The 6 Secret Strategies to Selling Your Home in Today's Lousy Real Estate Market - That no one "Selling" is Telling

Home Stager with APSD - The Association of Property Scene Designers
Unless you have been living under a rock or perhaps have been on an extended vacation in some far flung part of the world where they make their own huts, and barter chickens, you should know all about the down turn in the real estate market. And if you are like many people, this is not good timing because you may want or need to sell your property, but don’t even know if it is possible. Well, it is, but you have to be willing to do a few things “outside of the box…” or in this case, outside of what you are watching on your favorite Home Show. There are 6 very specific strategies to selling homes in today’s market. These strategies work for every type of house, and every type of exit strategy. 1) Know your customer—In order to be able to deliver exactly the right property to the right person, you have to know who they are, what their family is about, and their preferences. We tend to market and present (Often known as “Staging”) a property for ourselves, appealing to our own tastes and sensibilities instead of that of our customer. When we learn who they really are and appeal directly to them, vs. ourselves, the property becomes unforgettable because it “spoke” to them. 2) Don’t over or under fix- In today’s market, the buyers have all the power so they can negotiate on every single term and they don’t have to be in a hurry because there are so many choices. If you under fix a property instead of making it “apples to apples” to the other properties for sale in the neighborhood, it becomes a wholesale property, not a retail property. If you Over fix, you take a chance on intimidating the customer, making it uncomfortable for them and their family (too nice, too formal) and ultimately you will over spend for the neighborhood. Because your buyer has so much negotiation power, they can wait on you to get desperate and sell at their price, not yours, which of course forces you to lose your ROI (Return on Investment) completely. 3) Never Show an Empty Property (or one that is dirty or in the middle of a rehab) - Don’t show a property until it is ready to be shown. The buyer will try to convince you that they can imagine the transformation, but really they can’t and you will lose them as a potential buyer. It is better to show the property when it is 100% ready to be shown. People will wait on it if you do a marketing campaign to entice them to register for a private showing while you are making the property unforgettable (Just like “coming soon” in the movie industry). If you don’t wait, then the property will still be unforgettable but more for the 2x4’s with nails in them and dead flies in the bathtub…not what you are going for! 4) Brake Stopping Curb Appeal—Most people believe this means mowing the lawn and picking up the grass. That is part of it, along with trimmed hedges, flowers and a mailbox in good condition. However, that is just the foundation of Curb Appeal. To make it Brake Stopping Curb Appeal, you really need to layer in Pockets of Emotion™ to catch their eye as they roll to a stop. Give them something to really enjoy, share with their family, sneak in for a closer peak, and tickle their funny bone. No one takes the time to do this and yet, if they did, your buyer would come to a dead stop, every single time. 5) Do Personalize- It seems as though we have always been taught to de-personalize a property. I’ll admit, that used to be the case. But just as fashion changes, so do people, trends, and selling strategies. In weak or poor real estate markets, it is especially important to add personality to the home. If, as a society, we did not want to see something personal, would Reality TV be such a hit? Give your home a personality. Add bits and pieces of the family that made the house a home, like little league announcements, report cards and a photo or two. Show them a “story” about the parents, kids and pets—just make sure you really define your customer, so in essence they will be seeing themselves in the home. 6) Create Simple Appeal with Pockets of Emotion™- Everyone wants to fall in love with their new home, so give them a reason to do so. A Pocket of Emotion™ is something that is selectively placed within the scene of each room that creates extreme emotion, laughter, gives pause, causes remembrance and ultimately lets the buyer make a strong connection and fall in love with the home. In other words, you have just created an “Unforgettable” home for your buyer. For more information on Karen Schaefer and her Proven Real Estate Marketing and Home Staging Selling Strategies, go to

Comments (3)

Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Some great points! The more the home seller is educated, there better the opportunity for success.

Nov 16, 2011 08:28 AM
Reno, NV

Karen, I think #3 is the most important....never show a property until it is ready to be shown! Great advice for marketing in todays  RE market. Thanks for the post.

Nov 16, 2011 01:47 PM
Sara Garden
Rocky Mountain Home Staging - Boulder, CO
MBA, HSE, HSR, APSD, Home Stager
Great points. I think your point about the right kind of personalization really should be embraced by the staging industry to avoid that cookie cutter staged look that is pretty but doesn't resonate with the buyers.
Nov 16, 2011 11:08 PM