The question we often get asked when at a listing appointment is: “What makes you different and why are you going to be able to sell my house faster or for more money.” This is a very good question to ask any real estate professional you plan to hire. This article will quickly explain what makes a successful approach different from what is typical in the industry. Selling a home and getting the maximum price possible is not a simple task, but rather the result of doing many different tasks correctly and working closely with your client to do so.
Let us begin at the pricing phase and go through the process from there. Unfortunately, some weaker agent’s response when doing a market analysis is to tell people that their house is worth more than it really is. Most agents use very basic systems if any to come up with the recommend list price. They print out some comparable homes in the area of the subject property, look at them and take a guess. Here at the New Era Group, we use a form of appraisal software to produce a professional market analysis as the basis for our pricing recommendations. Pricing a home correctly is a critical first step on the path to success, so we take it seriously. You never want your client to price too low and miss out on revenue. Worse yet, if you recommend a price that is too high, you are creating a recipe for disaster. The home sits on the market and by the time you reduce the home to the price is should have been from the start (market value), you are receiving only low offers as buyers can see that the time on market is either motivating the sellers to take a hit, or having them think that something is wrong with the home. Weaker agents don’t take a scientific approach to the pricing phase, but rather say they can sell it for more than is realistic and then offer a discount to compensate for the money they won’t be spending on marketing. We know this is the case, as we often take over listings that other agents have failed to sell and get the job done.
Following the critical pricing phase, the next critical component for success takes teamwork. The condition of the home is so much more important than most agents recognize. We always strongly recommend professional home staging. A good home stager, is not just making the home look nice, but rather creating a tour of the home with the furnishings. They will use art to help bring the buyer’s eyes to strong aspects of the home that should be noticed. They will place furniture in such a way as to suggest a walking flow that gives the home the best sense of space. Further, their works translates into much better photos and this is of the utmost importance. The condition of the home is more than just fresh paint and new carpet. Condition is all about making the environment of the home appealing to the most consumers possible to obtain the all-important quick offer. We have carefully screened the stagers we use so that we now have a trusted pool of very affordable professionals that have proven results.
The third step in the listing process is to simply market the home far better than the competition so that it is the one with the most showings and thus, the offer as quickly as possible. This starts with the photos. Simply put, people choose which homes they want to see by looking at the photos. Weaker agents will show up with their own camera and take the photos. We always spend the money to hire a professional photographer for both the still photos as well as to create virtual tours for viewing online. You can see the difference and if all else is equal between two homes; the consumer will always choose to look at the home with the best photos. What an agent does with the photos is the next differentiator. Typically a weaker agent will simply upload their photos into the MLS and let them make it onto the web wherever they may. We push out the photos and property information all over the web and to many sites that you have to pay to place your properties on.
We also own some very highly ranked web sites which provides marketing that agents outside of our company do not have access to, even if they are willing to spend the money. With our wide network of websites combined with strategic spending on featured listings on sites like Realtor.com, we make our client's properties shine online! Since the majority of all consumers who are looking to buy start their shopping online, this is the marketing battlefield for good agents. We honestly believe that we currently own the high ground online and are constantly working hard to maintain our position. It is not inexpensive, but spending the money to make sure we are providing the best possible marketing is our obligation to our clients.
So, what is the result of correct pricing, professional staging and optimal online marketing? We have found that it is very measurable. When we are being interviewed to list a home, we always ask for the other agents name and company. This allows us to pull up statistics as far as the time their listings typically sit on market as well as their company’s average for days on market. Further, we can see how the agent and the company perform as far as how close to the initial list price they sell their listings at. Since we started running these comparisons, we have been pleased to be able to consistently demonstrate that we simply sell homes faster and closer to list price. Having gone through this exercise enough times now, we know that the numbers tell a very clear story. That story is that we are among the very best in the business at selling homes. Although this makes us feel good about what we do, the important point is that approach maximizes our clients return on the investment they have made in their home.
In conclusion, yes this is shameless self-promotion which we try to avoid in our newsletter. However, we believe that our subscribers should know how we set ourselves apart. Using statistics to select your real estate agent is a valid approach and a great way to determine if you are hiring the best. We would love to sit down with you or any of your family and friends to back up these claims with hard data. You will see that we have a long list of happy clients - Testimonials click here.