For years, real estate agents trying to sell a home have had to compete in an arena with a surplus of inventory and minimal bites from buyers. During these trying times, agents must crank up their creativity for their homes to outshine the competition. One avenue to explore is appealing not only to locals, but to buyers who may relocate from out of state. Widening your advertising net guarantees more exposure, but what do you do once you have the attention of a non-local? The following tried-and-true tips to sell your home are now staples in the real estate marketing game:
Know Your Buyer
According to Melissa Data, US Census Bureau statistics reveal roughly 40 million Americans relocate per year, and more than 17 million of that number moved to a different county or state. What does this mean for real estate agents? It's important to know who your target buyers are and where they come from. Your local chamber of commerce is a terrific resource to find information to target your advertising efforts.
For example, if you discover the majority of new home buyers in your area come from upstate New York, it would behoove you to send out mailers in that general geographic region promoting either yourself or a featured listing. Another tip to sell your client's home is to participate in a trade show located in the same area as your target out-of-town buyer. This lends a personal touch to promoting your area and listings.
Create an Internet Presence
Marketing to out-of-town buyers has never been easier since the Internet came along. Curious prospects can now scan a listing from anywhere in the country while still in their pajamas. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 92 percent of home buyers use the Internet at some point in their search. Because of this, you want your listings to have the greatest Internet presence possible.
According to USA Today, potential buyers view an estimated 1.8 million homes on Zillow's app daily. Shouldn't your homes be among them? However, don't get pigeonholed into just the major sources such as Zillow or Trulia. One of the greatest tips to sell your home is to market on social media sites. Pew Research Center states that 74 percent of adults online use social media sites. This is a fairly new resource that could elevate your chances of selling.
Have an Internet Marketing Strategy
An online presence is a must, but what will make your listings stand out among the hundreds in your area? One option is to coach sellers on decluttering and depersonalizing their homes. Potential buyers want to envision themselves living in a home, and photographs or personal memorabilia in the background make this goal harder to obtain. Along the same lines, suggest to sellers that they spruce up the home's curb appeal. Buyers want to see an inviting entrance, not overgrown weeds and chipped paint. A new trend to make one listing stand out from the crowd is to invest in professional photographs once a home is in top shape. This may cut into your commission a bit, but the results will more likely procure a sale over another listing's low-quality pictures.
Additionally, the South Bay Association of Realtors suggests expressing the highlights of the area you work in. Out-of-towners want to know about the lifestyle they might move into. What's the average climate? How are the school systems? Is there entertainment nearby? Your house listing may look lovely on the Internet, but without the full picture, potential buyers may be wary to commit.
All real estate agents want a decent commission for their dedication to a listing, but if your sellers price the listing out of range of comparables, potential buyers will think they aren't serious about selling or are unwilling to negotiate. US News and World Report state that the most activity on a listing occurs within the first 30 days on the market. If a house is priced too high in that window of time, you'll miss a golden opportunity. Non-local buyers will hesitate to spend their time and money traveling to view an overvalued house—and a reasonable commission is better than none.
Selling your listings in the present economy may seem difficult at times, but if you follow these tips, you can seek comfort in knowing you're giving yourself the greatest chance. By reaching potential buyers across the street or country, you can quickly and effectively get your inventory sold, impress your sellers, and gain your next referral.