Archive for the ‘Marketing Your Home’ Category

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Myths (And a Couple of Facts)

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Updated in 2016…

With more than 90% of prospective buyers beginning their home search online and multiple web outlets for listing publication, it seems that more sellers would be bucking the broker’s commission and listing their property for sale by owner (FSBO). Cutting a commission by 3-6% could save thousands of dollars, but it would also put some real estate brokers out of business. At RealDirect, we recognize that the traditional method of selling real estate needs to adjust and embrace a new way of doing things in order to stay relevant. However, to many brokers who are wedded to a standard commission, the easiest way to keep money coming in is to use fear. Fear that selling with anyone but a traditional broker is hard. Fear that buyers’ brokers won’t show homes that are not listed with the big brokers. Fear that sellers won’t know how to price their property. While the list goes on and on, most of these fear tactics are inaccurate at best, and outright lies at worst. If you’re thinking about selling your home without a traditional broker (or a FSBO), we’d like to debunk some of the for sale by owner myths (and share a couple of facts).

Myths

Myth: If you don’t list with us, we won’t bring our buyers.

Fact: Buyers’ agents want to earn a commission. If their client says they want to see a property, agents will typically try to work out a deal. However, getting brokers and owner to agree to a deal can be tricky, with many of the large brokerages refusing to show homes where they do not have agreements in place. But by working with an FSBO like service such as RealDirect’s Owner Managed service, we take care of the agreement, so it will be easy for brokers to show your home. Plus we are members of the Real Estate Board of NY – which is the de facto MLS in NYC. Being a member of REBNY requires that you co-broke with all other REBNY brokers.

Myth: You’ll get more money if you sell with a traditional broker.

Fact: That’s just plain fuzzy math. First, this does not take into consideration that the net proceeds could be higher with alternative sales models because the closing costs are lower (i.e. commissions) even if the sales price is lower. But even if you do not take that into consideration, if the property is marketed to every possible buyer, as done with RealDirect, the sale will be highly competitive, and you will get the highest possible price.

Myth: It’s too much work for you to handle on your own.

Fact: Maybe. It depends on how much time you’re able to devote to showing and answering questions about your home. That’s why RealDirect offers different listing options which allow you to handle your own showings and open houses or have a licensed agent do them for you. Our platform has baked in marketing that covers all the mediums a traditional broker would use (and several they don’t). We’re available to negotiate for you, or you can handle it yourself. Because every situation and every seller is different, we don’t prescribe to a one-size-fits-all real estate model and we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all pricing. You shouldn’t have to, either.

That said, there are some scary things brokers will tell you that are actually accurate.

Fact: People won’t find you unless you’re in the MLS.
Your local MLS is what most buyers’ brokers use to find properties for their clients, and also where sites such as Streeteasy, Trulia, Zillow and others get some of their listing info. While it’s certainly possible to find a direct buyer by doing your own advertising, if you want to appeal to the widest buyer base possible, it is critical that your listing appear in the MLS. And being in the MLS (or REBNY database in NYC) will also help you with the next one…

Fact: You have to offer a buyer’s broker commission.
While you can forego paying 2.5-3% to a seller’s broker by listing your home “for sale by owner (FSBO)”, if you want brokers to bring buyers to your home, you have to be willing to pay their commission. You can opt to only show your home to direct buyers with a strict “no brokers” policy, but in doing so, you eliminate every single buyer who wishes to work with a broker instead of representing themselves – and that is the majority of buyers. And eliminating buyers from the buyer pool can result in a lower purchase price, and work against your sale.

So the key to successfully selling your home as a FSBO is to do your research, understand how the process works, realistically evaluate your level of time and willingness to do work, and make a decision you’re comfortable with. Scare tactics are just that. Don’t believe the “for sale by owner” myths.

The First 24: What Happens Once Your Real Estate Listing Is Published?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

RealDirect's marketing outreach includes direct mail which is created and ordered within 24 hours of listing publication.

