I asked 12 top listing agents to share their hot insider secrets to sell your home. There certainly seems to be several things that stand out from most of the responses.
First being there really are no secrets, it requires work on the home sellers part as well as an experienced selling agent with a marketing plan that works.
The other recurring thoughts are:
- Your home needs to be properly prepared for the market
- Your home needs to be priced appropriately
- And, quality real estate photos are a must!
Overwhelmingly so…. quality real estate photos are a must. Your agent either needs to hire a professional or take professional quality photos themselves.
As pointed out by a few of our contributors, the first impression of your home, by it’s potential buyers, are online. Decisions are made in a flash on the internet. Give home buyers every chance to say yay to your house.
Top Listing Agents Reveal “Hot Insider Secrets” to Sell Your Home
So we have top listing agents from all over the country commenting on what they do to successfully sell a home. What did they have to say?
Kevin Vitali- Tewksbury MA Real Estate
Whats are the hot inside secrets to sell your home?
There really are no hot insider secrets to sell your home…. mostly common sense.
It take a carefully crafted plan from a to z to get your home sold. It requires a little bit of effort on the sellers part and an experienced listing agent that knows how buyers respond to a home.
A marketing plan to sell a home includes 3 critical components to sucessfully sell your home….. Preparation, Pricing and Presentation.
A few weekends of preparation can go a long way in wowing home buyers. Cleaning, painting, de-cluttering and depersonalizing are key in showing off your home in it’s best light.
You want your home and all marketing ready to go when your listing hits the market. You only have once chance and the first two weeks are critical. Remember your first showing are online. Make sure you house is full prepared and staged and follow up with professional real estate photography. Your homes online image can make or break the sale.
Present a home that looks good, is priced right and is leveraged on the internet and the buyers will come with offers following.
Anita Clark- Warner Robins GA Real Estate
The only secret to selling your home is that there is no secret! Homes that are well maintained, accurately priced, and in a location others find desirable will typically sell quickly. However, there are a few things real estate agents can do to put the property in its best light and help it stand out from the competition. One of these techniques is the use of drone technology to give potential buyers an aerial view of both the home and the surrounding area.
Real estate agents who use drone technology are still in the minority yet this technology can both enhance a listing and provide a birds-eye view for prospective buyers. It can also improve the chances that sellers will hire that agent to begin with. In fact, recent studies have shown that over 70% of potential sellers want to work with an agent who utilizes drones to showcase the house. Armed with that key information, adding drone usage to their real estate tool belt makes perfect sense for both low and high sales real estate professionals.
Michelle Gibson- Wellington FL Real Estate
First impressions are everything when it comes to selling real estate. Decades ago a buyer’s first impression was usually made when they pulled up to the house, but that is no longer the case. Have you ever heard the adage a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, that is 100% true when it comes to selling real estate.
The first impression a buyer has in today’s real estate market is the MLS listing photographs. Once a new listing hits the market agents and buyers will look over the listing to determine if they want to view the property or not. While agents tend to look at the specs of the home first most buyers go straight to the photographs.
Besides knowing the basics of a home; the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage the photographs will paint a clear picture of what the home has to offer. Have the kitchen and bathrooms been renovated? What do the floors look like? Does the home have high ceilings? All of these questions can be answered by simply looking at the photographs.
Excellent listing photos can make a buyer fall in love with the home before they even walk through the front door. While bad photos or no photos at all can turn a buyer away. So photographs are a must when selling a home. However, not just any photos will do, photos taken by a professional real estate photographer are a must. Hiring a real estate photographer is pretty inexpensive and worth every penny. The listing photographs will be the first impression, they are used in the MLS listing, marketing brochures, and online marketing. Photographs are the main marketing tool for a property, so why wouldn’t agents and sellers alike want the best possible photographs?
