First of all I think it is always about price, however marketing is very important as well. I know that sounds wishy washy but what I am saying is this. If you overprice the home all the marketing in the world will not sell it nor will it appraise if someone is willing to buy it at a higher price.
When a Realtor begins working with a buyer, the buyer lays out the criteria as far as location, price, bedrooms, etc. The very first thing the Realtor will do is review the local MLS listings using the buyers criteria. Your house may come up along with several others, the Realtor will then weed out immediately those that seem to high for the area, size, etc. A reasonably priced home will get attention.
The Realtor will will then view the photos and the listing with the buyer. The more photos the better. (Put the max) Especially of your pool, if applicable, exterior and interior items that set your home apart. These items all need to be highlighted. Marketing is crucial because “it gets the phone to ring” A buyer may call any Realtor on an ad or a sign on a house in your neighborhood, the Realtor will then immediately pull up all the homes in the area including yours.
The buyer may just fall in love with yours once they see it, even though they were not even aware of it on thier initial contact. That's why marketing is important it keeps active buyers in the area calling in or looking online for info. Once they call a Realtor will try to sell them something that works for them. Much of the time they never buy the home they called on (For a variety of reasons) but the fact remains, they called, which ultimately led to the sale.
Honestly not many people have a sense for just how important pricing is. Pricing is what ultimately sells a home but marketing brings them in. Can't have one without the other. Here are some key points if you really want to sell your house. And I mean “really want to sell” ….
1. Right from the beginning —Price it to sell — Let the Realtor come up with a price that they are committed to and truly believe will sell, then stick to it. Not some inflated price to negotiate down from. That's old school thinking and it does not work. I always say I would rather turn down 10 low offers than never get 1 at all.
Having said that keep in mind 99% of the buyers still want to feel like they negotiated for something so maybe once you arrive at a price bump it up just a little bit just to give the buyer some sense that they “made a deal”. (be careful not to defeat the purpose and overprice it) Most people in the market for a home know what they want and are willing to pay a fair price.
Make sure your Realtor has a game plan and can provide backup for how he or she arrived at a price (based on sales if less than 90 days old if possible) Today this is may be unlikely but one way or another they have to justify the price and stand by it. By the way…Don't even think about pricing high and dropping every 30 days as other Realtors can check historical pricing back as far as the stone age as long as the home was listed or sold in the multiple listing. If they see that type of game being played they may just think something is wrong with the house.
2. Put a Sign in the front yard. Every neighbor will know your home is on the market and may just know someone looking or know someone they want to live near and if your area is unique and desirable it makes sense to put it out there and let it be known. If the the homes in your area are starting to show their age it may be rare when a good one like yours goes up for sale.
3. Put it on lock box but call first – The showing criteria “appointment with owner” is like a death sentance, there are too many choices out there and Realtors are like anyone else they simply won't show your home when they have to call and track you down first and hope you are home or available. List it with lock box “key call” which means they will give you a little notice first show. If you are not home they can just come inside. I have never had any problems with theft or any other issues, no Realtor is going to risk their license for petty theft, but since I mentioned it put all the jewelry and small valuables in a safe place just to put your mind at ease.
4. Never repeat Never be at home during a showing and ALWAYS make sure your house is “staged” for a showing appointment, you know … all lights on, soft music, smelling pretty yada yada. Get rid of all personal photos while your house is on the market or at least as much as possible and get rid of any extra furniture, clutter, etc put it all in storage. Always have your house ready to go at a moments notice because you never know. Once you have your home listed have your Realtor show you the MLS printout to see what the presentation is like. Also the chances of the listing agent actually “selling” your house is pretty slim, make sure to be clear and satisfied as to what marketing will be used to attract “other” brokers to your listing. And make sure he or she works with a company with plenty of name recognition and plenty of other agents in the office. When it comes to selling your own home it can be difficult to take emotion out of it. Think of it as just another house and try to be as unbiased as you possibly can.
One last thing ….Your agent should absolutely have an have an awesome web presence on, Realtor.com, Truila.com. Hotpads.com, Homes.com etc Everyone and I mean Everyone shopping for a home now goes online to start their search.