One of the cornerstone beliefs at RealDirect is creating efficiency in the real estate process through the smart use of technology. That’s why we’ve built a listing management dashboard that allows users to edit and update their listings, view stats, offer available showing appointments, set open houses and get helpful suggestions at any time. It’s also how we manage to accomplish an incredible amount of marketing outreach for each of our real estate listings within the first 24 hours of publication. (more…)

Top 10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Sale

Monday, February 27th, 2012

April showers bring May flowers, but March prep work brings springtime home sales. Though it may seem too cold to be thinking about the spring real estate market, taking steps to prepare your home now will help you avoid the stress of a last minute rush to get ready. If you want to be in good shape when the weather starts to warm up, use these top 10 tips to prepare your home for sale in the spring.

1. Clean & Declutter
Make your move easier by beginning the packing process now. Clear out all clutter and remove items you don’t regularly use. Donate items that haven’t been used in the last twelve months, throw away items that are broken or damaged, shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed, and move bulky pieces of furniture, holiday decor, out of season clothing and any other items you don’t need into a storage facility.

When you clean, pay attention to small details. Wash windows, dust blinds, launder curtains, dust baseboards, clean appliances, and straighten up the contents of your closets. Apartment Therapy has some great plans for getting your home clean and keeping it that way in less than an hour a day. (more…)

What are Buyers Looking For? Top 10 List

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

As we mentioned in a previous post, when helping buyers find their perfect home, we gather information about multiple data points to help narrow down the properties that will suit the individual buyer’s needs. This data helps us eliminate properties that definitely will not work and hone in on properties that are the closest to ideal. This information also gives us some great insight into what buyers in general are looking for.

Based on our survey, the top ten items that buyers classify as “must have” or “wish list” are as follows:

Noah Rosenblatt, founder of Urbandigs.com expounded on our original post by saying:

“Over the past 6 years of writing this blog, I’ve made it very clear what buyers in the Manhattan markets bid up for:

1) Light/Views
2) Location
3) Raw Space”

He goes on to say “By far in this marketplace buyers bid up for views (think river or park views, followed by full city views) and natural sunlight. After that it tends to be about raw space and whether the subject property is large enough to meet the client’s needs. Then comes location – many would think location would be top of the list, but I find this not to be the case in a market like Manhattan. Let me explain.

As Manhattan prices rose and affordability declined over the past decade, buyers widened their criteria of neighborhoods they are willing to live. Buyers that once would only consider living in the West Village, realized that if they are going to buy what they want & need that they may have to consider Chelsea or other neighboring areas. Once that buyer gets a taste of more desirable features and starts to understand what his budget can get in another neighborhood, it anchors them to expecting those now affordable features; such as a bathroom in master bedroom or a full city view. The end result is a buyer who will now have a wider search requirement, dampening the power of “location” as the top desired feature they will bid up for.”

Based on our survey results, Noah is spot-on in his views of what buyers are looking for. Looking at our top 10 list, we see that buyers are looking for light, space and views. While location is important to buyers, specific location is not. Because there are so many outstanding choices in New York City, our data shows that buyers search for properties in an average of eight neighborhoods. While buyers do generally have a specific borough preference, within their borough of choice most buyers are not set on living in one specific neighborhood. When it comes to real estate in New York City, it seems that where you live has taken a back seat in importance to how you live.

10 Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

There are many things to do before you sell your home that will maximize the perceived value of your home. Today’s housing market is intensely competitive and anything you can do to make your home appear neat, inviting and well maintained can give you an edge in a crowded field.

Important Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home

Although it seems daunting, you can get your home ready for sale if you stay organized and focused. Concentrate on your goal—to help the house you love to look its best. Here is a basic checklist of 10 things to do before you sell your home:

Pest free? Get your home professionally inspected for termites and other pests and once any are removed, get rid of any evidence of having had them. Having a recent inspection certification in hand will give prospective buyers solid piece of mind that there are no creepy-crawlies hiding in the woodwork.

