Most real estate professionals have a litany of reasons why property owners shouldn't enter the sales market alone, especially in the complicated New York City landscape. After all, a For Sale by Owner listing is taking a possible commission right off the table for a sales agent. However, I want everyone to succeed when it comes to real estate, whether you're my client, my peer or a potential FSBO seller.
With that in mind, I'm happy to provide my best tips for bringing your home to market successfully in 2020:
1. Know Your Customer
Selling anything — whether it's a home or a raincoat — starts with understanding your potential customer. Are buyers for your home likely to be first-timers, downsizers, growing families, DIY-savvy investors or established professionals? The size, condition and location of your property will help you determine who might be interested. For example, a four-bedroom single-family house in Queens will likely draw families, while a one-bedroom in Manhattan might be perfect for relocating professionals or urban retirees. Once you've drilled down to your desired audience, you will know how to position and market your home effectively — more on that below.
2. Do Your Research
Researching and studying the comparable sales in your area is critical in pricing your property competitively in an ultra-crowded buyer's market. Familiarize yourself with every nearby home that's up for sale and visit open houses to get a firsthand look at their quality and condition. It's no surprise that when comparing similar homes, price is the most important factor for buyers. Pricing can determine whether a property gets an offer in days or sits on the market for months, losing thousands, even millions, of dollars in profit. Doing the legwork and pricing your home well will make all the difference to your success.
3. Prepare Your Home
Once you understand your customer and your competition, you'll be in an excellent position to ensure your home makes a great impression. If every home for sale in your area is of premium quality, you may need to do some upgrading to capture attention. However, if neighborhood homes are modest or appeal to bargain buyers, installing new marble countertops is probably overkill that will eat away at your profits. Nearly every home benefits from some strategic staging, but you don't necessarily need to hire a professional stager to do so. There are several great guides for staging and decluttering online; the overarching goal is to create a clean and minimalist (but not empty) palette in which buyers' can envision their new life. With thorough decluttering, staging and smart home improvements, your home will shine against the competition.
4. Think BIG When it Comes to Marketing Strategy
In the current real estate market, a creative marketing strategy has never been more important. You must make your home visible where your target buyers are likely to look. Relying on a single post to StreetEasy or Zillow won't always do the trick anymore. Don't be afraid of launching a social media advertising campaign for your listing; it's much easier and less expensive than you might imagine. For larger, big-ticket properties, consider a print ad placement in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times real estate section. Other print media can generate great results as well depending on your audience. I would recommend a placement in the World Journal if your target buyer is Chinese for example. While pricier than most online ads, premium publications do a great job of reaching interested buyers with deeper pockets.
5. Understand the Buyer Experience
While your focus may be on selling, being familiar with the buying process is another sure-fire way to get your home sold. Understanding their needs in today’s challenging market is integral to communicating effectively with your prospective buyers. Sellers often need to assist buyers during the entire process, so knowing ahead what to expect and when to lend a helping hand is definitely one of the most important aspects of successful closing. I have attached a simple and easy to understand homebuying process diagram below for your reference. If you’d like to know more about when a buyer needs a seller’s help, be sure to sign up on my website or follow me on social media!
Your trust is something Summer doesn't take lightly, that’s why she treats all her clients like family, giving them sound advice and working in their best interest to make the process seamless.