Marketing Your Home

When you decide to sell your house, you’ll want to share the news with every potential buyer out there. But how? The way you market your home will typically affect its final sale price, so you should spend some time thinking about it. You’ll be selling yourself short if you simply put a “For Sale” sign in the front lawn and run a few ads in the newspaper.

Traditional marketing includes a yard sign, print ads (in the Ukiah Daily Journal, for example), postcards delivered in the neighborhood and to any buyers who may be interested, and holding open houses. And those are all great, but here’s the thing: 88 percent of buyers look online to find out what’s for sale, according to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers.

Social media is an excellent place to promote your property. Take a good picture of the house (or have a photographer take one for you) and think of the unique features that would attract buyers: think about why you bought the house in the first place. Then post that on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. According to the Pew Research Center and We Are Social Media, 52 percent of online adults use two or more social media platforms; 46 percent will look to social media when making a purchase, and 70 percent of Facebook users engage daily. If you need help with this, find the nearest teenager.

If you’re working with a Realtor, you have an advantage because Realtors have access to the databases that feed real estate search engines like Trulia and Zillow. Realtors upload new listings to the Multiple Listing Service, and they get fined if the information is not uploaded (and then updated) in a timely and accurate manner. Realtors also have corporate databases that feed additional nationwide online search engines. These two sources provide the data for nearly all other real estate search sites online.

Be wary of Craigslist and similar sites. Many scams occur there. Dishonest people look for vacant homes for sale and pretend they have the authority to rent the property to an unsuspecting victim. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often enough that I felt the need to mention it here.

Working with a Realtor to market your property is a good idea for many reasons, not just because they have access to the online databases, but because Realtors feed their families by matching buyers with sellers: they are motivated to help you. Keep in mind that Realtors are only paid when they have completed their job and your house is sold. They have access to more information more quickly about what’s for sale and who’s buying. Some Realtors have clients who aren’t actively looking for a property, but would consider buying if just the right one came up. I know Realtors who set up automatic emails at a client’s request so the client always knows when a new property in their price range with their specifications comes on the market.

When it comes down to it, I know this will sound self-serving, but I really would recommend finding a good Realtor and allowing them to market your property for you. Marketing a property on your own can certainly be done, but the networking Realtors do is hard to beat. We’ve all heard that word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing: realtors know this and they are very good at it.

If you have questions about real estate or property management, please contact me at rselzer@selzerrealty.com or visit www.realtyworldselzer.com. If I use your suggestion in a column, I’ll send you’re a $5.00 gift card to Schat’s Bakery. If you’d like to read previous articles, visit my blog at www.richardselzer.com. Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for more than 40 years.