Skip to main content

5 Marketing Ideas You Should be Doing When Selling Your Home

Let me smash your hopes and dreams before we even start this post: There is no magic formula for marketing a home to get it to sell. There is no way of marketing an over-priced home in bad condition in a poor location to magically sell for over asking and quickly.

The best marketing advice anyone can get is to appropriately price their home for sale in the current market conditions.

However, when a home is fairly priced and in mostly fair condition, more intricate marketing can be a fun, inexpensive way to sell your home as fast as possible for as much as possible. Its the different between trying to sell your Starbucks coffee at Starbucks prices in a Starbucks cup wrapper vs trying to sell it in a Dunkin Donuts wrapper - at some point, appropriate marketing does help.

So here are my 5 tips for making the most of your marketing strategy, after, of course, your home is appropriately priced...

Pictures and video 

I wouldn't think in this day and age that a real estate agent or a homeowner would need to be told this, but I am still blown away by how many agents, and the sellers they represent, don't pay for professional photographs and video. I am going to throw my fellow agents under the bus here for a second and say that unless you are selling a $100,000 property in need of major repairs, you need to take pictures, and hire a pro to do them. Even if your listing is ugly and the owners won't work with you and get rid of that mountain of trash in the corner of the dining room, they are still paying you likely 2-3% of the sale value to do your best to sell their home. At the very least that should include making the home look as good as you personally can. And for what is really going to top you out (in the greater Philly region) at $200 (thats with video!), this seems like a no-brainer. 

Photo comparison - yes, the furniture and colors are different, but the first picture is blurry and you can't really see the room. 

Especially in the day and age of internet searches. Your pictures are what sell a home to a potential buyer. If the pictures are bad, your house goes at the end of the stack of go-sees and thus will likely see the lowest sales price when it finally gets an offer. 

A lot of pro photographers will also offer package deals now that include wak-through video tours. These are a great addition, especially for out-of-town buyers who may need more info or that extra push to come tour your home. 


I was a long time reader of the now-shuttered Young House Love blog and one my favorite posts they did was the Messy House Tour which showcased that even design gurus with thousands of fans know there is a difference between the everyday of living in our homes and the selling of design. 

The point being that even well designed homes are still not photo-ready all the time. Whats more, most of us aren't professional designers nor do we have an eye for what is camera ready and what isn't. In fact most of us, even if we enjoy designing our home, become blind to the clutter, out-of-place items, or simply quirky things we love in our home. Even "good design" may not appeal to everyone.

So in comes a stager, and money well spent. A professional stager is a fresh set of eyes trained to see your home from a potential buyer's point of view. They are trained to position your home as an ideal of a home, a dream home, not necessarily what it will be like when the new buyers actually live in it.

Even if you know that massive Tiffany lamp sells for thousands, it doesn't mean it needs to be in the middle of your dining room table, blocking the amazing window. Or maybe your designer, custom window curtains just aren't the average persons cup of tea and may distract from the incredible fireplace surround. Or perhaps its as simple as you forgot how much stuff is really on your kitchen counter. Or, more likely, your home just looks like its lived in by you. Whatever it may be, we can all use someone to help turn our homes into picture-ready spaces that appeal to the majority of buyers.

Invite the Neighbors 

Most people like, or at least want to like, the neighborhood they live in. They hope for the best of neighbors too. But often, people exclude their neighbors from their home selling process. But bringing them into the fold can be great marketing. Your neighbor may have always wanted their kids to move in, or knows someone who has been eyeing your home for years, or maybe they haven't seen your upgrades yet and without a preview, wouldn't pass it along to a friend. 

So for the price of a few bottles of wine and a cheese plate, host a Neighbor-Only Open House! Its a great way of showing off your home to the people who could be your home's greatest advocates. If nothing else, it will help keep your neighbors from peeking in too much during your public open house. 

Footnote: Maybe you don't live in a 'neighborhood' per say, but most areas or people have some shared relevance. Maybe its other people in your building or if you live in a rural area, maybe you have other people that belong to your church or community center. Just don't pass up potential, free, positive advertising. 

Do Your Homework 

A home is a box of potential - potential to amaze and comfort and potential to fall down into a million pieces. The more you can put this potential in front of future buyers, the better. I highly advise clients to get as much information as possible on their home as they can. It may seem like a waste of money to go digging for problems with a pre-listing home inspection, but this can both bring up major surprises (like major termite damage unseen for years) before the buyer brings them to you with a hefty price reduction and it can help you come across to the buyer as a trusted, helpful party in this process. Perception is everything and if it seems like you've done your due diligence with your home, its likely the buyer will view your home more favorably in the negotiations. Even little things, like gathering utility payments will go a long way. 

