What really sells a home? You may have heard the old phrase, "Location, Location, Location" or you may even have heard "Price, Condition and Location" sell a home. However, as an experienced Real Estate Broker, I explain to Sellers that there are really FIVE reasons a home sells. They are "Price, Condition, Location, Marketing and the Broker you choose". The good news is that every Home Seller has the ability to control three of these items.
First, let's talk about the thing which a Seller cannot control-the location of your home. If you have a home that is "location challenged" by being on a busy road, backing to the turnpike or bordering high power lines, for examples, you probably will not be choosing to pick it up and move it. But the good news is that you can overcome these issues with one very important decision, which we will discuss later. Of course, if you have a historic property, you can choose to pick it up and move it. This was actually done a few times in our area, most recently on Skippack Pike in Blue Bell, where a Victorian home in the 700 block was moved further off the main road a few years ago. However, most homeowners do not have the finances, nor a new location to do so
So let’s talk about the three things you can control- price, condition, and the Broker you choose. The most important of these three factors is not price, as some would think, but it is actually the choice of the Broker you hire. Why? Because a highly trained Real Estate Professional will know how to interpret what is happening in your local market in order to guide you in Pricing and to provide customized Marketing. Notice that I did not say “experienced” agent, because it is not as much about experience, as it is about education. A Brokerage who continually trains their agents -new and experienced- to interpret the market and guide Sellers, as well as one who constantly measures their effectiveness in getting homes sold, is key to your ultimate success. You should be sure to choose a Brokerage who educates their agents on the proper way to market a home on the internet, the proper way to display the features of the home at the property, and the proper way to interpret the marketing response you are getting. For one example, I am amazed when I visit open houses and there is little, to no, marketing being done at the actual property. There are no signs to direct me, nor any feature sheets or cards around the house. The choice of your Real Estate Broker is critical to the marketing, pricing and eventual sale of your home, let me further explain.
When your agent is able to continually evaluate, and quickly respond to the results of their marketing efforts, your home will sell faster and for more money. We know the longer a home sits, the less money an owner will likely make in the end. So don’t just ask a prospective agent how many homes they have sold, ask them to show you the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and what they will do to adjust them as time goes by. Ask them to show you the marketing plan they have customized for YOUR home- not a canned presentation. That is what worldwide Relocation Companies require of the agents they choose to market the homes of their transferees. Those brokerages, like ours, that are chosen and trusted by Relocation companies must provide extensive reports on market conditions and a marketing strategy that will be constantly reviewed and adjusted until the home is sold. Did you know there is even a particular day of the week when your home should enter the market? You have to call me to find out!
Now back to the final item you can control, which is the condition of your property. This may, or may not, be easy to do. For example, if your home is in need of updating, painting, or re-carpeting, you may not have the funds to do all of these, even though all of them may be desired by a new buyer. But you can put in some sweat equity and make sure your home shines. Keeping in mind that kitchen and bathrooms are the two most important rooms to most homebuyers. An agent trained in marketing will guide you as to the critical items which should be addressed, and to recommend price positioning based on the condition, as well as the location challenges we discussed earlier.
So I will close by discussing price, which some will say is the most important factor. There is a saying we use that goes “Properly Priced, Practically Sold”. And I agree that once you price a home properly it will eventually sell, no matter what the condition, or location. However, you hire a Real Estate Professional to get you the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of inconvenience to you. Every agent will tell you that is their goal. But my advice for every prospective home Seller is to choose your Real Estate Broker very wisely. Because the highly educated Brokerage guides their agents in interpreting the market and providing you with a proven strategy to bring all the factors together that will influence the sale of your home, for the highest and best price. Price, Condition, Location, Marketing and the Broker you choose will, together, influence the result you obtain. Just ask an unsuccessful Seller and you will know what I mean. Choose wisely and in doing so, you may want to consider calling the Broker of the office and asking for a specialist for your neighborhood. For any real estate question, feel free to contact Kathy Opperman, Broker/Owner at 610-275-4900.