By Kari Klaus, Founder of RealtySage.com
If you’ve upgraded your home in the past 10 years then you’ve probably added smart technology like NEST thermostats, or why you chose Alexa powered lights and Ring doorbells and likely some energy efficient or water saving features. You may even have a home with solar, geothermal or high-efficiency HVAC systems.
And if your home has any of these things, it’s likely the result of one of two reasons; either you wanted to improve the home’s livability —making it more comfortable, easier to maintain, money saving and maybe to improve its environmental-friendliness. And/or you thought you’d get a greater return on investment when it came to sell the home with these premium features.
Well, both reasons are likely to be sabotaged when it comes time to sell and market your home to potential buyers. Don’t believe me? Take a look at real estate sites. They offer buyers pretty pictures and list the number of bedrooms and baths. But, where’s the information about how the home actually functions – including all those upgrades that you added to home? Those pretty pictures don’t do much for getting your return on your investment. In fact, if you’re lucky, there may be some hint at “energy efficient systems” or other premium features in the listing's comments section.
By the way, buyers only read those comments after they’ve liked your photos. It’s also very unlikely that potential buyers will understand the value and livability that those features bring to the home – the very reasons why you added them in the first place.
Pretty pictures aside, would you buy a car, a washing machine, or a TV without knowing any of the details about how they actually function? Instead trusting glamor photos and a salesperson unfamiliar with the functions and benefits to sell you one of those products? Even dishwashers give you an Energy Star rating and cars give you a mile-per-gallon rating upfront. There's a smarter way in real estate too.
The Wise Real Estate Market
To make it a smart market and to sell your home faster, capturing the greatest return on your investment, you’re going to need to do two things.
- Hire a real estate agent who actually knows what they are doing. It sounds simple but apparently most sellers don’t consider this whatsoever.
What typically happens is that most people go with someone who sold them their house many years earlier or from a referral of a friend or neighbor. And just like a blind date, what are the chances that it’s is going to be a good match for you? It may, but the chances are against you.
You’re hiring a professional and this professional needs to know their stuff. They need to be able to highlight the improvements and features in your home and how potential homebuyers can benefit from them.
So you need to find agents who actually have experience working with upgraded homes and/or those who also have received an extra credential like LEED, EcoBroker, or the NAR Green Designation. These professionals have the knowledge about these upgrades and features.
- The second thing you’re going to need is a website which can help market those features and more importantly convey their potential benefits to homebuyers. For example, that high efficiency HVAC system not only saves you money every month, it also helps to make the home more comfortable and uses less energy which is better for the environment.
That information is simply not readily available on any real estate site that may market your home for sale.
While some sites will give you the national coverage that you need to help market your home, it’s important to take the time to market your home properly on sites which can showcase your home’s benefits and with an experienced agent.
One of the leading sites to help you do this is RealtySage.com which provides you with the ability to showcase your home’s special features through the Sage Score and livability categories. You can even get a Sage Score certificate which you can pass onto the next homeowner. And its sister site, RealtySagePros.com ,can help you find the right local expert agent to help market your home for sale.
Realty Sage does not charge you to add your listing and the more information you offer, the greater the opportunity you have to increase your Sage Score. Give it a try.
Agents can create their own profile on RealtySagePros and connect with buyers and sellers in their area. Learn more at RS Pros How It Works
The author of this blog, Kari Klaus, is the Founder of RealtySage.com. Klaus is has been a licensed real estate agent for over a decade and found that upgraded properties, including her own, could not be marketed correctly in the real estate industry because of the way that MLS’s and websites aggregated and filtered property listing information. She came up with a way to improve both the marketing of homes, to make it easy for buyers to understand the benefits of features, and to better connect buyers and sellers to experienced and knowledgeable agents with RealtySage.com and RealtySagePros.com