And for those homeowners who have properties in a less appealing state, showcasing rehab potential is a great way to attract DIY couples or local investors. Get a local contractor to draw up plans and a cost analysis of opening up the kitchen or get an online interior designer to mock up a new master suite. If you can't stage it for real or put the money in yourself to fix it up for resale (if that makes financial sense), then make your home's future potential more visible with a little help from the pros. 

Be Everywhere 

I realize this one sounds obvious and inane but today's agent has it easy in terms of everywhere marketing - a lot of brokerages offer agents tools to make sure once their listing gets posted on the multiple listing service (MLS), its quickly syndicated to the plethora of online search engines -, Zillow, Trulia, etc. 

However, that doesn't mean there isn't work to be done. First, a lot of time Zillow and Trulia get their wires crossed so make sure your home is actually on Zillow and Trulia and don't assume it will get there with the correct information. 

Next, make sure your home is on sites that make sense for the property. Is it a fixer-upper or total rehab property? Putting it on Craigslist isn't a bad idea because, while the average home buyer isn't likely looking here for real property, an investor might be! 

Is your home's community targeted to seniors? Then make sure you are in the local paper's real estate section as older individuals may be more likely to look here than online. 

Do you have a 10 acre horse farm? Then you need to advertise it on all the local (and maybe not local!) equestrian sites, newsletters, blogs, etc that you can! 

Have a designer kitchen that is the envy of the neighborhood? Try to get it featured in a local paper or have your agent put up pictures all over Pinterest directed back to your property site. 

The point is, particularly in the first 2 weeks of marketing of your home, there is no reason not to grasp at as many straws as possible, particularly if your home or community has some unique feature. While your home's buyer will likely come from an online search or open house, it doesn't hurt to increase your odds with some creative advertising! 

Want more tips or have questions about selling your home? Email me at or call/text at 215-350-0464


Popular posts from this blog

Accessibility in Good Design

 I've been impressed lately with some of amount of accessible design features I've seen around as of late. By "accessible design", I mean home decor, renovations and design that is accessible to those with a physical impairment or disability.  First I noticed that back in March, Better Homes and Gardens did a great feature on a home designed with a wheelchaired child in mind.  Yes, it was a rancher and mid-century modern in design so it leant itself to move open-flow and clean line design. But even if this isn't your style, there were some great ideas here!  Check it out here  Then I saw Southern Living did a great home build with "adaptive design" in mind. This was a great feature because it reviewed new construction and slight changes in thinking to make just a welcoming, easy access home for all guests.  As noted in the article,  " If you’re going to be a good host, particularly from the Southern point of view, where we’re all about hospitality,

Those pesky extra rooms...

Ok, its a pretty first-world problem, but there plenty of people who live in suburbia (or even in the city!) who have a room or two that they just don't use. Often, its a formal dining room or extra bedroom, but if you are the owner of such a room, you may wonder why you are paying for so much unused space! Today, I'm walking through some of the best uses of dead space in your house and how to make it you new favorite room! The Formal Dining Room This is the most commonly "complained-about" space in the suburban home. While we still like to entertain, a lot of people aren't crazy about a whole, extra, (often large) room thats only used on a handful of occasions throughout the year. Unless you have family dinners there, this is likely a space that you are taxed on & heating that sits vacant 350 days of the year. One of my personal favorite ways to reuse this room is to use it as a craft/workspace. The room can keep a large dining table and chairs that

All About Green!

 Bright white and moody colors will likely never go out of style but we are seeing more and more mid-tones come back on trend (last time mid-tones were cool were probably around 2000 when Pottery Barn was THE word).  One of the ones I am seeing most often is a gray-green. Its a friendly color that pairs well with more modern tones (think the grays, blacks and whites we have been seeing) but warms nicely with wood tones and natural materials.  Apparently SW sees this too as their color of the year (and the month of Jan) is Evergreen Fog.  Want to see some of the best ways to use it?  Loving these cabinets in green!  Again, working well hear with both bronze/black and earth tones  Love this more traditional-eclectic look. Looks much more saturated in a dark space!  But also a great pairing for a mid-century boho look  Great combo color - bold but not overly so. Here looking more truly green against the dark blue Whatever your style, this is a very versatile way of adding some color to