When you sign a Listing Agreement to sell your home through the Multiple Listing Services® (MLS) with the help of the De Laat Team of Niagara, your property receives unparalleled exposure among realtors and buyers in your market. While De Laat Realtors will use additional strategies and tactics to help sell your home, MLS is a central element of the marketing strategy that helps ensure a broad range of potential buyers are reached.
As previously mentioned, one of the most important elements in your selling plan with the De Laat Team is to start with the “right” price. If too high, the overall effectiveness of the marketing effort will be weakened. If set too low, you may cause potential buyers to wonder if there is an issue with the property and ultimately lose out on additional proceeds. It is best to work with one of the De Laat Team’s skilled realtors when choosing a price that will help meet your objectives.
Additionally, here are some other tactics that De Laat Realtors may use in the effective marketing of your home:
A direct selling tool: the “For Sale” sign
A simple but effective way to promote the sale of your home through the De Laat Team is through a “For Sale” sign. Constantly selling, without ever taking a break, they will represent your house 24-hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine. As a medium, these signs are sought out by potential buyers in general, but having a For Sale sign from a De Laat Realtor adds an extra layer of recognizability and confidence in the listing.
There are times when sellers are concerned that, by erecting a For Sale sign on their property, some privacy will be lost and people might knock on their door at all hours to make inquiries. While this remains a possibility, most buyers respect the seller’s privacy and do not make such advances. However, if someone does knock at your door to request a quick showing, politely decline and refer them to your De Laat realtor for an appointment.
Another reason homeowners sometimes are hesitant to erect a For Sale sign is that they do not want their neighbours to know they are selling. While the team at De Laat understand the hesitation, a significant advantage of these signs are that they inform your neighbours that your home is on the market. This knowledge can potentially lead to more quality prospects, as many people will often move within their neighbourhoods in search of a larger or more fitting home for their lifestyle. Also, they may pass along the news to friends, colleagues or relatives who may be interested living in your neighbourhood.
These signs offer additional advantages as well. In high traffic areas, a De Laat For Sale sign promotes your listing to numerous people driving and walking by. As a result, they can peak interest in someone passing by who might not have even thought about buying in your neighbourhood—or moving at all.
Another benefit is that when people see your lawn sign and contact us, they are partially qualified buyers—having already seen the property and the neighbourhood. They understand the location and have witnessed the architectural style and general condition of the house. When these people, who have all of this information, express interest and reach out for more details or to book a showing—well these are the potential buyers that the De Laat Team want to know about.
An “Open House” for realtors only
Occasionally, a De Laat Realtor may suggest opening your house to other Realtors on specific days, within selected hours, so they can inspect your home. Often, these realtors are already working with other buyers who might be interested in your property. When inspecting your home, they will often have buyers in mind and will not hesitate to act quickly if they sense that there is a good fit.
These open houses eliminate many single inspections and have proven to be a great way to showcase your home. Often, realtors will prefer to have the chance to see a property before showing it to their buyers. This provides an efficient way to allow them to have the opportunity to view the house and speak with your De Laat Realtor.
Another benefit in allowing other realtors to view your home during an open house is that they can offer their thoughts on the property’s strengths and weaknesses. Your De Laat Realtor will welcome these additional opinions and look to see if there is any other opportunities to enhance the marketability of your home.
Attract potential buyers with an open house
Often, buyers will look to get a sense of various neighbourhoods before starting to work with a realtor. Having open houses for the public is a great way to attract these buyers and can be a successful part in the marketing plan—helping reach people who might not have known about your home.
It is common for your De Laat Realtor to suggest having an open house for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Most people do not work on at least one of those days and will have time to visit neighbourhoods of interest. Your De Laat Realtor will discuss with you a few open house dates that fit your schedule.
Understandably, you will want to put your home’s “best foot forward”, having it in pristine condition before any public showings. Ways to make your home stand out can be found in Chapter 10.
During these open houses, your home will be accessible to the public—so being prepared and a little bit cautious will help ensure a secure and great experience for everyone involved. Your De Laat Realtor will have a few suggestions for you as noted below:
- Store or secure any valuables—especially smaller items that could be removed easily. Some items to consider removing from the premises would be jewelry, cameras, electronic devices, currency, and any other valuables.
- Make sure the space is clear of any potentials hazards—cords that could be tripped on, sharp table corners, low ceilings or overhead zones, unstable furniture that should not be sat on or anything else that could cause harm. It will be important that you and your De Laat Realtor walk through the area and asses anything that could potentially go wrong.
- Whenever there is a chance inclement weather, provide a place for boots, umbrellas, and jackets. It is also beneficial having a bench or chair situated near the door which can be used by your guests to help put their shoes or boots back on.
- Certain scents on arrival can be welcoming and pleasant for your guests, such as freshly baked bread, pie or cookies. You will want to avoid cooking foods with strong aromas—fish for example—before an open house.
