types of advertising are extremely effective. Others, while popular,
are big wastes of time and money. The key to selling your house
for top dollar -- even in a dismal market -- is simple: Implement
a broad-based campaign to generate spirited buyer competition for
your property. Advertising is not a cure-all. Glitzy advertising
won't sell a house that's in terrible condition, poorly marketed,
and overpriced, to boot. The following sections describe the most
effective types of advertising:
Sale sign: This is without a doubt, the single most effective
way to tell folks looking for a home in your area that your property
is on the market. Real estate brokers know that sign calls (people
calling to get more information about a house after they see the
For Sale sign) are far more likely to result in a sale than ad
calls (people calling about property they read about in an ad).
When ad callers find out the location of the property, the style
of the house or some other basic fact they would have already
known if they actually saw the property from the street, they
more often than not reject it. Sign callers, on the other hand,
obviously like the neighborhood and at least the property's exterior;
they have a higher probability of being serious buyers.
Listing Service (MLS): The (MLS) is operated by local real
estate brokers who all pool their listings so that information
about property listed by any MLS member is immediately available
to all participating members. Brokers and agents enter new listings
into the computerized database as soon as the listing contract
is signed. Price changes and sales are also same-day entries.
In most places, nonmembers (that is, the public) can't put property
into an MLS. An MLS listing gives your property wide exposure
to a potent pool of market-educated buyers currently working with
all other MLS members.
statement: This data sheet, also called a property statement,
is given to people who tour your property on Sunday open houses
or people who are shown through your house by appointment. Listing
statements are very effective point-of-purchase ads containing
more information than you can put into a newspaper ad or an MLS
listing. This sheet offers you a chance to wax poetic about the
special features of your property.
buttons: People don't buy houses. They buy hot buttons and
the house tags along. Hot buttons vary from one house to the next.
Gourmet kitchens, luxurious bathrooms, sensuous bedrooms, working
fireplaces, panoramic views, and lovely gardens are turn-ons.
So are huge, walk-in closets -- no one ever has enough closet
space. In densely populated metropolitan areas, garages can sell
services: In addition to the computerized multiple listing
service, leading brokers now have Internet Web sites that they
use to advertise their listings. This allows them to show multiple
photographs, virtual tours and to help buyers more efficiently
find properties. With more than half of all buyers beginning their
research on the Internet, this is increasingly an important advertising
medium for your house.
of mouth: This advice sounds so darn primitive coming right
after computers, but networking is an extremely effective form
of targeted advertising. Tell people you know -- friends, business
associates, folks who go to your church, club members, and especially
your neighbors that your house is for sale. Make a point of inviting
your friends and neighbors to your first open house. Who knows?
One of them may have a pal who would love to buy your house.
Next Step: Open Houses
To Seller Services