Chris and Karen Highland- Fredericks MD Real Estate
Our Fredericks MD Real Estate team has created a successful listing strategy by implementing a three-pronged approach to our marketing. Our time on market is typically half of the average for our local neighborhoods, while we garner 99% of the original list price on average.
Firstly, pricing a home correctly from the outset is crucial to a successful sale. We make it our daily pursuit to understand what’s going on in our local market. Knowing what sold for what, and in what condition, equips us to price our listings correctly. In our experience, a home that is priced right for the market sells quickly and for top dollar.
For unique homes that are outside the typical styles and floor plans in our neighborhoods, we provide a complimentary appraisal before marketing the home. Of course, we use the most respected and experienced appraiser in our area to assure our sellers of the best price.
Secondly, the condition of a home is very important in our market in Frederick MD. We offer complimentary staging to our sellers because we have seen what a difference it makes to today’s home buyers. Neutralizing colors and minimizing the furnishings and decor allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the space. Our staging creates a wide appeal and causes our listings to stand apart from the rest.
Lastly, savvy internet marketing is necessary to bring the previous two steps together for success. Professional photos coupled with a powerful marketing story are a must in today’s internet marketing world. Home buyers will visit eight real estate websites on average during their home search. The visuals are the first thing that will make or break further inquiry from those buyers.
Conor MacEvilly – Seattle WA Real Estate
Whether in is in Seattle Washington real estate market or any home across the country, a home will sell if you list it for the right price. However, to get the maximum possible return on your investment there are certain marketing tactics that you can use. And one of those is professional staging.
Staging means getting your home ready for market to make sure your home look it’s absolute best. Vacant homes can appear sad and soulless but the exact same home that is professionally staged can look completely different and a lot more enticing to prospective buyers. The home will stand out both online on real estate listing sites and in any print marketing. And most importantly, the property will look great when buyers come to see the home in person.
If you are intending to be in your home while it’s listed for sale, it is still worth consulting with a stager. They can use your own furnishings to generate fresh look for your home and help highlight the best aspects of the home.
And don’t forget, staging your home also applies to the exterior of the home. Having good curb appeal is critical for a good buyer first impression. Admittedly, professional staging is not particularly cheap, but your home should sell faster and for more money. More than the cost of the staging.
Xavier De Buck- Johannesburg Real Estate
In this day-and-age, real estate agents who want consistent results day-in and day-out need to do the work to stand out. It’s just not good enough anymore to be that ‘post and pray realtor’ whereby you hope someone will stop by your open house out of the blue and buy the listing!
The first port-of-call would be to increase the quality of your online listing: home buyers want to be informed of every single aspect of that listing. Besides the basic bed/bath configuration, how about the specific features that make the property stand out, the neighborhood it’s in, or its proximity to nearby schools, major amenities, etc. Next up will be the actual property description which shouldn’t be a few ‘all cap’ lines with some cliche sentences. Make an effort to properly describe how one moves through the house and how its features are highlighted – the buyers should already be able to imagine how it must look like before even looking at the photos. And to top off your online listing, make sure to use high-quality, professional photographs!
Would you agree that the way you market a property is an extension of yourself as a real estate agent? Your skills, professionalism, and overall attitude towards being an agent! Come on – do you want to stand out from other agents in your area? You either do it right nor not at all!
Now that the listing has been given some proper attention, it’s time to start with the actual marketing. Clicking the button to activate it on the local MLS isn’t what one would refer to as giving the listing the widest possible online exposure! Any top producing agent worth his/her salt will be employing every (online) marketing tool available to get as many eyeballs on that new property listing as possible. If anything, the agent’s personal online presence and the listing’s exposure to his/her network will determine to be crucial in the marketing of that listing.
One classic ‘golden oldie’ of the content marketing tools is blogging. Whether it’s putting on fresh content on one’s personal blog site, or guest blogging on sites such as Real Estate Mortgage blog, ImmoAfrica, or RealtyBizNews, it’s the agent’s opportunity to build an image, reputation, and trust with clients, as well as fellow agents. Not only will the agent be a source of real estate information, the agent is very likely to get (referral) business as well. However, in order to get to that level, it will take ‘a few’ blog articles, which can feasibly be achieved by becoming part of the agent’s overall listing marketing plan.
