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The Keys to Selling Your Home (And how to not give in to those advertising gimmicks...)

Be forewarned, in this article there are quite a few opinions and a couple of rants! 

I get postcards/mailers all the time from other real estate agents. (I'm sure you do too!) 

In theory, I love this because it gives me a chance to see what other agents are sending! But sometimes I get mailers that just make me upset about how agents advertise themselves. (To be fair, I also get some great mailers from other agents that I think are spot on). 

My number one gripe with how other agents advertise themselves is my selling homeowners fear. Fear of using any other agent but that agent. Fear of the process. Fear of missing out. 

There's enough stress in this process than to be sold fear from the get-go. 

The most common examples of this are mailers claiming "I am the only agent that....!". "We are THE group who can sell your home like no one else..." 

The idea is THEY are the agent who holds all the keys and no other agents can do it, and certainly not you, Dear Seller! 

But here's the secret about real estate agents... 

Ultimately, average and above average agents all do about the same thing to get your home sold, especially in this market. 

Yes, some do an analysis differently. Some will list your home with a luxury marketing package that looks glamorous. Some offer different tips to get the home looking its best. 

But there are really THREE key components to selling a home, even in a seller's market, and any average+ agent will do these things (or should) ... 

Help Make the House Look Its Best 

Anyone can put a sign in the yard, add 1-2 pictures on the MLS with their phone and call it a day. But a good agent will work with a seller on encouraging small cosmetic adjustments, including painting and staging, to get the house sold quickly for the most amount of money. 

Further, every modern agent should be using professional photography, videography or 3D walk-throughs. And in my opinion, that should be on the agent to provide. 

Sure, there are additional features that might be right for each home (like the above virtual staging option) but the idea is the same. 

Price the House Right at the Beginning 

Even in a seller's market, there is nothing more important than this. Another opinion here, but THIS is why you hire a professional. Yes, the other stuff is nice, but having someone with knowledge on the subject deliver to you your #1 marketing piece is WHY you have an agent list the house. 

Your price is the FIRST thing, even before pictures, buyers see. It determines which buyers even find your listing based on internet and MLS searches. It determines how they view your house overall in comparison to similar listings and your mindset and motivation as a seller. It determines how the buyer views the photos of the house when they start looking. 

Any average+ agent should be doing this and doing this well. 

Advertising it with the Widest Distribution 

Pretty house, priced at market value, now its time to get it out there. Any average+ agent adds it to the MLS which syndicates to other sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor, etc. But then a smart agent will post it on social sites, add digital media advertising, share it with their office or surrounding agents, etc. 

There are other features that are nice to have, certainly, and can assist in the home selling process (floorplans are nice for buyers, luxury in-person marketing materials might elevate the showing experience, potentially, market dynamics reports are always helpful when pricing but are generally only a piece of the puzzle, etc) 

And of course, there are some homes that have challenges where having something special up your sleeve is helpful (ie an incredible mid-century house, but no land, in a flood zone won't target every buyer, but knowing how to market it to target downsizers looking for a mid-century look would be helpful). 

However, again, most professional, full time, average+ agents do all of this. 

But you only get to work with one agent. 

So after interviewing them to get a read on their overall plan, you should be mainly looking at if you LIKE this person. Do they feel like they are talking over you constantly and you don't really like their demeanor? Or do you like chatting with them? Like their demeanor and how they listened to you? Do you feel like you could call them when you need to? 

Those are incredibly important factors to picking a real estate agent that aren't advertised in a mailer. So regardless of what that postcard says, interview that agent, another agent, etc. and get a feel for what they are like as a partner. Because your real estate agent is your partner in your home sale! 

Also, check out my other posts on listing, home selling and finding the right agent


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