8 STEPS TO SELLING YOUR HOME
Step Four - Marketing
Now that your house is prepped and ready to sell your agent will design a marketing plan specifically for your home. A good marketing plan generally includes all or some of the following:
Internet Advertising - This includes listing your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) as well as on the agent's personal website or brokerage website. Once your home is listed on these sites it will automatically appear on popular home search sites such as Zillow and Trulia. Your agent may also make ads for Facebook, or post your listing on Linkedin groups. Internet advertising is the most important aspect of marketing.
Yard Signs - The "For Sale" sign in the yard is what generally comes to mind when people think of selling a home. Yard signs are important because they often bring interest from people who might not have even been thinking about buying. However, they can also bring in a lot of looky-loos and if you're selling a high priced luxury home your agent may choose not to hang a sign. This will prevent people who aren't serious or capable of buying your home from traipsing around the property.
Agent to Agent Marketing - It's common for agents to mass email your listing to other agents who may have buyers interested in your home. This is a very cost effective and efficient way of bringing in potential buyers that For Sale By Owner sellers don't have access to.
Direct Mail Campaigns - This type of marketing can be costly and hit or miss. Out of every 100 people to receive a mailer about your home, maybe 1 or 2 will be interested.
Open House - A lot of sellers believe in order to sell their home the agent must hold it open. The truth is, only 1% of homes actually sell at an open house. A more efficient marketing strategy is to hold a broker's open. This is an open house in which only other agents are invited and they're usually served drinks and a light lunch. The agents will then tell their buyers about the home and bring in a lot more traffic than an open house for the public would generate.
Media Advertising - Advertising in newspapers or magazines typically yields the lowest results, but can come with the highest cost, so most agents no longer utilize this method.
Photography - I personally believe your agent should always bring in a professional photographer to shoot your home. I have specific photography packages that I offer for free based on the price the house is selling at. If the seller would like additional photos they are required to pay for them, usually at $10 a photo or whatever price is set by the photography company. Some agents feel that snapping a pic with their cell phone is sufficient, but when a buyer is deciding which homes they want to look at they will almost always choose the one with the professional photos.
How many of these methods your agents uses will depend on the price range of your home. Remember, your agent has to pay for all marketing costs in the hopes they will make the money back once your home sells. If your house is selling for $250,000 your agent probably won't do a direct mailer or media advertisement simply because the price is too high for such minor results.
If you think your agent should be using a certain method and they are not, ask them why, but remember they probably have a good reason for doing so. Ask to discuss their marketing plan in detail before they begin so you have a firm understanding of what they will be doing. Keep in mind your agent does not want to simply bring in a lot of people, they want to bring in the most qualified buyers.
Finally, your home should be marketed to it's strengths. If you're selling a luxury home all printed materials should appear luxurious. You can also market your home to the decade it was built (such as my favorite, Mid Century Moderns) the location it's in (urban, city dwelling, country living) or any historical significance that may be attached to it.
Your agent's main goal should be to make your home stand out from the rest and bring in the majority of traffic within the first 3 to 6 weeks your home is on the market.