First impressions. The first things buyers will see when they walk up to your home are the landscaping and exterior features of your house. Make sure the yard and shrubs are neatly trimmed—plant fresh flowers in existing beds. Paint or power-wash the exterior of your home if years of weather have taken their toll. Make any repairs to gutters, trim or windows as needed. And apartment dwellers should make sure all common areas are neat and clean as well, so clear out those strollers and bikes from the hallway. (more…)

Social Media Tools for Marketing Your Home

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

In addition to the multiple steps taken by RealDirect to market your real estate listing (REBNY, NYTimes, Streeteasy just to name a few) thanks to the proliferation of social connectivity tools on the web, there are also several ways you can increase your listing’s visibility for no cost other than a small investment of time. You may already use some of these social networking platforms and have familiarity with others. Some of them you might not have heard of. But all of them can help to drive more eyeballs to your property listing. The bulk of social sites that are useful for marketing real estate can be broken down into three categories: networking, bookmarking and location-based. Each category serves a different purpose, and there are multiple platforms within each category. The more you use social media tools for marketing your listing, the greater your potential reach.

Social Networking

E-mail: Quickly send your listing to everyone in your address book via e-mail. Ask them to pass along to anyone who might be interested. (more…)

How to Show Your Own Home When Selling it Yourself

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Learning how to show your home is an important skill, even if you’re not selling your home yourself. There may be times when the realtor can’t make a showing or when potential buyers show up unexpectedly. When selling your home, the ability to show your home yourself may mean a quick sale.

How To Show Your Home Successfully

When it comes time to show your home, you should take a deep breath and remember that your ultimate goal is to present a product that will appeal to prospective buyers. By the time you show your home, you should have enough emotional distance to treat a showing as the selling opportunity it is. The following tips will help you be prepared when it comes time to show your home:

Do your own walk through. Before your first showing, walk through your home with fresh eyes. Start at the front door and walk through every room of your house looking for clutter, dark areas or things that should be repaired or spruced up. If you have a video camera, film the walkthrough and play it back—sometimes the camera will pick up things you missed. (more…)

How to Hold an Open House

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Understanding how to hold an open house can add a powerful tool to the marketing of your home. An open house provides and opportunity for prospective buyers to view your home in a low-pressure atmosphere. Less pressure might help buyers look on your house more favorably as they make a purchasing decision.

Get Ready To Hold An Open House

It pays to be prepared. Before you hold an open house, make sure your home is in the best possible condition to be viewed by potential buyers. Deep clean every room in the house—hire professionals if the job seem too daunting. Make sure all cosmetic repairs are made to both the inside and outside of your home. Take a look at your home from the curb or hallway—maybe painting your door or planting a few blooming plants would increase your home’s curb appeal.

Setting the stage. Consider staging your home for maximum impact when you hold an open house. Staging involves clearing each room of clutter and extra furniture to create a spacious atmosphere that highlights the features of each room. If you don’t have an interior decorator’s touch, you may want to hire a professional staging consultant. (more…)

10 Tips to Get Traffic to Your Real Estate Web Listing

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

In today’s wired society, driving traffic to your real estate web listing can be the largest determiner of your home’s selling success. According to recent studies, as many as 9 out of 10 buyers use the internet as a way to find homes for sale. Understanding how to get traffic to your real estate web listing means learning how to cast a wide net.

Getting Traffic For Your Real Estate Web Listing

A complete listing. First, make sure that your real estate web listing has enough detail to make a compelling pitch. Does it speak to a targeted audience like young families or empty nesters? Does it list important information like number of bedrooms and bathrooms? Has it been edited for grammar and spelling? Make sure that the traffic that comes to your real estate web listing will stay once they get there!

Get optimized. Internet search engines prioritize entries through keywords. You can generate traffic for your real estate web listing by repeating keywords that will appeal to your audience. For instance, if you think your home will appeal to families, be sure to use terms like “family room” and the names of nearby schools. (more…)