How will a potential buyer write an offer for your home unless they know about it?
The key to a successful sale is exposure in the market place. Often sellers understand this to mean that the home is entered in the local Multiple Listing Service and a For Sale sign is installed in front of the house. While both of these methods are useful, they will not likely capture the highest price for you.
What will capture the highest price is to ensure that every buyer in your price range knows about your house, and that every Realtor with a qualified buyer knows about your house. An aggressive marketing campaign should include professional photography of your home, an intensive web presence, pre-market exclusive showings to neighbors and Realtors, a direct mail campaign, a social media campaign and advertised, scheduled open houses.
I like to think that launching a new listing is like throwing a party. Before that moment when the first guest arrives, there are hours of preparation. There is cleaning, determining who will be invited, setting the theme, creating invitations, (both virtual and printed), and planning ahead: what impression will the guests leave with once they have come?
Like any successful party, there should be a ‘buzz’ about a listed home. There should be many people interested in being there, and there needs to be a feeling of ‘wanting more’.
If the marketing plan has been successful, there should be more showings of your home. With more showings, isn’t it likely that you will receive more offers? And with more offers, doesn’t it make sense that you will have a better opportunity of negotiating the the best terms and price?
I have a new property coming on the market soon! It’s a beautiful townhouse reminiscent of a vacation property you’d find in Cape Cod, but it’s right here on the Peninsula.
3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
Filled with natural light
Private end unit at back of the complex
Beautiful hardwood floors
Private garden and brick patio
Conveniently located between Burlingame and San Mateo
Phone for pricing and showing availability: (650) 399-5505
Once we were clear about the positive and negative attributes of the house, and who would likely purchase this house, we set out to attract buyers.
How we made the home more attractive:
First we hired competent and thorough inspectors to fully report on any findings and made those reports part of the disclosures, as we wanted buyers to fully know about the house’s ‘issues’.
Next, we walked through the home to determine what needed repair, and what could be done to ‘update the house’ with minor investments. We hired a contractor to repair a wall where there had been damage from a roof leak. (The roof had been replaced, but the damage still remained). Our contractor also adjusted cabinet hinges, replaced the 1980-era gold-toned bathroom fixtures with something more contemporary, and replaced a few damaged boards on the deck. We hired a painting contractor to scrape and paint all the exterior trim to freshen up the curb appeal, and to change the color of a couple interior rooms.
Perhaps one of the most transforming updates was the reglazing of the kitchen counters. The counters were typical for early 1980’s style; 4” x 4” beige tile with brown grout. The grout was worn and missing in some areas, and the color just screamed outdated. We hired a bathtub refinisher to reglaze everything white.
We brought in a stager for a consultation, and she specified colors changes in a couple of the rooms, and helped us to determine the best features of the home. She also helped us to evaluate how to stage each room to suggest its use. For instance, should the eat-in kitchen also suggest a work area by placing a desk near the window? And how should the living room furniture be arranged to encourage traffic flow?
Many sellers underestimate the power of the first impression. Not only must you provide the vision for the buyer, you need to convey that this house is ‘move in ready’.
Most sellers are interested in receiving the highest possible price for their home, and why wouldn’t they be?
In order to attract a buyer who is willing to pay the highest price, and perhaps even compete to successfully win your home, a strategy and a marketing plan will have to be carefully planned.
Part 1: Evaluate the Home
The background to this story:
This home was built in the 1920s, but it had had some updates and expansions. The most recent update was in the 1980s, and although it helped with modernizing the home, the detail elements looked dated. The layout and flow to the house were good, and a master bathroom was a benefit. The location of the home was good too, but not ideal for children because of the school district. And finally, the house was move-in ready, but there were a few issues that had to be addressed, and would require about $20,000 of remediation work, and six to eight weeks of time. The sellers were were aware of these issues, and they were fully disclosed to all potential buyers.
Our evaluation of who would purchase: knowing the limitations of the home, we knew that we would likely attract a move-down buyer with grown children, a young first-time buyer with no children, or perhaps a small family with a pre-school child. We also knew that the buyer would be someone who understood that the remediation work would need to be factored into their timeline and budget.
Next time find out about how we made the home more attractive to potential buyers!