YOUR GUIDE TO LISTING YOUR HOME
Your home is a large investment. You should know what effect the ever-changing market is having on your property whether you're thinking about selling now or in the next few months. Fill out the Seller form to receive a personalized estimate from one of our team members. Continue scrolling to review our comprehensive guide to home listings.
COMPARISONS & WHY PRICING MATTERS
The strategy to sell any product, from cars to computers, to real estate is two-fold. First, you have to price your product where the market dictates. Today’s buyers are educated. Thanks to the internet and modern technology, they have immediate access to all of the market information. There’s no fooling them. If a product is overpriced, they’ll know instantly, and they won’t give it the time of day. Underpricing is a strategy used to gain more competitive offers or to quickly close on a home to meet a particular goal or timeline. Overpricing a home will cause increased days on the market, loss of interest and sales momentum from the new listing, and eventually a reduced asking price. Hitting the right asking price off the bat can bring the best compensation, competitive offers, and quick closings.
The other piece of the puzzle in selling is making sure your home receives maximum exposure. For most people, real estate properties are the most expensive product(s) they own. You need to make sure you hire a professional with a proven strategy for achieving maximum market exposure.
OUR MARKETING STRATEGY
95% of buyers begin searching for homes online before they ever contact a real estate agent. Because the internet is where nearly all of the buyers for your property are, we tailor the bulk of our marketing to the online world.
MLS (Multiple Listing Service):
The very first thing we do is put your property on the MLS. Although this is something nearly every agent offers, believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to do this. Good agents ensure all fields, even those not required, are filled out in a way that ensures searchability. We want to make sure that your property shows up when an agent or the public searches the MLS for particular features that your home has.
As soon as your home is submitted on the MLS, it automatically syndicates to realtor.com, but to ensure MAXIMUM exposure, we then syndicate your listing to over 65 different home search websites including, Zillow, Trulia, YahooHomes, and many more! We want to make sure that no matter what website buyers are using, they won’t be missing out on your property.
Our website is a useful resource for potential buyers and sellers and features informational blogs, stories of our client’s successes, and, of course, our listings. We drive a ton of web traffic to our listing page, ensuring your home gets in front of buyers. 68% of home buyers that search online use their mobile devices, so we’ve ensured that our website is mobile responsive, allowing smartphone users to more easily see content on our website – specifically, your property!
Your property will have its own property website that contains all of the information on your home, pictures, and video. We will advertise and drive traffic to your property website. Not only that, we’ll have a landing page, where we ask for information from those viewing your property - this will help us identify and capture information from the potential buyers for your home to make sure we don’t let anyone slip through the cracks!
Our marketing philosophy is to go where the people are, and the people are on Facebook! Obviously, Facebook is a social media platform. But, did you know that Facebook has 1.71 BILLION users each month? And, did you know that Facebook is a publicly-traded company that needs to be profitable to satisfy its investors and is worth around $500 BILLION?
So, how does Facebook make money? By using the data that its users freely give them to allow businesses to target ads to potential customers, based on their interests, and demographics. A little creepy? Maybe, but what that means for you as a home seller, is that we can use our business page to advertise your home to people who are interested in buying, and whose interests, financials, and geography are a match for your home.
This is literally one of the most powerful marketing tools the world has ever seen, and most real estate agents are only using it to post pictures of puppies (not that we’re opposed to puppies - actually we love them!).
Right after Google, can you guess what the next most popular search engine is? You might be surprised to learn, it’s YouTube! The content on the internet that gets the most engagement is far and away videos. People LOVE videos. So we post a LOT of videos to Youtube. We post virtual tours of our listings, which is a great way to expand the buyer pool for your home. We’ve seen out-of-state buyers purchase homes from seeing the virtual tour, without ever having been to the actual house!
First impressions in real estate shape the way a buyer feels about a house, which in turn determines what they decide to do about that house. It is imperative that when your home hits the market, it makes an impression! There are so many homes that a buyer scrolls through online that your home needs to not just look good, but look better than the rest to catch their eye.
Professional Quality Photography
The first thing buyers and agents look at, before anything else when they’re searching for homes, are the pictures. If a house looks amazing in the photographs, it will generate excitement with buyers, and they’ll beg their realtor to go see it ASAP before they miss out on that amazing home! We have seen our listings sell faster and for more money simply because the pictures generated excitement among buyers, and excitement creates a wave of demand that drives prices up!
Many agents like to put their listing’s photographs in a slideshow, put some music behind it, and call that a “Virtual Tour”. That’s not much of a “Tour”. Our Virtual Tours are an actual video where we talk about the features, amenities, and experience of a house, as we give a guided tour of the home. This allows buyers to get a feel for the house before having even stepped through the threshold. If a buyer is excited by the professional pictures of a home, they’re going to be hungry for more content about the house, and our Virtual Tours give them even more to get excited about! Posting these Virtual Tours on YouTube also exposes your property to buyers outside of our immediate area, thus expanding the buyer pool!
