You love your home. You spent hours picking out that rooster wall paper boarder for your kitchen because it reminds you of cooking with your grandmother. You LOVE it. You have spent years making your house, yours. It is colors that you love, and decorated your way.
The problem…living in your home is not the same as selling it. Selling your home is a business proposition, and you have shifted from a homeowner to salesperson. You have to shift your thinking from that of homeowner to salesperson: how well you do this will determine whether or not you continue to be a homeowner.
There are 4 basic rules in bringing your product to market.
Rule #1-Know your market
Home selling is pretty basic: Supply and Demand. Market conditions are not something you as a home seller can control. You can’t control the inventory on the market or what the asking prices for other homes are. Things you can control are:
1) Your price. I know you love your home, but buyers don’t have memories already created within its confines: only you do. If Crest came out with a new toothpaste that was $35 per tube would you buy it, or would you switch over to Colgate? There is not a lot of demand for $35 a tube Crest toothpaste. There is plenty of supply out there, know where the demand is and price there.
2) Condition. I know there are many things you love about your house, but those rooster boarders have to go. Make sure your home will appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.
3) Terms. Don’t put in the MLS, offers subject to seller finding suitable replacement property, or asking price is firm. Ugh…are you a homeowner or salesperson? Sales have to be flexible, negotiation is about finding a middle ground.
Rule #2- Know your customers
Who is the most likely buyer for your home? If you live in a 55+ community, that question is answered for you. Buyers are 1) first time home buyers, 2) downsizers, 3) Upsizers, 4) Investors, and 5) Second home/vacation home buyers.
Who your target audience is will help you determine how to market your home.
Rule #3-Know your competition
You can sell your competition or they can sell you. Do you think if Crest started charging $35 per tube, that Colgate would sell more or less now? Crest would DRIVE its consumer base to Colgate. Make sure you aren’t driving buyers to your competition.
Look at the following:
1) What are other homes in your immediate neighborhood selling for? This tells you where the demand is.
2) Where are competing homes currently priced at? You want to be the best value in your neighborhood.
3) What is their condition compared to yours? Take emotion out of the equation. Homes that are updated and well maintained will be the first to sell.
4) Is the competition offering incentives? New construction builders are offering to pay down points, closing costs, etc. You need to compete.
Rule #4-Market your product.
Crest could market its new spectacular $35 tube of Crest until they were blue in the face. There is little to no demand for a product in that price range. Advertising CANNOT overcome issues of supply and demand.
Print media is insanely expensive, and with 84% of home buyers searching online, it is not a sound advertising strategy. In the world of Web 2.0, virtual advertising is the best way to go. With gas prices heading toward $4 per gallon, buyers want to sit online in the comfort of their homes and weed through the homes online. You need a marketing plan that addresses how consumers actually search for products today, not 10 years ago.
With all of these rules in mind, you need to ask yourself are you a $35 tube of toothpaste in a $3 world?
(c) Copyright, 2008. Melina Tomson, All Rights Reserved. DO NOT COPY this without express written permission from the author.