Friday, July 26, 2013

Sell your home with more visibility By Frankee Chapa

When selling your home ten years ago, if your real estate agent wasn’t putting an ad in for your home in the real estate section of the daily newspaper, you had every right to be annoyed, but today is a different story. There are multiple marketing channels agents should be using to get the most visibility for your home.

So where and how should a real estate agent be promoting your home? Before choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, don’t be afraid to interview a few candidates. Here are five marketing-related questions to ask real estate agents before deciding which agent is the best fit for you:

1.Where online will my home be listed? According to research done by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 90 percent of home buyers use the Internet at some point during their home search process. On Google alone, real estate related searches climbed 253 percent in just the last four years.
Your agent needs to be making sure your home is visible on the Internet. Ask your agent if your home is listed on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and other home buying search engine websites. Home buyers are looking for homes online. You want your home to be found.

2.Do you use social media to promote my listing? Sure, social media might not be the place where someone suddenly finds your home and decides to buy it, however it does provide a great platform to get the word out about your house.

Ask your agent to create a social media post about your home on their website. From there, share that post with your friends and family. Ask your friends and family to do the same. A neighbor may have a relative looking to move close by or a distant cousin may want to buy summer home in Maine. Social media can get hundreds of eyes on your property for free!

3.How do you advertise open houses? It is great that your agent is hosting an open house, but are they just sticking an open house sign on the front lawn every Sunday and hoping for traffic? What other advertising methods are they using?

Are they informing other local agents of open houses? These agents may have a buyer who would fall in love with your home. Are they advertising the open house on Facebook? In the newspaper? Are they printing flyers and leaving them with neighbors? Find out what sort of effort they are making to make sure your home receives the foot traffic it deserves.

4.What else do you do to promote my listing? Besides online and traditional forms of advertising, what does the agent do to promote listings that might make them stand out? Do they blog about their listings? Will your home be featured in a home of the week article?
Is the agent a member of any networking groups where he/she shares listings with a group of professionals? Often these networking groups are working with your agent to help find referrals, adding more people to your sales team.

5.Is there anything I can do to increase my homes visibility? As much as a real estate agent can promote and advertise your home, they do not have an endless supply of money to pay for additional advertising. Perhaps your agent plans on taking out $250 worth of local advertising for an upcoming house. You may want to offer matching the cost for the added exposure.

Is there a certain publication you believe your home should be listed in? Would the agent split the costs or even add on additional funds to increase ad size? Are there any professional photographers or stagers the agent might recommend for added value? Help make your home stand out.

Make sure you don’t just choose an agent because they seem the friendliest or because they drove in with the flashiest car. You want your home to be seen by the right buyers. Find out how your agent will make this happen.

Frankee Chapa is the social media and marketing director at RE/MAX Alliance located on Route 302 in Westbrook. She has worked in marketing for the last seven years, specializing in online, print and social media.

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