By Hailey Robinson, Special for USDR
When you’re ready to sell your home, chances are good that you’ve touched up paint, repaired cabinet handles, and done any number of other small, but noticeable repairs. However, don’t overlook one of the most important tasks: effectively marketing your home. Check out these strategies to ensure you find your home’s next owner.
Take Outstanding Photographs
Image via Flickr by pnwra
Whether you plan to advertise in a newspaper, online, or mail flyers, you must have flattering photos of your home’s interior and exterior. Photos need to be in focus and well lit. It’s ideal to photograph your home on a partly sunny day, though you shouldn’t point your camera into the glare of the sun. The shots of your home’s outside areas need to accentuate the space and should not include any signs of pets or children. Before taking a single photo, make sure the grass is freshly clipped and shrubbery is trimmed.
When you take photos of your home’s interior, be sure to open blinds and curtains to reveal as much natural light as possible. In most cases, you want to make your home look open and as spacious as possible. De-clutter everyday items from rooms, clear out trash cans, and take down personal photos. Add an extra dose of pizzazz with flowers placed on the dining room table. Remember to watch for your reflection in photos of tight spaces with mirrors such as bathrooms.
Buy Print Advertising
Image via Flickr by i am real estate photographer
Even though newspaper readership is on the decline, plenty of people still use their local newspaper for house hunting. Many papers offer special real estate sections on Sundays. If you plan to hold an open house, it’s a good idea to advertise this kind of event in the newspaper. Even though it costs more, consider running an ad with a dazzling photo of your home’s exterior.
Entice With Geography
You know the old saying: Real estate is all about location, location, location. For example, market San Juan Capistrano new homes to people who want to move out west. Or, appeal to those who love warm weather if you’re selling a condo in Florida. Marketing the location of your home may be as simple as including the name of the neighborhood or subdivision in all your print and digital ads.
Whether you use a realtor or handle the marketing entirely on your own, you need to have an online presence. For do-it-yourself real estate marketing, make sure you post your home on Zillow and Trulia for free. Start a blog about your house, and be sure to incorporate the city and state and all the appropriate details about your home.
You can also pay a couple hundred dollars to get your home entered into your area’s MLS or “multiple listings service” and Realtor.com. Both offer increased exposure to potential buyers. Once you’ve established an online presence, it’s relatively affordable to promote your blog posts or listing on social media platforms such as Facebook, and you’ll be able to target your posts to specific groups of people. Many of the people looking for houses are going to be first time home buyers. There are many resources for first time home buyers, which includes browsing online databases to narrow their searches.
Promote Your Home’s Unique Features
While some realtors may advise you to downplay the quirky aspects of your home or property, realize that those features could be the very reasons someone decides to buy your house. If you have an oversized garage, play it up in your marketing as a bonus that’s especially attractive to people who need extra storage space. Have a separate garage with living quarters in the upstairs? Advertise it as additional living space for an adult son or daughter who still lives with his or her parents.
Put up a Sign
It’s a basic, but highly effective strategy that assumes people who want to live in your neighborhood may drive through it in search of “for sale” signs. These signs also help generate word of mouth marketing. For instance, someone who lives in your neighborhood may tell their friend who’s moving to the area from out-of-state that your house is on the market. Add a QR code to your sign to direct potential buyers to your online listing.
In isolation, none of these tools is effective. Use two or more to reach as many buyers as possible.
Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.