There are only a handful of things that can be controlled by a seller when putting your home on the market, and I believe they should be approached with maximum effort, attention to detail, an objective perspective, and careful consideration. These four items are as follows:
Preparation, Presentation, Promotion, and Price.
A mentor of mine has educated his agents and clients for years on these four important toggles, and when you break them down in terms of marketing your home to the public, they’re simple.
Before marketing a property, there are a number of tasks that I recommend to clients selling their home to complete prior to taking any further steps in the marketing process. Probably the most important of any of the four pillars is in the preparation. Charlie Batch once said “proper preparation prevents poor performance” and I can’t agree with him more. How do you prepare your home to hit the market? The sellers with the highest success rate of a quick and profitable sale are those that prepare diligently for hitting the market. They declutter, depersonalize, downsize furniture, make repairs, deep-clean, and they follow the instructions of a professional stager. By putting the time and energy into this crucial step, you are setting yourself up for fabulous looking photos and appealing visuals online where potential buyers are looking first. When you put maximum effort into preparation you look better than your competition, and the chance of more showings increases tenfold.
It’s all in the presentation. Food, drinks, fast cars, clothing, designer handbags; think about the way these items are marketed. How are they portrayed online? How does it feel in your hands? Does it have a smell? The same goes for your house. Since preparation is probably the largest factors in how your home presents to the market, you’ll really want to nail that down – but we’ve already talked about that. Of course, your real estate agent will play a role in the presentation (photos, video, thoughtfully written description etc.), but there are parts of this that will be up to you. We’ve reeled in some potential buyers for a showing – now we need to ensure their experience matches that of the initial reaction they had online when they saw the listing that brought them here. Ensure the home is just as clean as it was for the photos, that the items in the cabinets are stowed neatly in bins, and that there are no signs of pets, or other potentially offensive scents (hint – don’t cook curry or fish before a showing, and don’t spray air fresheners). A natural smelling home is the best, unless you like to bake of course. The goal here is to produce an emotional attachment for the potential buyer. We want them to envision themselves in their future home, and desire to be there.
One of the most important aspects of marketing a property is how it is promoted. Who is seeing your home? How are they seeing it? Is it plastered all over the internet? Or is it only appearing in the newspaper? I’m a firm believer that the more eyes and feet on and in your home, the better chance it has at selling. An online presence is crucial to getting the word out and getting your property in front of as many people as possible. There are dozens of real estate websites, so in order to hit as many eyes as possible, it makes sense to get your listing onto those sites. Another very important tool is the MLS®. When your listing is entered onto the MLS®, it is not only being seen by every Realtor® in the province, it’s being sent to a large number of their prospects and clients. Think about it, there are over 600 agents in Saskatchewan. Each of those agents probably has at least 5 prospects at a time who are searching for a home with criteria that matches yours. That’s already 3000 potential buyers just from ONE of the tools we use. How many people are seeing your property online? We track as much of that as possible – Facebook and Instagram ads, the big sites like Realtor.ca and Point2, Kijiji, and many others.
There is a lot of research, data, thought, strategy and consideration that goes into pricing a home. Realtors have access to historical data, current listing data, the home price index and a variety of other tools to aid in arriving at a final number. Although there is no perfect science to this, price should be the last toggle that changes. If you’ve nailed down the first three items as described above, you’ve had multiple showings, and you’ve still not received an offer? Time to re-visit the price factor.
Sellers that knock these four P’s out of the park? Well, those are the homes that sell the fastest.