What does your real estate broker actually “DO” to get your Seattle-area home sold quickly?
Being a good real estate broker largely comes down to being excellent at a variety of specific skills. One of those is marketing. The “Agent Hacks” in this article are marketing tricks and techniques we use (and you should be aware of) when it comes to getting your King County home sold quickly and for the best price.
Everyone trying to sell a house in the Seattle market obviously wants to sell it fast and for big bucks. (See, those psychology classes DID come in handy!) To this end, most sellers spend a good amount of time, effort, and money making repairs and renovations, hoping it will all translate into a fast sale. That’s definitely an important part of the process – a home in poor condition won’t sell fast (and for top price). But there’s more to it than that. Take a look at these secret agent hacks for a fast sale in Seattle.
Agent Hack #1. Watch Your Language – Salesmanship In Print
Have you ever thought “copy writing” would be important when it came to real estate? It is. Although a picture’s worth a thousand words, the language you use to position the home they’re looking at helps (subconsciously) tell people how to look at a deal.
Observe the power of the pen… Is this home:
- A “Great investment?” or “Rental use for last 10 years?”
- In an “Up and coming area?” or “Less desirable Neighborhood?”
- “Ready for your paint and imagination?” Or “Needs repair, lots of deferred maintenance?”
The words we choose to describe a house can have a big impact on how people perceive its value. That’s a powerful “agent hack” to be aware of when you’re buying as well as selling…
Especially for online listings, the words you use matter immensely, so most good real estate brokers are careful to use the right keywords and the most effective descriptors. For example, check out these statistics.
- Lower-end homes that have the word “luxurious” in the listing, have been found to sell for 8+% more than expected.
- And higher-level homes with “captivating” as a descriptor in the listing sell for 6.5% more.
But you can’t just throw around any word you want as one of the agent hacks in Seattle. If, for instance, you market your home as luxurious, it will need at least some high-end finishes and appropriate amenities. There must be something to back up the listing claims. People don’t want to feel like the house’s merits are being exaggerated or that they are being misled. In the real estate world, this is called “puffing” and it’s against the rules!
Also, certain words should be avoided, words like “fixer” and “TLC,” which are immediate red flags for most buyers. According to the same study, when listings contained the words “fixer” or”investor,” the homes sold for less than expected.
On the other hand, if you are marketing a property to a real estate investor, this could be a good strategy to attract your true target audience. Many investors search the MLS for “keywords” like this which help them find the types of properties they like to buy. In this case, using the right words could get your house in front of the right kind of buyers and help them find it and make you an offer more quickly.
Agent Hack #2. Use 20+ Professional Photos, Inside and Out
I said it before and I’ll say it again: A picture says a thousand words. Another one of the effective agent hacks for a fast sale in Seattle is as simple as including plenty of high-quality photos in online listings. Homes with few photos are significantly less likely to sell within 60 days. Experts recommend, then, including 20+ sharp, clear photos.
At HomePro Associates, we always hire professional “house photographers” to capture the best images possible for your home, after it’s been repaired, staged, and cleaned. Our photographers have the right kind of lenses to show a large amount of interior space. They also understand lighting and exposure, so your home looks great inside and out. In addition, when needed, they can edit the photos to make sure the sky looks blue, the grass looks green and harsh lighting, shadows or other temporary problems are not featured in your home’s marketing pieces.
Agent Hack #3. Show Me The Money! Price It Right
Sure, most people want to get all the money they can out of the sale of their home. Sometimes owners can be tempted to “overprice” their homes to “test the market” and see if they can wring extra money out of their home sale.
As it turns out, this is not always a good idea.
Pricing right isn’t so much one of the agent “hacks” we recommend – it’s more like an absolute necessity. For a fast sale of your home, you have to price in the “sweet spot” – neither too high nor too low… and within the buyers’ price range and online search parameters. If you price too low, you’ll lose money and buyers may think something is wrong with your house. If you price too high, it may languish on the market a long time… then you’ll be forced to drop your price and drop your price until you find the right price range, but at that point buyers again wonder if something is wrong with the property. It’s very psychological. If no one else wanted it… buyers feel they don’t want it either.
Pricing is one area where it pays to use experienced agents. They can run the comps and help you find the right price. Our team-based approach and market research helps us ensure that your home is priced appropriately when it hits the market.
Avoid the temptation to price your home too high with the thought that you will later reduce the price during negotiations. This can back-fire as explained above. A buyer who loves the home and feels he is getting a good deal will be less likely to push too hard when it comes to negotiating after inspections, as he will be afraid he will lose the home and you will sell it to someone else.
Agent Hack #4. Don’t Make It Personal: Remove Yourself
Have you ever gone into a house and smelled something you didn’t like? Have you looked at someone’s art and found it distasteful? Did you see paint colors in the bedroom that you knew would keep you awake all night?
Another one of the simple agent hacks for a fast sale in Seattle is just to remove anything from your house that marks it as your home and impresses your personality on it. Take down your idiosyncratic art and nick-knacks, take down family photos, and paint over weird colors. The goal is to remove your personality fingerprints in order to neutralize your home to make it appear as a blank canvas and a model home. Potential buyers should be able to envision it as their own home filled with their own belongings.
Agent Hack #5. Hello World! Harness Technology to Market The Home
Another great agent hack for a fast sale involves using social media to effectively find potential buyers and get your home in front of them so they can fall in love! Some buyers don’t even know they’re in the “market” to buy a property until the right home serendipitously crosses their path!
Social media, especially Facebook, is a great marketing tool for real estate (and lots of other things, too). People don’t use it specifically in their searches, but social media now has far reach and great influence. So social media postings announcing your home for sale with a link to listings can be a powerful marketing tool. Mostly likley, this will need to be backed by a targeted ad-spend in order for it to appear on enough of the right “feeds” to make a difference.
At HomePro Associates, we build technology-based marketing into all our new home listings. We want your property to get appealingly revealed to the right types of people – Facebook can find them based on location (where they live) and interests. If they have shown the internet world they are thinking about buying a home (Facebook and Google track your digital footprints better than any private eye ever could), we can put your house in front of them and start convincing them their next move should be into your home for sale!
A fast sale at a good price is always a seller’s goal. And these agent hacks for a fast sale in Seattle can help you attain it. Even better is to call on the services of a local real estate professional (…cough….that’s us… cough) who may be able to help you with an even faster sale.