Hello and Merry Christmas to all! This time of year, focus often shifts from Real Estate to spending time with loved ones and participating in fun Holiday events… as it should! With that being said, there is a large portion of the population with real estate sitting on the back-burner, in the back of their mind, starting to think about getting their home ready for the spring selling market. So, I decided to write this week about having a killer marketing plan that will get qualified buyers talking about, touring, and writing strong offers on your home! In theory, it’s a simple process, but requires hard work, persistence, and boots-on-the-ground action to execute it properly! Let’s dive in.
What is a marketing plan? Simply put, a Marketing Plan is the plan of action the the Sellers and listing Realtor will take before and during the selling process to maximize the homes value and exposure to qualified buyers. This is done in many ways, and in my opinion, the Lion’s Share of the work is completed before the home is listed or “on the market”. There is so much more to selling a home than snapping a few cell phone photos, sticking a sign in the yard, putting it on the MLS, and waiting patiently for buyers to filter through. While this tactic can and does work, it is not the most effective way for agents to help Sellers sell their homes for the most money, the best terms, and in the shortest amount of time. In my mind, the marketing plan an agent presents their Seller should be based off past successful experiences, current market trends, using cutting edge technology, using every avenue available to expose the home to qualified buyers, and the wishes of the Sellers.
My marketing plan is primarily broken into three phases: 1. Preparing to Sell. 2. The first week on the market. 3. Marketing the home while it is on the market.
Preparing to Sell: This is perhaps the most important phase of marketing a home in order to sell it successfully. Why? Because, no matter how hard and well the home is advertised, if it is not “show ready”, it will be an uphill battle trying to sell it, especially for “Top Dollar”. Things that should be done while preparing to sell are this:
- De-Clutter the home. Remove everything that you don’t need in the home to live in it.
- Clean the home – use a professional cleaning service if need be.
- Get the home pre-inspected by a licensed home inspector.
- Take professional photos. This includes drone photography, virtual tours, videography, and marketing videos.
- Yard work and creating curb appeal. This can range from simple to complex. Ensuring the landscaping and yard are well maintained, chipped and peeling paint are fixed, and other un-sightly defects are cured are paramount. Small touches to make the exterior “cuter” are also very important!
- Fixing defects and repairing cosmetic defects. This is a huge category with a wide range. It might range from fixing a broken window in the living room to repainting the lime green bedroom from when you let your kiddos choose the paint colors!
One caveat: some of these items your agent may offer to pay for as a part of their marketing plan. Why? Because they want to help you sell for the highest amount! These services will often be offered with a higher commission percentage package, though. Like any other industry – you get what you pay for!
The first week on the market:
- Sign goes in yard (immediately).
- Home gets listed on the MLS.
- Open house gets scheduled and completed.
- Advertisements for your home go onto social media. The social media platforms I recommend most frequently are Facebook and Instagram. This includes the Realtor’s business page, the brokerage’s business page, Buy/Sell/Trade pages (yes they work!), and paid/boosted advertisements and posts.
- Home goes onto 3rd Party websites. This includes websites such as remax.com, realtor.com, zillow.com, craigslist.com, and many, many other websites!
- Agent prospects likely buyers and reverse prospects other agents’ buyers.
- Home is emailed to brokerage, my sphere of influence, etc.
- Just Listed postcards (direct mail) gets sent to 50-100 neighbors.
While your home is on the market:
- Open houses completed.
- Facebook videos completed and posted to showcase your home!
- Single property website created for your home and shared online with the world!
- Continued prospecting for buyers and reverse prospecting with other Realtors to find your buyer!
- Updated social media advertising.
- Broker open held if the owner would like.
- Flyers or invitations delivered to the local neighborhood for open houses.
That is a small snapshot of my marketing plan. As I like to say, “Leave no advertising asset in reserve”! It’s important to get your property out in front of as many buyers as possible, because you truly never know where the next buyer is going to come from! To effectively market a property, there is a TON of work that goes into it. That is why full-time Realtors like myself can help Sellers achieve the highest results and sell their homes for the money. They can do this because they have the time, the knowledge, and the tools to put you home in the best possible position to attract the highest and best offer.
There is one more important factor worth noting: While most buyers do start their home search on 3rd party property websites, roughly 90% of buyers still purchase their home with the assistance of a Real Estate Agent. That means the most powerful tool you have to market your property is the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) – the platform agents use to share and advertise all properties that are for sale. If you choose to sell a home on your own, you are limiting the exposure of your home to qualified buyers by a DRASTIC amount. This is likely the major factor in for sale by owner homes selling for roughly 28% less money than than agent assisted sales nationwide (Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, National Association of Realtors).
I always recommend using an agent with a proven, well thought out marketing plan and even more importantly: a track record of using it successfully. Having a marketing plan is not enough in and of itself. Your agent (hopefully me) has to be hardworking and disciplined enough to execute it!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post and I wish you the very best Holiday Season with friends, family, and lots of laughter! If you would like to discuss Selling your home or property in 2020, I would love to put my knowledge, work ethic, and marketing plan to work for you! Your success and satisfaction is always my number one priority!
Until Next Time.
~ Tim Nelson | RE/MAX Affiliates | 715-529-0239