More on How to Market a House
(A continuation of How
to Sell a House)
By Steve Gillman - 2006
We continue our look at how to market a house with some suggestions
for photos, putting together a marketing package for potential
buyers, and advertising.
Have Good Photos
Whether you are selling it yourself, or an agent is selling
it for you, you need good photos of your home. The agent can
take care of this, but what if it is a muddy, slushy March when
you list your home for sale? The resulting photos won't be great
There are a couple things you can do about this. First of
all, if you are thinking about selling your home, take photographs
of it while the weather is nice. The best time may be in the
late spring, when the grass is green and the flowers are blooming.
If it is already the middle of winter when you decide to sell,
watch for sunny days and take some photos before you even hire
a real estate agent, just in case the weather is worse later.
If you are stuck with a slushy, muddy photo of your home,
let the agent know that you will expect new photos in the listing
information as soon as the flowers come out. I am amazed at how
often I see ugly winter shots of a home in a summer real estate
guide. Such photos not only don't show the home well, but also
point out how long it has been for sale, arousing suspicion of
problems in the minds of buyers. That's no way to market a house.
If you are doing your own photos, take many of the inside
and outside of the home. It is a minor investment that can pay
off big. Buyers browsing listings of homes for sale are often
only stopping to read about the ones with nice photos. More photos
means a better chance of some really good ones in the bunch,
and also means more information for prospective buyers.
"Look at that kitchen!"
"Oh, look! There's a fireplace."
"Hey, this doesn't look so bad on the inside."
Have A Marketing Package Available
This is your job if you don't hire an agent. Some people will
call you from other towns or states wanting information. Have
a package to send to them if they seem serious. Include photos,
all the basic information on your home, and information on the
neighborhood and community as well.
For community information, contact your local chamber of commerce,
or visitors bureau. They will have something that you can make
copies of to send to prospective buyers. This may include information
on the population, types of jobs available, parks, shopping opportunities
Don't just gather this information and wait. Have at least
several information packets ready and in envelopes. As soon as
you have serious interest, drop a packet in the mail to the buyer,
and follow up with a phone call several days later. The phone
call is not only to see if they received the information, but
to see if they are still interested, and if not, why? This kind
of feedback will help you refine your approach to marketing your
Time to make your words sell. As you place your ads in papers,
real estate guides or online, pay attention to which ads get
the phone ringing and which don't. Adjust your approach and experiment
with different wording.
There are techniques to selling in print. You don't have to become
an expert, but a few basics can go a long way towards getting
that house sold faster. Here are some guidelines.
Sell Benefits Instead Of Features
Get the reader to imagine being in your home. The extra words
you'll pay for to do this will be worth it. Your advertisement
will stand out from the others. Here are some examples of typical
and much better advertising.
Typical: "Near stores and parks."
Better: "Walk to the stores and parks in minutes."
Better: "Heated garage means no chipping ice off the windshield
in the morning."
Typical: "Mountain view."
Better: "Watch the mountains from your large living room
Typical: "Nice landscaping."
Better: "Enjoy flowers and fruit trees most of the year."
Typical: "Partially finished basement."
Better: "Carpeted basement could be a playroom for the kids
or a party room for you."
Typical: "Large deck."
Better: "Soak up the sun on the large redwood deck."
Better: "Swimming and fishing are just a few steps away."
There are two more pages on how to market a house...
The book continues here: How
to Advertise a House - Where to do it and what to say.