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More on How to Market a House

(A continuation of How to Sell a House)

By - 2006

We continue our look at how to market a house with some suggestions for photos, putting together a marketing package for potential buyers, and advertising.

Have Good Photos

Whether you are selling it yourself, or an agent is selling it for you, you need good photos of your home. The agent can take care of this, but what if it is a muddy, slushy March when you list your home for sale? The resulting photos won't be great marketing tools.

There are a couple things you can do about this. First of all, if you are thinking about selling your home, take photographs of it while the weather is nice. The best time may be in the late spring, when the grass is green and the flowers are blooming. If it is already the middle of winter when you decide to sell, watch for sunny days and take some photos before you even hire a real estate agent, just in case the weather is worse later.

If you are stuck with a slushy, muddy photo of your home, let the agent know that you will expect new photos in the listing information as soon as the flowers come out. I am amazed at how often I see ugly winter shots of a home in a summer real estate guide. Such photos not only don't show the home well, but also point out how long it has been for sale, arousing suspicion of problems in the minds of buyers. That's no way to market a house.

If you are doing your own photos, take many of the inside and outside of the home. It is a minor investment that can pay off big. Buyers browsing listings of homes for sale are often only stopping to read about the ones with nice photos. More photos means a better chance of some really good ones in the bunch, and also means more information for prospective buyers.

"Look at that kitchen!"

"Oh, look! There's a fireplace."

"Hey, this doesn't look so bad on the inside."

Have A Marketing Package Available

This is your job if you don't hire an agent. Some people will call you from other towns or states wanting information. Have a package to send to them if they seem serious. Include photos, all the basic information on your home, and information on the neighborhood and community as well.

For community information, contact your local chamber of commerce, or visitors bureau. They will have something that you can make copies of to send to prospective buyers. This may include information on the population, types of jobs available, parks, shopping opportunities and more.

Don't just gather this information and wait. Have at least several information packets ready and in envelopes. As soon as you have serious interest, drop a packet in the mail to the buyer, and follow up with a phone call several days later. The phone call is not only to see if they received the information, but to see if they are still interested, and if not, why? This kind of feedback will help you refine your approach to marketing your home.

Advertising

Time to make your words sell. As you place your ads in papers, real estate guides or online, pay attention to which ads get the phone ringing and which don't. Adjust your approach and experiment with different wording.
There are techniques to selling in print. You don't have to become an expert, but a few basics can go a long way towards getting that house sold faster. Here are some guidelines.

Sell Benefits Instead Of Features

Get the reader to imagine being in your home. The extra words you'll pay for to do this will be worth it. Your advertisement will stand out from the others. Here are some examples of typical and much better advertising.

Typical: "Near stores and parks."
Better: "Walk to the stores and parks in minutes."

Typical: "Garage."
Better: "Heated garage means no chipping ice off the windshield in the morning."

Typical: "Mountain view."
Better: "Watch the mountains from your large living room windows."

Typical: "Nice landscaping."
Better: "Enjoy flowers and fruit trees most of the year."

Typical: "Partially finished basement."
Better: "Carpeted basement could be a playroom for the kids or a party room for you."

Typical: "Large deck."
Better: "Soak up the sun on the large redwood deck."

Typical: "Lakefront."
Better: "Swimming and fishing are just a few steps away."

There are two more pages on how to market a house...

The book continues here: How to Advertise a House - Where to do it and what to say.


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