Eileen Anderson- Simsbury CT Real Estate
I find that marketing a property along with what the town and surrounding areas has been a unique way to sell a home.
Highlighting “things to do” and providing links and photographs to area happenings makes the property more desirable. You are selling a lifestyle and feeling which is the emotional piece of a real estate sale.
Writing articles about the Connecticut and the towns I service has been extremely beneficial. They include activities for all ages can help sell the town as well as the home. These include hiking, music, entertainment, amusement parks, fine dining, parades, holiday activities, farms, equestrian, skiing, skating, swimming, boating, museums, wine trails, playhouses, outdoor festivals, cycling, school activities, historic sites and more!
Out of town buyers fall in love with the home and the area.
Providing useful information about landscape design helps potential buyers envision an amazing outdoor living experience. If a buyer loves the home but the it lacks curb appeal they may move on to another property.
Providing easy step by step fixes and show them “how to” articles helps move the sale forward. Buyers are able to get over their objections they may have about a property.
Step by step instructions along with before and after photography can really help a buyer envision a beautiful landscape. Gardening ideas and photography can be very inspiring to a buyer.
All the graphics that accompany the articles on these subject attract multiple buyers on social media and expose the home to the masses.
Bottom line is for a unique selling experience is to provide useful information about the town, the surrounding areas, and the property.
Paul Sian- Cincinatti Real Estate
While not really a secret, some like to treat it as a secret since then the sky could be the limit when it comes to pricing their homes for sale. Properly pricing a home for sale is one of the surest and fastest ways to make sure a home gets sold in a good time frame. Whether the market is great for sellers or buyers the right pricing will make sure the home gets sold.
Pricing analysis requires a bit of investigative work because the condition of a home is also a key factor in setting the right price. Alongside with that the other aspects of a home such as age of mechanicals, age of roof, how recent are updates that have been made, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and square footage also have an impact. Those quantifiable aspects help determine where along the range of pricing a home should fall. The pricing range is determine by looking at comparable homes not just in terms of the size and room count but also in terms of conditions and updates. Two homes sitting side by side may look exactly alike on the outside in terms of architecture (ignoring curb appeal) but a home with more updates and more newer mechanicals will be valued more by buyers who will be willing to pay more for that home compared to the one without the recent updates and with older mechanicals.
The best way for a home seller to make sure their home is priced and marketed well is by working with an experienced real estate agent who provides data to back up their pricing strategy. The pull a number out of the air method while allowing some to be fast on the draw will only hurt the home sellers if that price is too high, which they oftentimes happen to be so the listing agent can guarantee they get the listing regardless of the real situation. Today’s home buyers are very savvy when it comes to researching homes and are quick to come to judgment about a home based on a condition and its price.
Glenn Shelhamer- Los Angeles CA Real Estate
A clear line of communication goes a long way. The #1 rule when listing a home for sale is to listen to what your seller wants. That’s it. They are the decision-makers. Period. Give it to them on a silver platter while exceeding expectations. The magic is when you’re actually given the liberty to get your job done without kicking and screaming. How do you do that?
Position the home in the market to attract multiple offers, politely encourage agents and prospective buyers to preview the property during open houses as apposed to private showings. Enjoy the energy and the excitement necessary. You want people sizing each other up creating a sense of urgency. You’ll want to have an offer deadline in the MLS too. This will give agents and buyers a framework to create their offers or communicate with you to draft an offer for them. All of this is good news. But how about the next seller? Are they going to fall out of the sky and land in your lap? Probably not. What if I told you there is a simple way to generate seller leads? What if I told you getting a home sold fast while collecting more clients is the secret of Top Realtors?
