home marketing tips
This article below about how to sell your home using sizzling advertising words was previously written by my partner, Elizabeth Weintraub, for another website. This classic advertising advice is timeless, Enjoy. — JaCi
“There is an art to writing attention-grabbing headlines and stimulating ad copy, but I suspect some agents are so busy taking listings these days that few stop to give more than a few moment’s thought to their advertising copy. In older neighborhoods, for example, often the type of home is misidentified. Sometimes I see high-water bungalows identified as Victorians or a Four-Square called a bungalow. That shows the agent is clueless. On top of that, I see lots of ad copy that is vanilla and boring.
Some homeowners feel the effects of how a busy location impacts sales prices of Sacramento homes. An example was a home we sold on the corner of a busy street in an affluent neighborhood. This was a gorgeous large Tudor style home in mint condition but had not been updated in many years. Its Old World charm was very appealing.
I met a wonderful seller who had been sadly disappointed. She had the family home on the market for months with a different Realtor and very few buyer showings. One of my probate attorneys referred me to this client. My study of the area confirmed the home had been seriously overpriced and lacked staging. The seller, a very bright woman, knew something was not right with the listing. She was looking to make a Realtor change.
Not too long ago we closed on a property that had many home showings and no offers, and there was nothing wrong with the property itself. It had been priced too high. Once we brought the price in line with what the market would bear, the home sold. Without question. Nobody asked why has this been on the market for so long? They could see why.
It was also a difficult sale for the sellers. They had no mortgage, so apart from paying for utilities and property taxes, it didn’t cost much to keep the home on the market. As the listing agent, I wasn’t complaining, either. The home’s location was excellent and it made the phone ring with buyers for others homes. I will be as patient as my sellers.
Out of 100 ways to sell a house, open houses are the #91 to #98 way to sell a house.
So, why do people believe an open house is such an excellent marketing strategy? I blame it on HGTV. The truth is most open houses work like the following. An agent loads up her car with real estate signs. Then, on a Sunday afternoon, she sets them on a few street corners to direct traffic to her open house. She waits for strangers to come by. People who have no intention of buying a home. A bunch of neighbors. Kids out riding bikes. Because she is hoping a real buyer will pop in, not have a real estate agent, and she can become that buyer’s agent.
Somewhere along the way, the open house agent is also hopeful a buyer might decide to buy a home because she drove by an open house on her way to the grocery store. It does happen on occasion. A buyer might have zero intention of buying until she walks through the home and suddenly develops an enormous crush. A crush that can only be satisfied by writing an offer.
A home located in a desirable neighborhood of high demand homes is an excellent candidate for an open house. Like homes in Land Park or East Sacramento. Not every home is a good candidate and might not draw any traffic whatsoever. For me, open houses are a supplemental tool. The fact is I primarily hold open houses because my sellers expect it. They can see I’m doing something. They don’t always notice my other marketing efforts.
It’s amazing to me that due to the low odds of success, because not very many homes sell at an open house, sellers still put such a premium on this particular type of marketing. We as agents don’t tend to argue, we just go with the flow. Because our competition will promote open houses to the seller like the best thing since sliced bread.
Sometimes a seller will suggest open house ideas to me like this is brand new information that I know nothing about. They are trying to be helpful. I realize that. I don’t take it personally.
You know the best way to sell a home is not to hope for a stranger to drive by and suddenly feel an incredible urge to buy. The best way to sell a Sacramento home is to beef up internet marketing. That’s where the buyers are. Sacramento listing agents have got to market where real buyers are actively searching. Buyers are online. Few come from magazines, newspapers, laundromats, grocery carts.
My seller called today to ask just how does a top listing agent like me market homes for sale in Sacramento? She did not ask this question before listing her home for sale or maybe I answered it during our discussions. I often try to anticipate what a seller will want to know before she asks the question. Thinking ahead is one of my specialties, you know. This seller wanted to know what happens when her listing goes live in MLS, where does it go and how does it get there. And specifically, what do I do to market homes for sale in Sacramento?
This took me longer than I thought it would, to fully explain. I’ll try to share those thoughts with you in the limited space and time I have available. First, my listings go live at midnight on Thursday, usually. That gives time for photos to download throughout the internet. The listing usually shows up live in Zillow the follow morning, which feeds into Trulia, and the information is generally wrong. There might be old photos, or the number of rooms is off, or it doesn’t show correct stats for the property. So, I go in to Zillow and manually fix its errors. Wish I didn’t have to, but I do.
Next is the independent website with the property address as the URL. Followed by a virtual tour. Then I check the listing on my own IDX on my Elizabeth Weintraub website for accuracy and photos. Sometimes they don’t show correctly and I have to notify my IDX of an error. I also subscribe to a digital ad service, the type that follow buyers who exhibit buying behavior all over the internet. Most agents who market homes for sale in Sacramento do not pay for an IDX like I do.
When it comes to my specialized method and how I market homes for sale in Sacramento, my website receives a high ranking in Google for a lot of real estate terms. I’ve been online since 1991, and I write many home buying and selling articles for The Balance (the former About.com) vertical. All of this elevates my listings in search engines in ways other agents can’t begin to do. My SEO is organic and real.
To top it off, I write a personal blog about my new listing, and I prepare many links back to my blog from other real estate related resources. My seller’s home enjoys a presence in Facebook, on Twitter, and other popular social media platforms. It’s like leaving no stone unturned. You can’t spin around without running into a listing from Elizabeth Weintraub and Lyon Real Estate. The way I market homes for sale in Sacramento is unrivaled. Can’t be duplicated.
Nobody else really does it this way, and certainly not the discount agents, although they try to claim to. They don’t do it. Agents can’t. They aren’t Elizabeth Weintraub. Nobody can be me, but me.