Marketing Your Home for Sale
The two most crucial elements of selling a house are the property price and exposure. Our advice is designed to create maximum exposure for your property and guide you in any other home marketing you may want to utilize. (For guidance on pricing your home, please see our pricing guide.)
Where should you list your home for sale?
This pie chart represents the total of homes for sale that are listed online. The large 90% portion represents the Multiple Listing Service, and public MLS websites. The MLS is the private network that Realtors use to list homes for sale. Most cities have their own local MLS systems, and all Realtors use this resource to locate homes for sale which may be suitable for the buyers they represent. Each local MLS will feed their listings to public MLS websites like realtor.com, homegain.com, and coldwellbanker.com so that buyers can search through these listings themselves.
The remaining 10% of the chart represents all For Sale by Owner websites on which by owner sellers will list their properties for sale. As you can see by the chart, all For Sale by Owner websites combined are only ten percent of all online listings.
With these numbers, it stands to reason that buyers will focus their online search efforts on public MLS websites as they will obviously find more variety and results on these sites.
How many buyers are looking online?
According to Inman News, a leading real estate industry news source, at least 87% of buyers search online for homes. It is completely illogical for any home seller to not have a plan for placing their home for sale online.
What else can I do to promote my home for sale?
One of the least expensive home marketing tools, you absolutely should use a yard sign when your home is on the market. Do not, however, use a “For Sale By Owner” sign that you can find at any hardware store. Request a professional real estate sign from your broker.
Unfortunately, newspaper subscription rates have been decreasing dramatically for several years. Newspapers used to be what online exposure now is for selling a house, but this is no longer the case. This means that you should not worry about placing an ad in the newspaper when selling your home. It’s expensive, and most often you’ll only get calls from investors looking for a great deal or people who can’t qualify for a traditional loan.
One of the favored marketing techniques of traditional Realtors, open houses are great for agents because they often pick up new clients here. Most of visitors that attend open houses are neighbors scoping out the house competition, or people looking for home decorating ideas. If you would like to host an open house, however, there’s no special trick- you can certainly host one on your own.
Real Estate Magazines
You’ll find most of these publications in the supermarket towards the exits. They are created by real estate brokerages and touted as great advertising for sellers. The unfortunate truth is that, as with any publication, the lead time is around 6 weeks. Meaning that by the time your listing appears in a publication like this, your home may have been on the market for well over a month. You’ll also find that with these magazines, the Realtors will have large, color photos, and the homes listed will have limited descriptions and small, grainy photos. The emphasis is obviously placed on the Realtors seeking more business.
Neighborhood Direct Mailings
Another popular Realtor marketing tactic, these are the biggest waste of time and money. Logically, if your neighbors were interested in your home, wouldn’t they respond to the sign in your yard? Postcards mailed to your neighbors won’t do anything to help sell your property.
The most important thing you can do to market your home for sale for the smallest monetary investment is to purchase a flat fee MLS listing. Your home will be listed not only on your local MLS, but also on hundreds of MLS sites across the web, increasing your chances of finding a buyer quickly.