How to make the most money when selling your home

tiffany box So what is the Secret sauce to selling your home?

There are two basic building blocks to selling your house:
1) Do basic work to improve the houses condition (clean up, paint etc) and,
2) Price the house correctly (considering houses condition and amenities as compared to other similar houses).
While these statements are a starting point, they don’t tell the whole story about maximizing your return on the sale of the home.
There is a THIRD building block
Marketing presentationThe third block and the secret to maximizing your return is to maximize online advertising (Professional Marketing), which enables a wider audience to see your home, and that improves your odds of getting a higher price and a faster sale of your Alexandria home.
 
Professional Marketing –  At one time in the industry, putting your home up for sale entailed completing items 1) and 2) above inputting the information into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

With so much information available on the multiple internet Real Estate sites, getting your home to stand out from the others is the major goal.

While Price and Condition are still important factors, how your home is presented online will be a determining factor in getting the prospective buyer to get out of their chair, turn off their computer and visit your home in person.  
 
In case you haven’t considered why major Luxury product companies like Tiffany, Rolex and countless others spend so much money on packaging and marketing, the reason is simple, Presentation SELLS. It Not only Sells but at a HIGHER PRICE POINT than the same product without the beautiful presentation.

Imagine for a minute receiving two gifts, One, a gorgeous crystal vase inside a Tiffany blue box, perfectly wrapped including the carefully placed bow, and the other gift, the exact same crystal vase but wrapped in newspaper and tied with a string. Which one would you be more eager to open first? The answer is clear. The reason those Luxury brand companies spend money on advertising (on-line and otherwise), is because its a proven effective method that works!

Your home for sale is your product and my job is to present it with the same attention to detail as any Luxury product.  Our goal is to catch a potential buyers attention and motivate them to take the time to see your home for sale in person.  A great first impression, and you only get one chance, motivated the potential buyer and impresses on them that your home is special, better than the competition.
 
Selling Real Estate is an ever changing process and we must adapt to the current times, and leverage newer methods, to maximize the sales price of your home. Hiring a marketing savvy Real estate agent who understands all aspects of selling your home (Marketing, Price, Condition) will reap you the greatest reward – HIGHEST POSSIBLE SALES PRICE.

 noise webWith the huge volume of Real Estate related information on the internet, some of it very good some not so good, it is quite hard to cut through the noise and understand what is best given current market conditions, conditions which vary by season, available inventory, mortgage rate environment and many other lesser factors.If you were on the Late Night show being interviewed by Steven Colbert, you wouldn’t need to worry about your hair, makeup or how to dress, his  production team will do all those chores and help you look your best. The same thinking applies to hiring a Real Estate professional – they understand reading, pricing and marketing your home in order to maximize your return.Here are some, of the Tools of the Trade for the Professional Real Estate Marketing Agent:

1 (2)staged homeProfessional photography – First Impressions are important and the best way for your home to make a great first impression is with Great Photography. The First encounter a prospective buyer may be on-line. If the pictures of your home are not “picture perfect”, the person will not continue to scroll down to the remarks. What a professional Real Estate photographer is looking for is not only great angles but also the best possible lighting. In many other types of

First Impressions are important and the best way for your home to make a great first impression is with Great Photography. The First encounter a prospective buyer may be on-line. If the pictures of your home are not “picture perfect”, the person will not continue to scroll down to the remarks. What a professional Real Estate photographer is looking for is not only great angles but also the best possible lighting. In many other types of

What a professional Real Estate photographer is looking for is not only great angles but also the best possible lighting. In many other types of photography photos can be re-touched adjusting or modifying elements to make the object of the picture look the best. In Real Estate we CAN NOT ALTER the condition of the house by modifying photographed elements.  Although altering is done for other types of photography; Food, architecture and modeling – in Real Estate, the photographs must not hide the real condition of the house, you can’t photoshop holes in the walls and floors.

One process that naturally enhances a room is the High Dynamic Range (HDR) process.  In this process the camera takes the same shot three times in very rapid succession, using different light apertures etc each time, and then combines the three samples into a single “perfect” picture.


Wide Angle (WA) lenses (not Fish Eye which distort the view) are also used. I prefer a 17mm WA lens, it gives enough depth to capture more space and reduces the curves at the edges of a the photograph.
Of course it’s best to have a great looking space before the pictures are taken, you can only achieve this by professionally staging your home.

