The Basics of Marketing Your Home
Your REALTOR®’s marketing efforts and considerations will include advertising, showing the property, how long the house has been on the market and whether you're buying another home. Your home should be listed, whenever possible, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Advertising and Promotion
Properties are commonly advertised through Online Internet Sites. Promotion efforts through office and MLS tours are a good way of getting other buyer agents to view your home and to promote it to the buyers they are working with. Digitial advertising is the newest and best way to market to buyers on the internet, contact Stefanie Pratt for more information.
Even with all these advertising avenues, " For Sale" signs on front lawns are still remarkably effective. Many REALTORS® promote their Web sites on the sign and use brochure boxes with the signs to market the property. When appropriate, and with your permission, your REALTOR® may send a mailing about your property to neighbors. Sometimes one of them has a friend or relative who always wanted to live near them. You never know how far reaching the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising by friends, relatives and neighbors can be.
Check out our new 3D Virtual Tours (Click to view)
Preparing to Show Your Home
To prepare your home for viewing, make it as bright, clean, cheerful and serene as possible. Always look at your home from the buyer's point of view. Your REALTOR® will probably find a tactful way to suggest that you be absent while the house is being shown to prospective buyers, because your presence will inhibit their actions and conversations. They won’t feel free to open closets and cabinets, test out the plumbing and discuss their observations objectively as they walk through the house. It goes without saying that your children and pets should not be on the premises either.
Quick tips for showings:
- Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
- Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
- Replace all burned out light bulbs
- Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
- Turn all ceiling fans OFF
- Turn all TVs OFF
- Turn all computer screens OFF
- Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
- Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
- Make all beds
- Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
- Place all shoes/jackets in closets
For the Exterior:
- Close garage doors
- Remove cars from driveway and front of home
- Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
- Remove empty planters
- Pick up dog bombs
- Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
- Remove visible water hoses
- Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.
- Tidy up door with sweeping the porch, freshen up paint on front door, etc.
- Remove trash can if visible
- Clear countertops to maximize counter space. A knifeblock, a few appliances, maybe a fruit bowl to add some touch but that’s it.
- Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
- Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
- Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher
- Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
- De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
- Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
- Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
- Remove kid’s toys
- Make beds, including decorative pillows/shams if available
- Press bed linens and bed skirts
- Clear nightstands of all personal items
- Store away phone/tablet charging cables
- Remove all clutter from top of dressers
- Remove excess family photos from walls, if not all
- Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos
- Clear counter tops completely in Bathrooms. Nosoap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
- Put toilet seats down
- Close closet doors
- Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
- Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
- Remove floor mats
How Long Has Your House Been on the Market?
Professional appraisers sum up their entire body of knowledge in three words: " Buyers make value." Your home is worth as much as a buyer will pay for it.
If your home has been on the market for months, it’s a clear message that the property may not be worth what you're asking for it. This is particularly true if there haven't been many prospects coming to see it. What you do at that point depends on whether you really need to sell, and whether you're working with a time limit.
If you're not really motivated to move soon, you can always wait - years if necessary - and hope inflation will catch up with the price you want. The problem is that in that time, your home begins to feel shopworn. Buyers become suspicious of a house that's been for sale for a long time.
If you really do need to sell, with your REALTOR® discuss a schedule for gradually dropping your price until you find a level that attracts buyers. There's no point in saying, " We simply can't sell our house." Anything will sell if the price is right.
If You’re Buying Another Home
You may wonder what will happen when you're selling one home and buying another – how will all the details work out? This is a common situation and REALTORS®, lawyers, and title and escrow companies have plenty of experience in arranging contracts and loans so that the two transactions dovetail smoothly.
And should you sell your home first then buy or buy first then sell? Ideally, it’s best to get with a lender to see where you are financially. Next, contact a Realtor (contact us!) to get your current home listing and selling price range. We will assit you in the next steps of preparing your for sale and looking at homes to see what you like. Depending on the market, you may be able to make an offer subject to selling your current home. This generally works in a normal market. However, in a “hot” market most sellers will not accept a “subject to sale” offer. In this case you need to sell your home first and then buy a new home in the interim period between selling and vacating your house. We can assist you in the process and guide you to make that happen smoothly.
Ready to discuss more? Contact Stefanie@StefaniePrattHomes.com or call/text 217-202-3336,
If you find that you need to buy the next house before you've received the proceeds from the present one, lending institutions can sometimes make you a short-term " bridge" loan to tide you over between the two transactions. Make sure you fully understand the exposure and emotional investment before proceeding with this type of loan.