Marketing to Sell Your Property
The "Real" Role of a Listing Agent
When you bought your home, you probably used the services of a real estate agent. You found that agent through a referral from a friend or family member, or through some sort of advertising or marketing. The agent helped you in many ways and eventually you found the house of your dreams, made an offer, closed the deal, and moved in.
Now it is time to sell your home and you need a real estate agent again. Many home sellers, especially those selling their first home, tend to think that all agents are the same as the one who helped them buy their home.
Although real estate agents can (and do) work with both buyers and sellers, most tend to concentrate more on one than the other. They specialize. When you bought your home, you probably worked with a "selling agent," that is an agent that works mostly with buyers. Because of the nature of real estate advertising and marketing, the public’s main image of the real estate profession is that of the selling agent. As a result, many homeowners expect their listing agent to do the same things that a selling agent does – find someone to buy their home.
After all, they do the things you would expect if they were searching for buyers. A sign goes up in the front yard. Ads are placed in the local newspaper and real estate magazines. Your agent holds an open house on the weekend. Your house is proudly displayed on the Internet. But this is only "surface" marketing. More important activity occurs behind the scenes. After the "for sale" sign goes up and flyers are printed, your agent’s main job is to market your home to other agents, not to home-buyers!
The "For Sale" Sign
It seems fairly obvious that when you put your house up for sale that your agent will put a "for sale" sign in the front yard. The sign will identify the agent’s company, the agent's name, and have a phone number so prospective buyers can call to get information.
Signs are great at generating phone calls, even if very few of those callers actually purchase the home they called about. However, in case a ready, willing and able buyer should call, you should know what happens with that call. Does a live person answer the phone or does the call go to a voicemail or a recorder?
Of course, you want the call answered by a live person who can answer questions immediately. A potential buyer may be on the street outside your home, placing the call using a cell phone and you need to know that the call will be handled while that buyer is "hot."
Flyers and a Brochure Box
Your agent should prepare a flyer that displays a photographs and details about your house and a phone number so buyers can contact your agent to get additional information. The flyers should be displayed in a prominent location in your home and, if allowed by the community, in a brochure box attached to the "for sale" sign.
Broker Caravans and Previews
Broker previews and office office caravans occur within the first week your house is placed on the market. However, after that you may get other agents visiting your home to preview it for a possible showing.
Your agent probably belongs to a local Association of real estate professionals with monthly meetings. At these meetings there is often a "marketing session" where some agents stand up and tell about their new listings, giving your agent has an opportunity to "pitch" your house at these marketing sessions.