- If your house has a fireplace, consult with your De Laat Realtor about having a fire during the open house. It can make a nice addition to the experience if they are able to tend to the fire in your absence.
To remain at home or not?
A question sellers will often ask their De Laat Realtor is if they should remain home during an open house. Their recommendation—preoccupy yourself outside of the home during an open house.
The main reason for this recommendation is that people viewing the home will be pre-occupied by your presence and feel that they are disturbing you—naturally causing them to rush their visit. Potential buyers need to be relaxed and feel free to enjoy your home while taking in all of its features. They are also more often reserved in offering their feedback about your home, which is not ideal because your De Laat Realtor will want to be able to handle any objections while properly assessing and qualifying prospects.
If you own any pets, make an effort to remove them from the premises during an open house. On top of potential allergies or phobias, the presence of barking dogs or cats on the prowl can be a significant distraction for potential buyers and possibly lower interest in your home.
A one-page, information sheet highlighting your home
Your De Laat Realtor will often prepare an information sheet that will include the key features and benefits of the property, along with some photos. Copies of this one-page sheet will be placed in a prominent location, usually on the kitchen counter or dining room table, so that buyers can easily obtain this information. They will often use this sheet as reference during their walk through and it also helps trigger their memory later when they are comparing the various properties they had visited.
You know your home and neighbourhood best. As a result, your De Laat Realtor will welcome any contribution you have regarding features about your home and neighbourhood when creating this sheet.
Attracting buyers through advertising
De Laat Realtors are highly knowledgeable in current methods to advertise your home and, depending on the market, time of year, and your specific circumstances, they will use a variety of advertisements as part of their selling plan. Some of the different types of ads available to your De Laat Realtor, include:
- Online: Many Canadians start their search for a home on the Internet. Your De Laat Realtor will place your home on MLS®, giving you exposure to all realtors, while also promoting your house on Canada’s most popular Internet residential real estate website, www.realtor.ca. In addition, they also have their own personal website and social channels that they can utilize.
- Google: With over 3.5 billion worldwide searches per day, it is no surprise that homebuyers will often search for properties through Google. The De Laat Team understands the importance of ranking high in these searches and has strategies in place to increase website traffic.
- YouTube: YouTube has over one billion users—which is almost one-third of everyone who uses the Internet—who watch over a billion hours of videos per day. As viewers lean away from traditional television, the De Laat Team understands understands that many people can be reached on YouTube, and other platforms, more efficiently.
- Facebook: There are 1.94 billion active monthly users on Facebook and the average time spent on the platform to engage and promote your home.
- Mailers: Creating an advertisement that features your home and is distributed throughout surrounding neighbourhoods has proven to be an effective way to advertise. At times, they are also sent out to past buyers and current clients of your De Laat Realtor.
- Other realtor contacts: Realtors are often great at networking and are active in the community—being involved in social organizations and local causes. This word-of-mouth advertising can be very important because one of their contacts could be the person who decides to buy your home.
House showings by other realtors
The De Laat Team will design a marketing plan that will aim to interest buyers into taking the next step towards purchasing—a home viewing. Aside from the open houses that we covered previously, the only time your home will be shown will be by appointment.
Buyers who are working with your De Laat Realtor will already be pre-qualified regarding their financial ability to purchase your house. Arrangements are then made for a convenient time to set up a showing through the realtor or through their office. Typically, if other realtors are involved, they will contact your De Laat Realtor who will then contact you.
Your De Laat Realtor will work with you to give as much notice as possible before the buyer and their realtor will arrive for a viewing. Occasionally however, the notice may need to be shorter so it is best to have your house maintained and ready for a showing at all times.
It’s okay if you’re not home
Schedules always vary and as a result, you may not be home when your De Laat Realtor calls to inquire about a possible showing. As selling your home is a team effort, most buyers will give their De Laat Realtor permission to show their home even if they can not be reached to confirm. Making these agreements is always recommended as it allows showings to be arranged around the potential buyers schedule.
It will be important to leave your home clean and presentable at all times—even if you are at work. Refer back to our discussion on open houses for points on having your home in a showable state. If you have older children, they will need to be part of the team in selling your home. It will be important that they know what to do if a showing is requested if they are home when you are not around. If needed, your De Laat Realtor can help you work out all of the details and help establish a procedure.
Another consideration in the showing of your home if you’re not present is that other realtors will need a way to get inside the house when no one is around. A common method is through the “lock box” system, where a small metal box is secured to an accessible place around the outside of your home—your front doorknob or a metal railing for instance. A key to your house is placed inside and Realtors will be given the code to this lock box in order to access the key. When the showing is complete, they return the key to the lock box and it is ready for the next showing. This helps ensure easy access for showings while also maintaining the safety of your property.
As we have outlined in this last chapter, not only is your De Laat Realtor highly knowledgeable in selling your home and up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry, they have a wide variety of tactics, strategies, and tools at their disposal in the marketing of your home. If you have any questions about the plan they come up with, feel free to ask! Your support will be instrumental in the successful sale of your home.