Selling the Many Benefits of Your Home

Posted by Dan Miller, REALTOR on Saturday, July 25th, 2015 at 8:37am.

There is an old joke in the real estate business about the "three P's of selling a home". The first P is put a sign in the yard. The second P is place the listing on the MLS. The third P is pray another agent sells it.

Praying can't hurt, but a yard sign and the MLS are proven tools for marketing a home. A yard sign lets all passersby know your home is for sale. The MLS syndicates your listing to thousands of websites across the globe. However, a solid home-selling plan does much more than rely on a yard sign and MLS syndication. A solid marketing plan takes a much more comprehensive approach by selling the many benefits of your home.

One Big Drawback of the MLS

One big drawback of MLS syndication is the limit placed on descriptive text. The MLS limits the listing description to 512 characters (including spaces). Even with a great listing description there's only so much you can say about your property within this little widget of space. For example, the listing description below uses 511 of the 512 allowed characters of text.

So how can you say more about your home with this limitation in place? Fortunately, you have plenty of options.

Say More Visually

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so your listing should leverage professional staging and photography, as well as professional videography. A superb visual presentation is essential for any successful sale.

Consult with a Professional Stager

A good real estate agent will help you prepare for a strong listing by connecting you with a reputable home stager. You want a stager who can help you transform your home from this:

To this:

Use Professional Photos

Once your staging is complete, your agent will hire a professional photographer to produce your listing pictures. Great listings photos, such as this one, motivate buyers to act quickly.

Use Professional, Narrated Video

A professional, narrated video tour offers many advantages. First, full-motion video is the best way to show off the superbly staged home. Second, it can be syndicated across multiple video platforms, so your listing appears on more websites. Third, YouTube videos tend to rank very well in Google search results, which enhances your listing's online exposure. Last, a narrated tour allows you to convey many details about your home which often get overlooked in a traditional listing. As an example, notice the attention to detail in this narrated tour.

Publish your Floor Plan

Does your home have a popular layout or a large amount of finished space? If so, your listing agent can supplement your marketing materials with a professionally rendered floor plan. Your floor plan will serve as a great visual supplement to your professional photos and video.

You can also use a floor plan to document a potential improvement to the layout of your home. The floor plan below shows how a home's layout can be opened up with a few relatively simple changes. This was a key factor in the buyers' decision to purchase this home.

Say More by Documenting Features and Improvements

Another effective strategy is to document your home's features and upgrades. There are several ways to go about this depending on the type of property you own. Below we share a few examples from some of our recent sales.

Document Improvements

If you've invested a significant amount of time and money into improving your home, your listing agent can document all of these improvements for you and incorporate them into your marketing. Your "improvements sheet" demonstrates to buyers your pride of ownership. Just as important, it helps your buyer's appraiser better understand the upgrades and quality you've built into your home. Your improvements sheet helps to justify your price as the appraiser goes through the process of completing her appraisal.

When possible, you should document the year of each improvement, the approximate cost, as well as professional contractors used. Here's an example that does just that.

Document Features and Amenities

Sometimes there's a lot more to a home than meets the eye. For example, the "features sheet" below lets buyers know about the under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, the radiant heat flooring in the great room, the radiant heat flooring in the lower level, the invisible fencing in the yard, and the electric car charging station in the garage. A features sheet documents all of a home's obvious and not so obvious amenities, and it serves as a great reference for both buyers and appraisers.

Create a Book about Your Home

Your listing agent can also create a book about your home. An effective format combines your professional photos with your list of features to create a polished visual presentation. Here's a cover page from one of our recent home books.

Here's an interior page that highlights the kitchen.

You can use your book to highlight any room in your house. You can also use your book to highlight the selling points of your neighborhood. As an example, here are two pages about the Parkwood Hills neighborhood on Madison's west side. We used these pages to educate buyers about the neighborhood real estate, parks, schools, shopping destinations, and home owners' association.

The "4 P's" of Selling a Home

Our "4 P's" are much different from the "3 P's" above. To summarize, here are 4 ways you can make your listing stand out from the competition:

  1. Consult with a professional home stager.
  2. Use professional listing photos.
  3. Use a professional video tour.
  4. Publish supplemental marketing materials that thoroughly convey your home's upgrades and features.

In addition, you'll want to hire a listing agent who's willing to invest the thought, time, and money into helping you produce a high-quality listing presentation. Our real estate team provides all of the marketing outlined above free of charge, at no cost to you.

This article is published courtesy of:
Dan Miller, REALTOR
Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred
610 Junction Road #205, Madison, WI, 53717

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