We are currently in a buyers' market and many agents are complaining saying that it is tough to sell their listings. I disagree. I think this is the perfect market to be in and the perfect job is to be in real estate. Here are a few ways to get your listings sold.
1. Price right
Price your listing not where the market is currently, but where it is going to be. Overpricing a listing is like getting in credit card debt...your situation never seems to improve. If you overprice a listing you will always be chasing the market, so price it where the market WILL be. Do you want to lead the market or follow the market?
Pricing a listing right will set a tone to both agents and buyers. It will tell them that you want to sell the house rather than just show it.
Stay ahead of the market always, in this market you have to keep a close watch on what the market is doing. Just because you price a listing where the market will be today doesn't mean that's where the market will be tomorrow. Keep a watchful eye on the market.
2. Create lead generation and customer relation management (CRM) systems
It is important to have systems in place so no leads fall through the cracks and so that you are constantly making contact or "touching" your future clients. I say future clients because you need to stop thinking of them as prospects. You don't realize it, but by referring to leads as prospects you're already setting yourself up for failure. From now on refer to prospects as future clients, because after all...anyone you come into contact with should be a future client.
The key to lead generation and management is responsiveness. Respond back in the same way the lead contacted you and respond as quickly as possible, or have systems in place that will respond for you. For instance, if someone contacts you through your web site be sure that you have an auto responder in place to notify them that you received their submission and that you will soon contact them.
3. Boost your co-op commission
Remember you aren't just selling the buyer on purchasing the house...Realtors whether they will admit it or not can have an influence on a buyer. Maybe boosting the co-op commission will just get your listing into that agent's "preview" or "show" pile instead of a lower commission listing. Or maybe in the event of a buyer deciding between two houses it will help the agent see things in one house vs another that they wouldn't have otherwise seen.
I have seen this work time and time again. I've seen listings on the market for over a year and this simple tactic can lead to them closing within 30 days.
4. Stage it properly
I remember my first encounter with this concept...I thought it was silly. However, I went to a listing appointment in which the seller made the statement, "now that I have the house staged, I don't want to sell it." Funny. I use to think it was silly to stage a home to sell it, but now I won't move into a place without having a stager come out and work with me. I want to enjoy my home and not make this kind of statement when it comes time to sell.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression. I strongly recommend hiring a stager...the before and after pictures in many cases will look like two different houses.
Be sure to take high quality photos or hire a professional to do so. Remember you only have one chance to make a good first impression.
5. Get to know your neighbors
This isn't the most creative tip I have to offer, but it is a valuable one nonetheless.
Introduce yourself to the neighbors of your listing, let them know that you are listing their neighbors house and that they will see a lot of unusual movement around the house, but to not be immediately alarmed because it is probably another agent showing the house, however should they see anything suspicious call you right away to confirm if there is a showing or not. This will not only impress the neighbors, but the neighbors will rave to your sellers about you.
Reach out even further. Send postcards to all the homes in the subdivision, go door to door and get face to face. This is your chance to introduce yourself to future clients as well as an opportunity for you to get to know the community and find out if perhaps someone has a friend that would like to move into the subdivision.