(1) The marketing plan:
Is it fair to ask a Realtor for a detailed marketing plan? The fact is that if you are interviewing an experienced professional, you shouldn’t have to ask. Certainly, if you are going give your Realtor the keys to selling your Ocala home, you are entitled to know what techniques he or she will employ to maximize your home’s exposure to Realtors and potential buyers.
A marketing plan should begin by detailing what steps you can take to prepare your home for listing. Once you have done your part to get your home ready, a topic we will discus in detail in a future post, it is time to put the marketing plan into action.
You should expect your agent to ask you about features you are excited about and to present them prominently in the marketing materials. Photos, video tours and virtual meetings are particularly important tools of the trade in this environment where social distancing and wearing masks are the keys to staying safe.
Of course, you will want to know what media will be used to promote your home. The first step is to let the Realtor community know that your home is listed for sale. Will your agent simply display it on a multiple listing service to give it exposure to local professionals? Will he or she launch an email campaign to alert Realtors? Does your Realtor have the resources to reach out to colleagues throughout Florida, or even throughout the world? Since the opening of the World Equestrian Center in Ocala is expected to draw people from far and wide, global outreach is becoming an important capability with respect to certain properties. Therefore, consider that the more flexibility your Realtor has in reaching out to fellow professionals, the more successfully he or she can tailor a plan that best suits your home.
Additionally, where your home will be featured is important. Will your Realtor display it on multiple social networks? Will it be spotlighted in internet ads on Facebook and Google? What signage will be displayed on your property and how accessible will your Realtor be to interested parties?
Of course, these are just some of the questions you’ll want to see addressed in a professional marketing plan. It is a key to evaluating the quality of representation you will receive.
(2) How often should we have an open house?
Clients often overestimate the value of an open house. The truth is that very few sales result directly from visits to such events. In fact, studies show that if a Realtor is new to the area or to the business, he or she will benefit more from an open house than the sellers. It will give the Realtor an opportunity to meet neighbors, establish relationships and gain selling and listing opportunities. Often, the fact that clients expect open houses is the primary reason why experienced Realtors include them in marketing plans. However, in the shadow of the pandemic, the issue of whether it is wise to have a social gathering of strangers in your home may be your most important consideration.
(3) How should I prepare for a showing?
On the day of a showing, make sure your house is spotless. Floors need to have that just washed or vacuumed look. Bathrooms need to be sparkling clean and neatly organized. You must declutter your Kitchen to make it a show place. Your grass and landscaping should look like your gardener has just serviced them. Since potential buyers are often curious about storage spaces, keep your closets neat and organized too.
Don’t cook foods like cabbage the night before since bad odors can linger. On the other hand, baking some cookies shortly before a showing may provide an enticing smell. Also, make sure to put away family photos since studies show that buyers can visualize living in a home much better without such distractions.
Shortly before potential buyers arrive, you must ready your home for showtime. Turn on every light in the house. If its a daytime showing, open window coverings to accentuate attractive views. Make sure to air out the home and keep it comfortably cool or warm, depending on the weather conditions. Remember that strong first impressions produce offers.
Finally, please take a walk, go shopping or relax at your favorite cafe until your realtor signals that the showing in over. If you aren’t present, potential buyers may jump in and ask questions they may not feel comfortable asking with you present and proactive buyers are more likely to present offers.
(4) How do I respond to a low ball offer when selling an Ocala home?
Think of a low ball offer as an attempt to start negotiations, nothing more and nothing less. Don’t react emotionally or take it as a personal affront. To get the best results in selling your Ocala home, you should approach the process dispassionately. For example, you would be wise to use your counter offer to demonstrate to the prospect that you are serious about selling, but only at a fair price. You may be pleasantly surprise when negotiations evolve into the contact for sale you had hoped for.
(5) Selling an Ocala Home: Why isn’t anybody looking?
Currently, the inventory of homes is very low. But fear of the pandemic and high unemployment have reduced demand as well. Still, Realtors show and sell homes every day. Among the keys to selling an Ocala home is implementing the right pricing strategy. If you are not seeing showings, you may have priced your home above market. Sometimes sellers, having limited experience with marketing real estate, are afraid to leave money on the table. Therefore, they price their homes higher than they should in order to test the market . However, the market faces such tests every day. After all, listings do expire and houses do sell after languishing on the market and seeing multiple price reductions. Consequently, wouldn’t it be wiser to save time and stress by looking at the data and learning from others’ experiences?
One final note: We are living in unusual times and our prime concern should be to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Therefore, you must prioritize learning how your Realtor does business and how procedures have evolved to take into consideration the safety of all concerned.
Plan ahead and let wisdom replace emotion. These are the keys to selling an Ocala home in a stress free, successful real estate transaction.
Andrew Kruglanski, Broker
Ocala Home Guide Realty, LLC
website: Ocala Homes Online