1. Open Houses Work. The half truth is that your house will probably not sell to a person that comes to your open house. What is true is that your house will most likely get an offer soon after or before an open house because of “fear of loss”. I wrote an offer two weeks ago with a buyer. She knew that the house was scheduled to be open during the upcoming weekend. She said “I hope that the Open House does not generate another buyer that I will be competing with.” She wrote a good offer and we are scheduled to close soon. She never attended the open house event. Activity, Promotion, Work – Always Good!
2. Color magazines and newspaper ads are for future listing agreements. Much of traditional marketing for agents who sell houses is for them personally. They know that people who are thinking about selling will pick up the latest color magazine at the grocery store to see who is promoting houses like their own. Buyers are generally attached to agents by referral. Buyers do not buy homes from a single small street picture. They start looking on a smart phone app or online. So, you may be proud to see that your agent is spending money to put a picture in the latest color newspaper ad or color magazine. The truth is that the money would have been better spent encouraging other agents to take a look at the special features of your house, agent open house, or sending ads (more than one street shot) to specific potential buyers.
3. Most homes do NOT sell!! What?? Yes, check your local stats, roughly only 50% of “listings” actually sell. You may see yard signs come and go in your area, but moving trucks show up far less often. Why? Most people do not “have to” sell, or sadly in the current market (they owe the bank more money than the home is worth). They are testing the market. If they can get more than their house is actually worth, then they will sell and move. Selling a house is hard work. So evaluate your reason and be honest with yourself.
4. Social and Mobile Media Work. The average age of successful real estate agents is a generation or two “out front” of the average buyer. Changes in advertising have come fast and furious in the last three years. I am writing this in 2013. I have been in real estate industry 23 years. A few years ago I was not concerned how my listing was being presented in a Zillow app or Facebook. Social media requires time and education. The real estate “industry” as current day real estate agents know it is changing FAST! The truth is that social media scares real estate agents because they are making decent money without doing it, and is the work and education worth the effort? Successful agents are plenty busy already, and they never had to worry about Twitter to make a living in the past.
5. Another agent will most likely bring the buyer. The odds are against the listing agent selling their own listing. So, a good listing agent works hard to get fellow agents good information so that they will present your house to their qualified buyers for an income event for all involved.
6. Staging for emotional pull is important. Buying a home is emotional. We are a wealthy country and we have numerous “home lifestyle” options. How someone feels about your house as they step out of the car in the driveway to the walk to the front door is important. Are there projects to be done? Cleaning, weeding, chipping paint, light bulb out? Very few buyers are getting excited about paying a high price for future projects. Involve the buyers senses and imagination as they take time to consider your house. Retail stores spend millions to figure out what causes people to buy. Have you been in a store selling clothes to teens at the mall lately?
7. Getting a contract to purchase is the start of another adventure. Congratulations, you have offers and chosen one to become a contract. You SOLD your house! Not so fast. What about the buyer’s inspection, pest and mold inspection, low appraisal because of the foreclosure down the road, survey showing your driveway on the neighbors property, FEMA flood map moved your house into a flood zone, and not to be out done the sweet loan underwriter looking for the buyer’s changing credit report a week before closing.