By Paige Tepping
RISMEDIA, September 16, 2010--In today’s market, it takes more than painting and trimming the bushes to get noticed, to stand out, to make your home memorable. While home sellers across the country are resorting to dropping the price in order to make their home more attractive, it leads to one crucial question: what can I do differently to make my home stand out?
Larry Nusbaum, Resolution Assistance Contractor for the FDIC, offers the following tips for home sellers looking to differentiate their homes from the numerous homes that are on the market today.
1. Get lighted signage that’s illuminated even after dark. This will give prospective buyers extra time to see your home as they don’t have to depend on sunlight.
2. If you or your agent are hosting an open house, be sure to serve light snacks and hand out something that attendees will remember. You want something that will be a positive reminder of your home—seasonal gifts are the perfect way to stay top of mind. Be sure to at least have pens and key chains with your agent's name and contact information on them.
3. Create an informational flyer with all the local conveniences you can find: shopping, schools, universities, hospitals, malls, restaurants, gas stations and attractions in the area, in addition to local police and fire stations, even school bus pick up locations. Assume your open house attendees don’t know the neighborhood.
4. Hand out information pertaining to your home as well as information on the other listed properties in the area showing that your house is the best value.
5. Do some staging to make sure your home looks its best.
6. Be sure to offer incentives. Some examples include a Lowe's gift card, paying for a year’s worth of yard care or a free session with a landscape architect, offering a $1,000 landscape allowance, paying for a years worth of homeowners fees, offering $1,000 for new appliances or any home improvement, offering a new carpet allowance or paying for lawn service for a year—the possibilities are endless.
7. Paint the garage floor (concrete paint). Making the garage look fresh and clean will make the whole house feel newer.
8. Send letters to all the neighbors inviting them to “pick their neighbor,” and be sure to include information about your home and the open house. Give them an incentive to talk about your home with other individuals in their sphere of influence. (i.e. a $200 gift card if they find your buyer).
9. Put up signs in your front yard and be sure to hang up as many directional signs as the neighborhood allows.
10. Put out flyers in surrounding shopping areas.
11. Have your agent create a video of your home and put the virtual tour on the Web.
12. Have your agent post ads on Craigslist and on any other free online listing sites you can find.
13. E-mail HR departments at local companies as many employees prefer to live close to their jobs but don’t make time for the house hunting process. This will make it easy for employees to find your home.
By Paige Tepping