Sharon Paxson- Newport Beach CA Realtor
When you are selling your home, one of the most important aspects is the marketing of the property. Discuss with your Realtor the marketing plan for your home and what is included in that plan. It is imperative to hire a Realtor who has a strong online presence with respect to internet marketing.
One of the first considerations is to have amazing professional photography. One of the first places that a buyer is going to see your home will be online. The photos should be inviting and highlight the features of the lot and the home. Adding twilight photography to the photos adds another element and showcases the home during daylight and how it presents at night.
Another important consideration with respect to marketing is the agent’s online presence. Inquire if the Realtor has an epic website and will be able to showcase your property not only on the MLS (multiple listing service) but also on their website. Over 90% of home buyers begin their home search online, and a buyer may search specifically for a neighborhood, or a highly rated specific school district. The website should have information about the different communities and specifically about the community in which you are selling your home!
Sharon, a Top Newport Beach CA REALTOR® also points out that consistent quality content on social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer additional exposure for the home to be seen. Don’t be fooled with large followings on some of these sites, as followers can be purchased. A Realtor who has a systematic way to continue to share content and information about your property for sale will be able to provide maximum exposure.
Geoff Southworth- Los Angelas CA Investor
Staging a home is part art and part science, but you do not have to be an expert to stage your home to sell. There are plenty of ways you can make your home more appealing to the widest pool of potential buyers, many of which cost nothing more than tie and effort. So, here are my top 20 ways to stage your home to sell. Use one, use some, use all. Use what works best for you and your home and good luck on your home selling journey
Dave Martin- Northern Virginia Real Estate
Having been in real estate for over 3 decades now, I have been asked a wide variety of questions over the years from home sellers, buyers as well as other real estate professionals. One of the most common questions I hear from owners thinking about selling or other agents is: What’s the BEST way to get a home SOLD?
While some methods work better than others, it’s a huge mistake for a home owner to assume that one single method or tactic is all it will take. Having never been a “One Trick Pony” type, I prefer to make use of a wide variety of methods, tactics and hot insider secrets that maximize the results and bring in the most qualified and interested home buyers to increase the odds of receiving not just one acceptable offer but instead receiving multiple competing offers. To achieve this it’s critical to make certain your home is Ready To Sell, because, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most people shopping for a home these days do most of their deciding by looking at pictures and\or videos of homes for sale on a wide variety of websites, social media platforms as well as from direct lists sent to them by their Buyer Agent.
The first and best secret to getting a home sold is making certain that if you are going to hire professional to help to sell your home – i.e. a Listing Agent – make certain the agent you select knows the market and the current market conditions. We’ve experienced a very long Sellers Market throughout most all of the United States, and Virginia is no exception, but this means that many, perhaps even most, of the real estate agents now selling homes have never experienced a Neutral or Buyers Market, and so they may not be able to adapt their marketing methods when real estate market conditions shift. The agent you choose should be able to help you get Ready To Sell , including making certain your home is ready to be seen by home buyers both in person and online.
Using high quality photos or videos is a MUST! The days of an agent simply taking a few photos themselves is in the past. I personally make sure that every home I list is ready for the professional photo shoot before it’s scheduled. It’s also important to make certain that the home is kept in a very showable, i.e. buyer friendly condition, for all scheduled showings.
Their Really Are No “Hot Insider Secrets” to Sell A Home- Just Hard Work and A Well Thought Out Plan
As you can see there really aren’t any hot insider secrets to selling your home successfully. The real secret is hiring an experienced listing agent that has a well defined marketing plan to sell your home.
Your experienced listing agent will guide you in preparing your home, ascertaining the proper pricing and provide the very best online and offline marketing.
This article, 12 Top Listing Agents Share “Hot Insider Secrets” to Sell Your Home, has been compiled by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate, located in Tewksbury MA. Thinking of selling your Tewksbury, Essex County or Northern Middlsex County home? Call to get a full marketing presentation.