The other night, Loreena Yeo and I did a show at the SWS Virtual Studio on the topic of getting listings SOLD quickly. And yes, assuming there is a buyer in existence for a property, it is entirely possible to sell a house in a matter of weeks, not months. In fact, that should be every listing agent's goal - that their listings sell to the first "real" buyer who comes along... or maybe the second or third on an off-day ;-]
The basic premise of our show was that if you know how to price and prepare a home for market, and if houses are selling in that market, a listing can and should sell quickly. Assuming the seller agrees to your pricing and preparation recommendations, of course (which I'll write about soon).
During the show, we got a little flack for this message from listeners who wanted to know how Loreena MARKETS her listings to ensure that quick sale. Sort of a "yeah, yeah, yeah, we know pricing and staging are important, but what about the MARKETING?"
Loreena responded with "I don't do anything special. I just sit back and wait for offers."
That apparently didn't sit well with some listeners. They didn't seem to want to believe that marketing isn't the deciding factor in the success or failure of an attempted home sale. But I agree with Loreena 100% - as I've said many times, Houses Aren't Pet Rocks - no amount of marketing will inspire a buyer to buy a home he doesn't want, if there are better houses on every other corner.
Whether or not a listing is going to sell is determined before the sign goes in the yard. Once that sign is in the yard and the "product" hits the market, our systems take over and the market will determine whether or not it approves... and no amount of marketing will change how the market feels about it.
In case I wasn't clear, I believe that we real estate gods and goddesses earn our money in the pre-listing phase (and then later in the contract-to-closing phase), but not really all that much during the actual "marketing" phase.
But to accept and embrace this philosophy will require a massive paradigm shift in our industry. After all, we're SALESPEOPLE! We SELL houses! So, obviously, it must be our MARKETING that is the most important factor in the sale, right?! And besides, our sellers aren't WILLING to do all that work ahead of time ("I asked and they said no way, Ho-Zay"), so the best we can do is price it right and market the heck out of it!
Well, um... I'll just say this. That attitude is pretty much the norm in our industry, and maybe it's just me, but I seem to have noticed a little stagnancy in the real estate market lately, like, for the last several years? That houses aren't exactly screaming off the shelves? You think that maybe, just maybe, the "norm" is WRONG?
And maybe, just maybe... there's a better way?