Thursday, August 03, 2006

Marketing and selling are two different things. Marketing is the calculated and planned campaign to bring buyers to the property. Selling is showing the buyer why the property is best for him. Marketing in the sellers' market we have had in the last few years has been non-existent. Now is the time to learn how to market a house.

There are several methods you can use to garner interest in a property without spending a lot of money. The first thing you should do is "tell the neighbors". Either walk the neighborhood, or mail post cards, or get on the phone to let the neighbors know the house is on the market. A lot of time the neighbors know people who are interested in buying in that neighborhood. They also may know a lot about the house, do know about the schools, distances to services and the values of living in that location. They can "talk up" the house to friends, but they do need to know it is available for sale. Every once in a while, one of the neighbors will actually buy the house as either a move for themselves or as an investment.

Secondly, make sure all the agents who have listings in the same general price range and the same general location either get a personal call from you, a brochure on their desk or a personal invitation to the brokers open house. You want to make sure that they can get in to show the house at any time. Make sure they know you would appreciate any feed back they have to offer. Ask if any of them are interested in a neighborhood open house weekend with mutual advertisement.

Third, attack the internet. In every location you can find, add the information about your listing. Set up its own web page. Use lots of pictures. Make sure your listing is "enhanced" in and is featured on your own web page. Publish cards and flyers with the web page addresses on them so everyone knows where to find out more information about your listing.

Next, investigate the costs and advantages of print advertising. Local and small papers surprisingly sometimes produce more calls than the big metropolitan papers. Look at advertising outside of the area both on internet sites and print media.

You should develop a plan and a check list for each listing, so everyone has the exposure they may need to get the property sold.