In a world where the Internet makes marketing miracles possible and home data seems to flow free, every once in a while you’ll hear of someone attempting to buy or sell without an agent.
While some stories speak of success, they also reveal the time, expertise, and energy that go into a sale and the indisputable benefits of having an agent.
Here are four ways a recent story of an Australian owner taking charge of his property marketing showed that marketing and managing a home is a time-consuming undertaking and why now, more than ever, smart consumers need to use a real estate agent. The story was that, thanks to social media, a homeowner sold his Californian bungalow for $A1.05 million, $135,000 above the asking price.
1) Online marketing takes time and expertise
According to various Down Under news sites, the owner set up a website, blog, Twitter feed, YouTube videos, and a Picasa photo page for the home.
This story illustrates two things – both that online marketing works, and that it takes hours of effort. This home sold above its asking price as a result of the interest generated by a professional’s online marketing efforts — Opray is a professional online marketer who spent many hours every day promoting his home through these multiple channels. Most sellers don’t have this level of expertise or the time to spend on the effort.
Agent tip: Show sellers a detailed marketing plan for their home and keep them up to date on what’s happening with their property. Tools like Trulia’s Client Listing Reports can be a big help.
2) A home’s information alone is not enough – every home lives in a market
Opray was quoted in the National Business Review, “I know my house better than any agent. Who better to sell the house than me?”
This comment is typical of someone who doesn’t realize that knowing about a home is just the first step. The real key to moving a listing is knowing how that home fits into the market – and only a professional brings that kind of focus and real experience.
Agent tip: Show prospective clients a local market overview that demonstrates the deep expertise and knowledge you bring to the table. Trulia’s Local Pages can help you show data clearly.
3) Showings and connections sell homes
From TheMoveChannel.Com: “Opray aimed to bring as many buyers to the home’s blog as possible, giving them a personal insight into the house.””
To sell his property, Opray had to develop a following and create connections online. This is easy for agents, who are already tapped into a network of people buying and selling.
Agent tip: Your connections in your local and agent community matter to sellers. Your knowledge of local listings and buyers will remind them that they’ll benefit by working with you.
4) Even the smartest use an agent for expertise
Even with all of Opray’s social media efforts to help sell his home on his own, in the end he hired an agent.
Agent tip: Despite all the online resources available to home sellers today, they still need agents. Use these points in your listing presentations to demonstrate that the selling process, and the results, are more effective with an agent.