2Videos –  Not just slideshows, but live videos, which show the approach to the home, perhaps the surrounding neighboring homes, your homes upgrades, community amenities, community features etc.  The video can also include you, the current owner talking about what you loved about the home when you first bought it – the prospective buyer might also fall in love with your home the same way you did.
You have probably heard or seen Drone videos of Real Estate. Drones are now tightly regulated by the FAA, especially in the Washington DC area due to the proximity to National Airport, The White House etc.  The industry is shying away from the use of drones to market small lot, single family homes.
YouTube is he second most popular search engine, right behind Google search. Adding the right YouTube video to your listing will increase your odds of being found by the perfect buyer for your home.  I remember the first “walkthrough video” I shot for one of my listings. Funny thing happened, when I edited the clips I noticed the family dog (I missed the little guy when I was taping) in the house just walking around minding his own business. I thought it was cute. About two weeks later a buyer put and offer and bought the house. I asked them at the settlement table what was it about the house that made them decide on it. They said they loved watching the dog walking around and how comfortable he felt in the space and thought that their dog (the same breed) would be probably be just as comfortable. Of course they liked the house too, but sometimes creating a “vision for living” in a space using the best Video marketing techniques, can provide the heartfelt details that can’t likely be captured by a still shot.

Watch my AMATEURISH “second video” Embarrassed but Hey! this house sold in a DAY. So that’s not bad 

 

3Matterport –  

This is a new type of video photography that has recently increased in popularity. I foresee this as a great feature for large luxury properties where the floor plan might not be easily recognizable, or perhaps those homes for sale that need to show a particular feature that is hard to convey with regular video or still photographs. 

The process consists of several pictures showing encompassing a 360 view of each room.  The process creates a picture that you can click through and “walk through” the entire house, seeing every inch. It makes for a fantastic depiction of a home. 

Though a fabulous invention, I would caution the use of this method for every house as it might deter a prospective buyer from actually visiting your home because they feel they have seen every inch of it already. 

Videos, photos etc area fantastic tools, but will never replace the in-person experience of touring a home for sale, especially a luxury home for sale.

The goal is give enough information to entice someone to visit the home but not too much that the feel they have already been there.

See the following Sample from the company

http://tour.homevisit.com/view/82725?v=3d

 

4Social Media Ads – This is an incredible marketing tool for selling homes.  Facebook has been increasing its user base with an estimated 2,000,000 FB users in the United States alone. Most of those users are at the home buying age.  Mark Zuckerberg and this team like to change things all the time, so staying current with their latest improvements requires time and patience. With a FB Business account (Power editor version) I can target, in great detail, specific audiences in marketing Real Estate products – INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE.   Once we determine who the prospective audience for your home is it’s a matter of targeting those with specific FB ads. Of course there are other social media as well, and all of them are also leveraged. People like to ask their friends opinions about anything before they buy, houses are no different.

5Professional Design MaterialsStunning graphics are also a must. You wouldn’t appreciate a mid-century modern house depicted in a brochure that is stuck in the 1950’s. Of course not, Great looking documentation is part of a whole package. All these materials need to convey what the house has to offer and although pictures can not alter the actual physical condition of the home, they can present the home for sale in the best possible light.  The best possible light starts with Professional Staging.  I can’t stress enough the importance of staging. Not all staging requires tons of money or the addition of tons of new furniture. You might already have pieces in your won home that could be re-purposed and re-positioned. Your Real Estate agent might include in their marketing package curated pieces of their own to enhance the look of special rooms in your home for sale. Not trinkets, but special pieces, carefully located following the staging principles of a Certified Stager

My Final Thoughts:
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), most people sell their homes using the Realtor that sold them their home or another Realtor that was recommended by a friend. This is great if they recommend a Realtor who is a master in marketing, but unfortunately only a very small percentage of realtors are. It is like going to a dentist that still has 20-year-old equipment in their office, you feel some apprehension about them working on your teeth.  The lack of investment and implied disrepair makes you wonder what else might they be missing or dated.

Find an agent that knows the latest Real Estate marketing approaches including social media marketing and give your home sale the attention it deserves – AND MAXIMIZE YOUR SALES PRICE

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Patricia S Harris
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Patricia S Harris

REALTOR®+Architect at eXp Realty
If you’re looking to sell your luxury home in Old Town Alexandria VA, your luxury condominium in Arlington VA or your luxury mansion in Washington DC you’ve come to the right place!.I am a full time real estate professional in VA, DC and MD that will market your home with the latest technology and proven systems and help you net the most money in the least amount of time. I am a Certified Luxury Home Specialist member of the Institute for home luxury marketing.

If you are looking to buy a Luxury home in Old Town Alexandria, a luxury townhouse in Arlington, or a luxury home in Washington DC, Give me a call at 202-681-1621. With a background in Architecture I can find the perfect home for you in the least amount of time. I am aware of my clients' busy schedules.
Patricia S Harris
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