Matterport 3D Walkthroughs
This is one of the coolest new pieces of technology in the Real Estate world, and besides being cool, it is an incredibly valuable marketing tool! With our Matterport camera, we can create a three-dimensional image of your home that potential buyers can virtually “walk through” on their computer, tablet, or smartphone! This is especially valuable for out-of-state buyers, who may not be able to physically make it to the house but want to get a feel for the floorplan. I’ve seen buyers purchase a property without having been to the house because of Matterport!
When buyers are interested in a property, they want to consume as much information and media about the house as possible, and the more we provide them with, the more “fuel” we add to their fire of excitement!
We hope that this conveys to you that we take marketing our listings very seriously, and our marketing strategy isn’t a hopeful attempt to advertise our listings, but a well-thought-out, proven plan of action that achieves maximum market exposure for your home.
Marketing is certainly an important element in getting a product sold, but just as important, if not more so, is Pricing. Our goal in pricing is to get the most money for your home, but not over-price your home to the point where we discourage offers.
DETERMINE MARKET VALUE
Your home has a value that is dictated by the market as a whole. Every home is unique, but there are still always homes that are considered “comparable”. As Real Estate Professionals, we research and apply our market knowledge to price homes correctly. Much like an appraiser, we look at the sales history for comparable homes, other homes that are actively competing with yours, the current market conditions, and amenities that may be unique to your home to arrive at the market value for your home.
Comparable properties (“comps”) are those that have similar characteristics, such as finished area, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, age, location, school districts, quality of construction, garage stalls, etc. If possible, we like to look at what has sold in the immediate neighborhood, but sometimes we have to look outside to find acceptable comps. One of the questions we ask when researching comps is, “If I were a potential buyer for this property, what other properties would I be looking at?”
Market Conditions play an important role in pricing. If we are looking at sold comps, we have to consider whether the market has changed since those homes sold - has it appreciated, depreciated, or is it much the same? Factors such as weather, holidays, the economy, or even impending elections can affect the size of the buyer pool and the amount of competing inventory on the market, which in turn affects the pricing of your home.
Amenities such as granite or marble countertops, hardwood floors, fireplaces, custom cabinetry, privacy fences, etc. may add value and must be taken into consideration when looking at the comps. Something to keep in mind with amenities is that although they may add some value, don’t expect to recoup the cost of what you paid to install some of these upgrades. Many upgrades may make the home more “salable”, but may not add much if any, value to the home.
Dangers of Overpricing
Your house is your home. It’s where you’ve raised your family. It’s where your memories are made. You’ve cared for it, put your personal touch on it, and are proud of it. It’s worth more to you than the sticks and stones that it’s built with. However, if you’re serious about selling your home, you can’t expect buyers to see the value that you see in the more intangible aspects of your home. We have to rely on what the market determines your home is worth.
Oftentimes, Sellers will ask if we can “try out” a price above Market Value for their home. When you do this, you lose momentum. Home buyers are better educated now than ever before. 95% of buyers research homes on the internet. They know what they are looking for, and they are aware of what the comps are selling for. If your home is priced correctly, and if we’ve done our job of marketing the home well, there is a great deal of excitement when a property initially hits the market. If you “try out” a high price for a week or two, by the time you reduce the price to where it should be, you’ve lost all momentum, and you’ll likely have to underprice your home to get buyers interested again. This is a poor strategy for getting the best price.
Price vs. Time
Many home sellers mistakenly believe that price and time have an inverse correlation. For example, we often hear over-priced sellers say, “I don’t care how long it takes, I want $XXX,XXX for my home.” The reality is, price and time have a direct correlation, meaning, the faster the home sells, the more money you can expect to get for the home! We ran the numbers for the Greater Springfield area to determine how the number of cumulative days on market (CDOM) affected the sales price, and here’s what we found:
Those homes that sold within the first 30 days sold for 97.7% of their original list price. Those that took more than 120 days to sell only sold for 89.52% of the original list price. When a property has been on the market for a long time, buyers think that either there’s something wrong with the house, or that the seller is getting desperate, so if they do submit an offer, it will be significantly lower than the asking price. The key to avoiding this is? Price it correctly at Market Value from the beginning.
The Price Bridge
As we’ve already mentioned, with 95% of buyers using the internet to search for real estate, we have to adapt our marketing AND our pricing to tailor to the internet. The old gimmick of pricing just under a certain price point ($99,900 rather than $100,000) to make the price seem more attractive can cost you showings. Pricing at a “Price Bridge”, according to the National Association of Realtors results in, on average, 28% more showings!
When buyers (and Realtors) are searching online, they tend to search in certain brackets. If they’re searching for homes under $100,000, they’ll usually search in $10,000 increments. So, if a home is priced at $99,900, it will show up in searches from $90,000-$100,000, but it will not be found in a search from $100,000-$110,000. By pricing right on the “Price Bridge” of $100,000, the property will be found in more searches. As the price of the home being sought increases, so does the price range being searched. Above $200,000, people tend to search in $25,000 increments. So, when pricing, if we’re close to a “Price Bridge”, it’s best to adjust our price so that we’re right on the “Price Bridge”.
Pricing is not arbitrary, and incorrect pricing can cost you time and money. We are market experts with a proven strategy for pricing your home that gets you top dollar with the least amount of hassle!