Archive for the 'Seller News' Category

Make Sure You Have A Marketing Plan

By Mike Gambino & Mary Jones
Prudential Patterson Realtors®

Only for the rare few sellers, simply placing a “For Sale” yard sign on the front lawn creates a line of traffic filled with potential buyers. If you want buyers to see your home, you’ve got to find them. The key is marketing. To get the most exposure for your home, you should have a marketing plan with clear objectives and specifically outlines the resources that will be used to reach potential buyers.

Each marketing plan should be designed around your property and capitalize on its most desirable features. Therefore, you need to be honest with your real estate professional about the condition of your home, and the final price you are willing to accept for your home.

Next, you need to determine what marketing options work best to reach your desired audience. Generally there are two audiences you are trying to reach—home buyers and other real estate professionals. Make sure the plan includes action steps on how each audience will be marketed to.

Seldom is the successful marketing of a property the result of a single activity. Your strategy should include a variety of marketing activities. Using only conventional marketing strategies such as Open Houses, newspaper ads and direct mail can limit your outreach. Most homebuyers now begin their home search online. Having a presence on your real estate professional’s Web site and other portals such as Yahoo! Real Estate gives you worldwide exposure. Besides the increased exposure, online listings also allow buyers to get a sneak peek of your home. Therefore, you may want to complement the listings with plenty of photos and a virtual tour, which allows viewers to get a preview of your home without leaving their computer.

Also, don’t forget the power of email. Sending email flyers or electronic postcard are easy and cost efficient. During your planning, your real estate professional may recommend other marketing tools such as company/broker tours and an Open House. Work with your real estate professional to determine the best options for your market.

Besides identifying marketing tools, an effective marketing plan will also spell out specific dates for the marketing activities. It should leave room for unscheduled events such as following up with sales professionals or brokers who preview or show the home.

Make sure the marketing plan includes checkpoints, possibly at the 15-, 30- and 45-day marks, to review activity on the home and determine if changes need to be made to the marketing plan.

As the home seller, you should be kept in the loop on activity of your home. The marketing plan should state how you will be communicated with (mail, phone, email, in person) and the frequency (daily, weekly, etc.).

Of course these are just guidelines, but can give you an idea if the marketing plan your real estate professional has proposed to you has to be refined. You need to be comfortable with the marketing strategy for your home. An effective plan will not only put you at ease, but also give your home maximum exposure to increase your chances of a quick sell.

Mike Gambino & Mary Jones can be reached at 1-800-321-8586. Prudential Patterson Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.
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Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

By Mike Gambino
Prudential Prudential Patterson Realtors

The media has been full of stories about the slowing housing market –and although this kind of market normalization is commonplace in the real estate industry, there is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are currently on the market a little longer and there is more competition for buyers.

Hire a Professional
If you want to sell your home fairly quickly, now is not the time to go at it alone. You want to make sure that your home gets the maximum exposure and the best marketing strategy. When you work with a qualified real estate professional, your home will be listed on a MLS database that other real estate professionals can access. In addition, you get the benefit of an experienced marketer and negotiator who is familiar with real estate issues in your community.

When selecting someone to represent you, interview at least three real estate professionals who are familiar with your area. Ask questions such as: How will your home be marketed to reach the greatest number of buyers? What price can they get for your home? What’s the average time their listings have been on the market? They should be able to back up their answer with a Comparative Marketing Analysis and provide the names of two or three of their most recent sellers who you may contact for a reference.

Price It Right
A house priced at just below market value piques the interest of real estate professionals and buyers, while overpricing chases them away. If your home is priced too high, interested buyers may never even tour your listing. It is true that you can always drop the price, but the first 30 days are the most critical. That is when interest is the highest, and it can be difficult to recapture people’s interest later on. The longer the property is on the market, the fewer the prospects.

Get Your Home In Show-Condition
Get your home in tip-top shape before any potential buyer views it. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Get rid of the clutter. Touch up the paint where needed. Clean the carpet. Consider having your home inspected, and make any recommended repairs. (If there are any repairs you decide not to fix, inform the buyers about the condition of your home and discount the repair cost from the selling price).

Curb Appeal
Don’t overlook the outside of your property. You don’t want a buyer to rule out your home based on the outside appearance. The lawn should be trimmed, bushes and shrubs pruned, and leaves raked. The front of the house needs a clean, fresh appearance. Even the mailbox needs to be attractive and functional. (Believe it or not, a rusty, unhinged mailbox can turn potential buyers off.) And don’t forget to put away bicycles; toys and other items that may make your property seem cluttered.

Offer Incentives
Offering incentives can be just the impetus a potential buyer needs to select your property over others. You may want to consider offering a carpet or paint allowance. If the buyer knows up front that there is an allowance for the worn carpet or paint, they may overlook those cosmetic flaws in order to choose their own color. You could pay for a professional home inspection or a home warranty — and, depending on your market and budget, offer to pay some of the closing costs.

Don’t be discouraged if there are competing homes for sale in your neighborhood. Making the right moves at the beginning of your home selling process can give you the upper-hand you’ll need in today’s competitive market.

Mike Gambino can be reached at (314) (506-6700). Prudential Patterson Realtors is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.
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