When hiring a REALTOR to list your home, you should ensure he will do more than put a sign on the yard and list your house in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This article will address a list of activities a home seller should require his listing agent to perform.
- Install appropriate signage at the property. This includes the sign in the yard. But in some cases should also include additional signs. For example, if property is located in a remote place, at the end of a dirty road, or in a gated community, the REALTOR should consider installing an additional sign in a major street pointing to the property. Also if property’s backyard faces a street, the REALTOR should consider installing a sign on the back or side wall of the property.
- Create an attractive property flier with multiple pictures, key features, description of the property, and price. Fliers should be printed in color and made available inside the property and at the post in front of the property.
- Install an electronic lockbox that will log and track all agents that have visited the property. REALTORS should avoid using mechanical lockboxes because they are not as secure as the electronic ones; and because they don’t track everybody that have been to the property.
- Market property to people renting homes and/or apartments in the same neighborhood. Local tenants are usually interested in local properties.
- Market the property to local homeowners. REALTORS should attempt to engage neighbors in the selling process. Local homeowners may have family members, colleagues, or friends that are looking to buy in the same area. They are typically motivated to talk about the properties for sale in their neighborhood.
- Contact on a daily basis all the REALTORS that have shown the property to check on interest and obtain feedback. This must be done within 24 hours of the showing to ensure the REALTOR have a clear recollection of the property and can provide accurate and specific feedback. Also, sometimes buyers may have an objection to the property that can be easily resolved by the seller. REALTORS should strive to obtain the feedback as soon as possible and address any objections that can be resolved.
- Perform open houses on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the type and location of the property. Open houses is a powerful marketing tool to increase property’s exposure. Even if the house does not sell during an open house, chances are that some of the visitors may know someone who is looking for a house in the neighborhood.
- Follow up with all the open house visitors to check for interest and prompt them to share information about the house with their family, colleagues, and friends. Contact them again every time there is a change in the asking price to check if they would reconsider the property at the new price.
- Contact all the REALTORS that have shown the property every time there is a change in the asking price or property condition. Check if their clients might be interested in reconsidering the property at the new price/condition.
- Visit comparable homes in the neighborhood to check the competition. REALTORS should do that on a regular basis to keep abreast of the competition and ensure the house is still priced competitively.
- Perform a market analysis at least once a week to ensure the property is still priced competitively. REALTORS should check for recent sales, pending transactions, and active listings.
- Market the property online. Recent research shows that most home buyers start their home search process online. REALTORS should have an active online presence. Property should be included in multiple websites and other online tools. REALTORS need to update property information online several times per week to ensure it will show up when potential home buyers search for properties online.
- Take multiple photos from all the key features of the property. Those photos should be uploaded to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and all the other websites and marketing material created to promote the property. Research shows that photos are important to generate interest in potential buyers.
- Create a virtual tour of the property and post it on YouTube, MLS, REALTOR’s website, etc. Potential buyers are more inclined to visit a property after seeing the virtual tour.
This list should be treated as a starting point. As you interview your future listing agent and discuss his specific marketing plan, make sure you address the above items and any others that you deem relevant.