If you’re planning on selling your home, you’re probably doing a lot of research. You’ve read piles of articles, online and offline, to find home selling strategies. Browsed through home magazines to get home staging ideas. Perhaps you’ve even met with Realtors and picked their brains about what it will take for your home to sell successfully.
In spite of the barrage of information out there, the home selling process can be simplified. In fact, in can be narrowed down to just three elements, three specific details, that if you navigate through them properly, you’ll be able to successfully sell your home.
These three elements are product, price and promotion.
If you’ve ever taken a marketing class in college or university, you’ve probably heard about the four P’s. It’s not a coincidence that these three elements I’m going to talk to you about today are in fact three of those four P’s of marketing.
Let’s start with product. The product is your home. And though that might sound obvious, many home sellers fail to realize that what they’re selling is their home.
What’s the proof of this? How many times have you browsed through home listings online only to find homes that are cluttered, messy, dishevelled, in disarray… lacking proper presentation? In spite of these homeowners actively pursuing buyers to make an offer on their home, they failed to realize that the product their selling is their home, and nothing else. If a buyer is to be attracted to the product enough to want to make an offer on it, the product has to be attractive.
It’s the homeowners’ responsibility to prepare the product, their home, for proper marketing. This includes cleaning up the interior and exterior of the home, performing minor (and sometimes major) repairs, and depersonalizing the house so that buyers can envision themselves living there. Common sense would also dictate the need to keep the house clean and tidy at all times during the sales process.
Having your home properly presented would lead us to the next P which is price. The price of your home reflects its value as perceived by the buyer. Overpricing a home diminishes perceived value, while underpricing a home increases it. Underpricing became a popular strategy especially in mid to late 2016 and into early 2017 as inventory levels dropped and multiple offers became rampant. Underpricing brought an immense number of buyers to bid on a home as the perceived value was very high relative to what the sellers were asking for.
On the other end of the price spectrum, overpricing is a detriment to the sale of your home. Not only does it deter buyers who would otherwise have been qualified candidates to purchase your home, it starts to create a stigma the longer your home sits on the market. It’s a signal to other buyers that something could be wrong with your property. Why would such a nicely presented home sit on the market for such a long time? There must be something other buyers don’t like about it, or perhaps something’s wrong with it.
Proper pricing is a key element of the successful sale of your home because it is a tool that will either draw buyers into it or deter them from seeing it. Once you launch the marketing campaign for your home listing, there’s a certain time period (usually the first two weeks) that will give you a gauge on how receptive the market is of your home listing. An overpriced home listing will stay on the market for several weeks longer than the average home is selling for. The correct strategy for a successful sale of your home would be to price it correctly from the beginning.
Last, but definitely not least, promotion. Your home could be the best home in the entire neighbourhood, and priced to sell, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t sell. During a listing presentation, Realtors typically tell you how they market your home. They’ll tell you about the Toronto Multiple Listing Service, how your listing will appear on Realtor.ca, and regardless of what brokerage they work with, they’ll probably tell you how your home will be listed on their brokerage’s website. Franchise brokerages will also tell you their franchise website (www.remax.ca) will show your listing.
Are those really the only ways to promote your home so it can successfully sale? Do all sales happen only within those channels?
A savvy Realtor who truly knows how to market and promote your property will share at least a dozen other promotion strategies to get your house in the eyes of potential buyers. How are they going to reach local neighbours who may know someone who wants to move into the area? How about international buyers? Where do they plan on attracting the buyers whose demographic profile fits your property and neighbourhood? What digital and traditional advertising channels will they use to get as many potential buyers as possible?
Promotion is tied directly to the amount of commission your real estate agent will charge. There are hundreds (and possibly thousands) of Realtors in the Greater Toronto Area who discount their services for a low commission or even a flat fee. The question you should ask them is this: with the amount of commission you are charging, what kind of activities will you do to promote my property?
Low commission and flat fee agents typically spend minimal to zero amount of money in advertising because they simply can’t afford it. How could someone charging you such a low commission or a flat fee be able to invest some of their potential earnings into a lucrative marketing campaign to promote your property?
The answer is: they can’t. They can only rely on the typical real estate listing activities but they won’t be able to capture as many potential buyers as a Realtor who charges full commission and provides extensive marketing for your home. Make sure you know and understand what your Realtor is doing to promote your home.
I know it might sound overly simple, but these three elements (product, price, promotion), if executed correctly, will help you successfully sell your home. There aren’t any secrets nobody knows about except your agent, nor are there sneaky tricks and tactics that will help you pull off your home sale without any effort. Properly preparing your home, pricing it appropriately, and promoting it fully will help you successfully sell your home no matter what kind of market you’re in.
When you’re interviewing real estate agents, make sure you ask them about these three things and listen to how they respond. How detailed are they about each of the three elements of a successful home sale? How much knowledge do they have about the strategies behind each of them? How well have they used them in the past to help their clients achieve stellar results?
Remember, it’s good to rely on expert advice. But with the sale of your home, it helps to have some knowledge on your side so you know your Realtor is looking after your best interest and so you’re confident they will successfully sell your home.