If you’re paying a full commission to your agent to sell your home – you should expect FULL SERVICE. Even in a Seller’s market, an agent should NEVER skimp on marketing a property and unfortunatley many of them do. Here’s an outline of the effective marketing we provide and you should expect:
1. Professional Photography. Buyers typically see property on line before they see it in person and they want to see lots of photos. Many agents don’t include enough photos, much-less have them taken professionally and that’s a big mistake. Having many photos helps your property rank high on the major real estate web sites. There is no reason an agent can’t get a property they are selling professionally photographed – it costs anywhere from $300 to $500 to photograph a typical 3 bedroom home. For an example of what great marketing looks like visit our listing at www.5337Shenandoah.com A fixer probably doesn’t require professional photos but the agent should still take plenty of photos that show off the best features. If your home has desirable details like a Batchelder tile fireplace or period light fixtures it’s great to feature close-ups of those as well. We take time when photographing a house and often move furniture and accessories to get the perfect shot. Fresh flowers and bowls of colorful fruit bring life to the photos.
2. Domain Name and Web Site. Our photographer also provides a website. Property Websites are great because they’re accessible 24/7 and can be referenced in all other marketing materials. They also give you much more opportunity to describe and show off details that you can’t do in a typical print ad and you can make changes anytime you desire. Property Videos are another form of marketing that takes Buyers on a walking tour through the property. We’ve seen videos that look really sharp and get you excited about the property and many others that don’t look so great. These are not vital if you have a nice web site in place but are also something to consider.
3. Top Quality Color Brochures. These give the Buyers something to take with them to remind them of the great features the home has and also include references to the web site etc.
4. Los Angeles Times Photo Ads on Saturday. Think of the thousands of properties on the market at any given time and the small percentage that are ever advertised in the LA Times. Print advertising like this isn’t nearly as important as it was prior to the Internet but it’s still a part of a comprehensive advertising campaign and real Buyers do read these ads.
5. Photo Ads in the MLS Open House Guide. The MLS Open House Guide is a published magazine that is delivered to thousands of agents on the west side every Monday morning. It’s primarily used to feature new listings or any home that will be on Caravan that week giving agents an opportunity to preview them for their clients. Most buyers have their own agent representation and it’s important to market to the agent community. Caravan happens between 11 and 2 on Tuesday on the west side. Very few agents who list homes in Ladera Heights take advantage of this.
6. For Sale Sign in Front of the Property. This is another way of exposing the property to potential Buyers. Not every Seller wants a sign but it’s certainly worth considering. We get calls from buyers looking at the for sale signs all the time.
7. Advertised Open House. Many Buyers and their agents will see a home they ultimately purchase at an open house. The first couple of weeks you come on the market are the time when you’ll get the most interest and you should do your best to allow open houses during that time. After that, an open house schedule should be discussed with the agent. It’s probably not necessary to be open every Sunday but a couple of times a month is a good idea. During winter months the open houses are typically 1 to 4 pm and 2 to 5 during daylight savings time. Open houses can be on a Saturday or Sunday or both. The Caravan open house for agents is also important. This is another way your home gets exposure to the agent community when it first comes on the market or occasionally after that to help remind agents about your property and give them a chance the preview it before showing it to their clients.
8. The MLS. Hands down, the Multiple Listing Service is the most powerful tool because that’s essentially what the agents use to find property but also because the MLS has agreements in place with the major national sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor and Redfin.com which allows those sites to post the content shortly after it first appears in the MLS. A smart agent will take the time to beef up the information in Trulia and Zillow. Also, we have an enhanced presence on Realtor.com Anyone can google a property address where a home is currently for sale and you’ll see loads of information pop up. Additionally, most popular sites like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin have really cool apps for smart phones that give all the information on current listings in the neighborhood you are driving around in. All REAL Buyers (or their agents) are using the Internet to obtain the data, so your property really can’t be missed IF it falls within their search criteria. Many agents set up automated email updates through the MLS which alert Buyers anytime a property comes on the market that meets their criteria.
Keep in mind, when you list your home for sale, you’re looking to attract the REAL Buyers – people who are motivated to buy NOW, who are qualified and have the money on hand. The pool of REAL Buyers looking in your neighborhood and in your price point is much smaller than the entire pool of Buyers out there and if they are at all motivated they will find your home if the right marketing is in place. We also have access to systems that allow us to email advertisements featuring our listings that can reach thousands of agents and anyone else we have in our data base with the click of a button.
Sellers need to do their best to make sure their home is easy to show. Buyers and their agents should be able to see the property when it’s convenient for them (within reason). There is nothing more frustrating when you want to show a property to a Buyer and you can’t easily get in to view it – that’s just not a smart way to get top dollar for your property. Also, you need to make sure you’re working with an agent who is available and who returns calls promptly and can actually be reached. It’s amazing how many agents are just terrible when it comes to this – they don’t return calls and many don’t even give out their cell phone number or email – there’s no excuse for this! You are paying your agent a good amount of money to sell your property and they need to do everything they can to obtain offers from qualified Buyers. We live in Ladera Heights so we can show a house with short notice. That’s not the case with agents who aren’t located nearby.
A few other tips to consider – property should be described in an appealing but accurate way – don’t oversell the views if you just have peek-a-boo views from one bedroom – that just sets Buyers up to be disappointed when they see the property in person and that’s not the result you want. Also, if you have 1 full bath and a 3/4 bath, I would list it as a 2 bath home simply because some folks when putting search criteria into the computer will put 2 or more baths even though they would be fine with a 1 and 3/4 bath home yet your home wouldn’t show up because the seach will look for a value 2 or higher.
It’s better that the agent show the property themselves rather than passing that task on to an assistant or just putting it on a lock box. We can learn a lot about potential Buyers by interacting with them as they look at the house. Having a sense of the Buyers and their motivations is imporant especially when you have multiple offers and you need to figure out who your best choice is.
A final but important point to understand – Buyers moving to Ladera Heights are coming from all over and so are the agents representing them. Many Buyers are coming from pricier areas on the west side including Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, Mar Vista and Westchester where their dollar doesn’t go as far. A comprehensive marketing plan is important. Buyers and their agents search on the Internet based on their budget and criteria such as location, size, style, school district etc. They don’t search based on who the listing agent is.
Contact Kevin at (310) 200-4916 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Brian at (323)273-5104 or email at email@example.com