6 Things Real Estate Agents Wish Sellers Understood About Marketing Their Homes
Start the fall with Inman’s Marketing and Branding Month. We dig deep into agent branding and spending best practices with Zillow, realtor.com, and others. Top marketing managers also stop by to share their latest tactics. That’s all it takes to take your branding and marketing game to the next level.
In talking to sellers about Zoom, my team discussed why their home wasn’t selling as quickly as they’d imagined.
We had done everything we could to set the stage for a sale, including:
- Necessary upgrades
- Full staging
- Professional images including:
- Magazine quality stills
- Drone recordings
- Matterport 3D tour
- A video
- Floor plans
- Interactive brochure
- And more
- Recommended posts on all major social media
- Has worked on any reverse prospecting platform
- Hosted Promoted Open Days including a Twilight Tour
- Carefully followed up on all buyer and buyer representative inquiries
- Worked the local brokerage networks
- and on and on
We even recommended aligning the price more with other properties in the area, which they rigorously refused.
The husband looked at me straight through their camera and stated, “We don’t think you are doing enough to market our home.”
Over the years I’ve met numerous sellers who really don’t understand what it takes to sell their homes. No matter what we do, they seem to think that we are holding something back.
It’s like the dialogue between Captain Kirk and Scotty is over Star Trek. In emergencies, Kirk would always call out, “Scotty, we need more,” to which the engineer would always reply, “Captain, I’ll give you everything we have!”
The truth is, in order to maximize the “golden window” and give sellers the best chance of getting the best sale, we give them everything we have from the start.
Based on my 20 years of listing homes, here are the top six things realtors want from sellers about marketing their home for sale.
1. There is no secret sauce
Marketing is about a few basics: you need a product to sell, an effective way to advertise it, buyers wanting to buy what you offer, and a reasonable price.
If realtors prepare properly, stage effectively, advertise with the latest marketing technologies and methods, price the house correctly, and there are buyers out there looking for comparable properties to sell. It may take a while if the market is slow, but every home we marketed that met all of the criteria was eventually sold.
Problems arise when sellers fail to maximize one of the categories. A poorly prepared home will not sell if the owners want the most money. If the home has features that are inconsistent with current buyer tastes, it will likely stay around until the price has come down enough for a buyer to eliminate or fix the perceived problems.
There is no secret sauce. There is no magic formula. Agents have no tricks up their sleeves. Aside from being willing to sell at a price well below the market price, there is nothing you can do to entice a buyer to invest their money and buy. The basics of marketing are relatively straightforward, and while the way the marketing is carried out is crucial, at the end of the day, when you’ve done everything, price comes down to it.
2. The first impression is All
Today’s buyers give a seller between 7 and 10 seconds before swiping left on their mobile device and moving to the next house. it is absolutely critical to maximize the first few seconds.
Sellers unwilling to do so, either because they fail to maximize their home or refuse to be realistic, will usually pay the piper with a cheaper sale.
3. No marketing can guarantee a price
I’m so sick of real estate agents trying to buy a listing by promising that their state-of-the-art marketing guarantees a sale at a certain price.
I’m also fed up with salespeople falling for the bait.
Because of this, we explicitly address this with every quotation appointment so that sellers understand the process and the fact that even with our best efforts, the price cannot be guaranteed.
4. Smart dialogue rarely wins the day
The person who writes the ad copy for our listings is very good. Instead of just listing features, they paint pictures of life as soon as the buyer moves in. As good as the dialogues may be, there are always salespeople who think they can do better.
We’ve had sellers poring over our proposed dialogue and making numerous changes because they believed that one sentence would magically sell a house that was $ 50,000 above a realistic list price.
They often want to include things that make no difference at all, like new knobs on the kitchen cabinets, the mall 10 miles away, the freshly planted flowers, and so on.
Little do they know that most salespeople spend a maximum of 10 seconds looking at what is on offer and that prospects spend the entire time looking at the pictures rather than reading the elaborately designed dialogues.
Yes, the dialogue is important, but there is still a limit to what a buyer will actually read. It’s best to paint pictures, but be short and let the pictures do the talking.
5. It really is is about your property
Let’s be honest. Houses with bowling alleys are cool, but not every buyer is willing to pay for them. Fifty year old kitchens, converted garages, unauthorized additions, ugly upgrades, and garish colors are just a few of the myriad of buyers I’ve seen over the years.
If the home a seller is trying to sell has serious problems or is just plain ugly, no marketing is going to hide the obvious.
6. Price is the ultimate marketing tool
I’ve already started doing this, but to get the point straight, in the end, if nothing else works, the final marketing tool will be to adjust the price. The saying is true: there is a market for everything if the price is right.
The most effective way to help a seller understand marketing is to put them in the buyer’s shoes. Most sellers want to buy elsewhere and have already spent time looking for replacement homes online.
I ask her, “Can you tell me about your apartment search process?”
When they start explaining how she When looking for houses you can usually see the lights come on.
Take some time to let your salespeople know how marketing works beforehand and you can avoid some stressful conversations once their home hits the market.
Carl Medford is the CEO of the Medford team.