS. This is not the kind of agent that you want representing you. You want someone who will work hard to earn their commission by making sure your home is marketed in the best possible way.
The real estate industry is much different than it was years ago. Now, buyers can find almost all the information they need online, without even talking to an agent. Since that is the case, the game has changed from trying to rope these consumers in and forcing them to talk to you to see homes. Successful Realtors now need to market their listings and provide valuable content to consumers online. Many agents that have been in the business for a long time are not comfortable with this shift. However, agents need to meet buyers where they're at these days, and that's ONLINE!
Side Note: ALL of the marketing techniques below, as well as the ones that I implement but did not list below, are included in my commission fee. I don't want you to have to pick and choose which types of marketing you receive!
Video content is incredibly useful to selling houses. These videos allow potential home buyers to "walk through" your home from the comfort of theirs. I post video walkthroughs on my Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+ profiles, as well as directions for accessing it on the MLS. There are not nearly as many agents doing video content as part of their marketing plan as there should be. Videos make your home's listing look professional and inviting.
Similarly to video, photography is a huge key to selling a home successfully. Some agents will show up at your home after you list with them, whip out their iPhone, and start snapping the listing photos. YIKES! I hire a professional photography company to shoot the photos of homes I list. They are one of (if not THE) premiere real estate photography company in San Diego, and their photos come out beautifully. Once your home is picture-ready, I will schedule a time for the photographer to come out and take photos.
Print Materials and Design
Graphic design is a major part of marketing. I prefer to use the website www.canva.com for most of my graphic design work. I use it pretty much every day! Print materials should be printed on high quality paper with a solid design aesthetic. These flyers can be left on "For Sale" signs, as well as inside of homes for sale for potential buyers to take with them. You want to work with an agent who creates modern and beautiful graphics and materials. Check out their website, and ask to see examples of previous print materials that they have used.
Social media is a fantastic way to broadcast your listing to the world. There are many social media sites that are great for exposure for a listing, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. I use highly targeted Facebook ads, in particular, to draw attention to a listing. I post video walkthroughs or photos and create a Facebook ad, targeted at people "likely to sell" that living within a 5 mile radius of the listing. These ads get viewed, shared, and interacted with in the form of comments. When someone is interested, I can then quickly make plans to show them the property.
Most Realtors do not know how to leverage social media to its fullest potential. People are on social media everyday, so it is a great place to advertising a listing.
Choosing Your Listing Agent
Now that you know what type of marketing sells homes, how can you choose a listing agent that will harness all of these technologies and strategies? Hint: The answer is NOT to hire the first Realtor whose bench ad you see, or even to necessarily hire a friend who is a Realtor. You are looking for a professional. Browse the websites of Realtors in your area. Check out their social media profiles (mine are in the footer below). Ask to see their marketing plan. After you choose your agent, hold them to all of the marketing promises that they made. If you choose wisely and they deliver as promised, you are well on your way to selling your home successfully!