The real estate industry is something of a black box to consumers. Agents hype their marketing in order to win listings. Consumers often buy into the hype because on the surface, it makes sense. However, if you dig a little deeper, you might be surprised to see what actually rocks and what flops.
The MLS Rocks:
The multiple listing service or MLS really, really rocks. Our MLS has over 6000 agents. So when you list your property on the MLS – you automatically put 6000 agents to work trying to find a buyer for your home. You simply can’t beat that!
Anyone can load a so-so listing on the MLS – but it takes a good marketer to make it pop. Great photos are an absolute must! Buyers expect them and will eliminate homes that don’t have them. Think of the MLS photo display as your “first showing”. For the same reasons a high-quality video or slideshow is no longer optional.
Having a sign in front of the home with a sign rider guiding the buyer to a web page about the home always rocks. I buy a domain name for each listing and add QR codes for those with smart phones. Fliers help too – if they don’t end up scattered all over the place. The key here is to get the interested party to as much viable information as possible as quickly as possible.
On-Line Advertising Rocks:
Includes Craigslist, Postlets, Trulia, agent websites and blogs, twitter, FB, the New York Times online – all this stuff rocks. Why? Because if your listing agent has done their job correctly, the buyer can get multiple photos and all the salient financial information at the click of a button.
There is a lot of confusion about the role of staging. Staging will NOT get you more than market value for your home. But if done correctly, it will help you get more offers, reduce days on market and get you the most that the current market will bear. It need not cost an arm and a leg and for the most part, the homeowners furnishings are used. I don’t care what the old-school agents say – empty listings have a much tougher time on the market. That’s just the way it is.
Open Houses – Can Rock or Flop
Open Houses are a long-time tried and true method of marketing the home. The trouble is that they are very inconvenient for the seller. The bottom line for open houses is this: if your home is in an active and desirable subdivision or if your home has a very central location like a downtown area, open houses rock. In these cases, a couple of open houses will drive traffic to the listing and create buzz. If the location is more remote, open houses will be a flop. Too many open houses make the seller look desperate. Less is more here.
Newspaper Ads or Big Brokerage Ads in the Newspaper – Flops:
You see them every Sunday…big ads from big brokerages highlighting certain listings. It looks great, but does it sell your home? I’ve never seen it happen. Buyers work online now because they can get more photos and information on-line than they can from a single small picture in a newspaper or even in a magazine. This method may have rocked in the pre-internet era – but that’s not where we are anymore. This type of advertising tends to promote the brokerage more than the listing.
Having your listing on the window of your local brokerage – Flops:
I worked in a brokerage that had a walk-in presence when I was new to the business. That was back in the boom days of 2005. Even then the walk-in traffic into the brokerage was minuscule and it has gone downhill from there. Further I NEVER saw anyone actually buy the property that brought them through the door. Agents who work in local brick and mortar brokerages often tout their “local presence” and this is part of the package that is offered. But does this help your listing sell? I just don’t see it.
This should not be confused with local knowledge. Local KNOWLEDGE is important. Your agent needs to understand your market. But that does not mean they have to have an office in your town.
So there you have it - I hope this brings a bit more transparency to the process of marketing your home. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you want to discuss listing your home. You can either email me at [email protected], phone me at 914-374-5529 or simply fill out the form below. Do not worry, I do not sell your private information nor will I flood you with spam.