Do's and Don'ts of Attracting Buyers

DO

List at a competitive price You have one chance to introduce your home to the market. The first two weeks are a crucial time to attract buyers.

Stage your home effectively Recent research indicates that a properly staged home sells for as much as 7% more than a poorly staged home.

Use a lockbox Agents prefer homes with lockboxes. They will show them more often.

Tell your friends You never know where that buyer is going to come from. Talk about your home with friends and family, post pictures of your house on Facebook, make an announcement at work--anything that you can do to spread the word helps.

Make sure your "for sale" sign is visible One of the first things that a new buyer will do is drive down streets of neighborhoods that they like, looking for "for sale" signs. Make sure that your sign is visible from as far away and as many angles as possible.

DON'T

Require an appointment to see your home Many agents wait until the last minute to plan their property-showing routes for potential buyers. If your home requires an appointment, the agent may just scratch it off the list.

Insist on expensive print ads Big, glossy flyers and full-page print ads make you feel like you're getting your money's worth, but they have nothing to do with getting your home sold.

Insist on open houses Open houses can be a great tool to generate interest in your home, but it really depends on the area and the home.

Test the market It's tempting to start with a high asking price just to "test the market," but it never works. No one is going to overpay for a home just because you ask too much for it. However, an inflated asking price will scare away legitimate buyers.

Take it personally When a home has a unique or provocative style, it may rub buyers the wrong way. If I ask you to remove a painting or area rug, it's not because I don't like it. It's because I'm trying to attract a larger group of buyers--buyers who may not share your unique style.

Staging Your Home

Staging is the process of making inexpensive but meaningful adjustments to the layout and look of a home to prepare it for market. There are three main objectives when staging a home:

  1. Highlight the home's strengths
  2. Mitigate the home's weaknesses
  3. Expand the buyer pool to include as many people as possible

Since we are trying to expand the buyer pool, we will generally opt for neutral, contemporary designs over provocative or eccentric designs. A good reference point is a model home. You will notice that a model home is not necessarily that fun to live in, but it shows off the space effectively, and entices buyers to place offers. Here are several common techniques for staging your home:

More lights Almost every house looks better with more light. More natural light, more overhead lights, more area lights, more accent lights--it all adds up to make your space appear bigger, brighter, and cheerier.

Use bright, neutral paint Neutral colors tend to open a space up and make it appear bigger. There are instances where dramatic colors might work better, but generally, it's best to stick with neutral paint colors, particularly in larger, more prominent areas of the home.

Rearrange furniture Moving a chair from one room to another often makes a huge difference in how a home shows. Be prepared to play around with some different furniture configurations to optimize for space and convenience.

Freshen up your flooring Refinishing wood floors and cleaning carpet can make a home appear years younger.

Try some new accents Adding some new accents to your kitchen cabinets or a new faucet to your bathroom is an easy way to update a room without spending a fortune.
Show off your storage Buyers are very interested in storage space. Show yours off by cleaning out garages, cabinets, and drawers.

De-clutter Clutter is a major distraction for potential buyers. Put books, magazines, laundry, and personal items away before you leave the home each morning.
Employ engaging scents Smell is an often overlooked aspect of the staging process, but it plays a big role in the buyer's impression of your home. If you have pets or cook a lot, you will have to be extra conscious of how your home smells and take steps to counteract any offending odors. Plug-in air fresheners work great, fresh flowers are an excellent touch, and fresh-baked cookies or pie can make a place instantly smell like home.

Keep your pets safe If you have pets, we'll discuss how we can make your home available to buyers and agents without endangering or inconveniencing any of your pets.

Marketing that Makes Sense

Depending on your home, your market position, and your unique goals, we will develop the marketing plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. Here are some of the most common ways that we can attract buyers to your home:

Multiple Listing Service The most important advertising that we can do is developing a compelling MLS listing for your home. The MLS is searched by thousands of agents every day and is the most popular and effective way to attract buyers.

In-office Networking I am constantly talking to other agents about new buyers and listings. It's one of the most effective ways to attract buyers and solicit feedback for your home.

Virtual Tour Virtual tours have become very popular over the last several years. A virtual tour is a photo and/or video tour that is edited into one seamless video that can be viewed online.

Open House Open houses allow a lot of people to see your home in just a few hours. Usually, open houses are held around noon on Saturday or Sunday and run for four to five hours.

Caravan A caravan is when a group of agents sets a time once a week to drive around and view each other's new listings. This is a great way to introduce agents to your home; they are the gatekeepers to qualified buyers.

"For Sale" Sign The "for sale" sign is not just for looks. It's a simple and effective piece of advertising that often converts drive-by buyers into qualified leads.
Flyers & Brochures Flyers and brochures are becoming less important in the age of virtual tours and social networks, but, in some situations, they are a clever way to introduce potential buyers to your home.

Print Advertising Generally speaking, advertising in magazines and newspapers has a very low success rate. However, in some cases, print advertising makes a lot of sense.

Social Networking Social networking is free, quick, and easy. Uploading photos and information about your home to networks like Facebook and Twitter can generate interest in your home.