Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Watching The Competition Helps To Sell

While researching for my upcoming book about selling "your" home and getting the price "you" want, I stumbled across an agent doing an effective job of selling against the current local competition. That is all too rare of a find, even in this uncertain market.

Among the many problems with how agents advertise properties is that the vast majority of property advertisements do little to nothing to combat the "competition". As a home seller, you should be making sure your agent knows how and why to distinguish your home from others nearby.

I found the ad for a home at 3803 Landlubber St. in Orlando by looking for the home with the most bedrooms in its price range, and then looking to see if or how the listing agent presents it. Usually all this type of search does is provide me with more ammunition for my book and for my clients. But not this time.

This advertised home has five bedrooms, more than any other Orlando home within the $10,000 price range I chose. While I will grant you that a city wide search brings a lot of different quality neighborhoods and communities into play, I also couldn't help but notice that this nice looking five bedroom home is priced at less than a 3-bedroom home which is a foreclosure.

Although the specific ad, which I found on HomeFinder via a search on the Orlando Sentinel web site, could use some improving (as do about 99% of them!), I'm considering this one to be a positive because of the first impression it provides.

Having just one photo of any property, especially when most other ads in the same city and price range have multiple photos easily available, is not a good thing. At least in this instance the photo used is a very flattering exterior shot showing a well maintained lawn and garden, driveway and attached garage, and a well painted and trimmed home. It did make me want to see more, even though it is frustrating not to be able to.

The description copy highlights facts which are "outside" of the home, such as the fenced pool, new a/c unit, corner lot, "A" list schools, and being near restaurants and shops. Those are all important and, in this case, positive facts, which, again, makes me want to find out more.

This description copy also includes mention that "This is not a short sale or foreclosure so there is a quick response to all offers".

Sticking with this copy for a moment, it is all positive. Chances are the potential buyer for a five-bedroom home has a big family. Having an attached garage, pool, a large lot, and being near "A" schools are likely important factors for initial consideration.

Pointing out the home is "not" a short sale or foreclosure is not always a necessary thing. But in this case, when it is priced among other homes, with FEWER bedrooms, in the same price range which are, this mention is a direct attack on "competition" properties in the same city.

That includes area homes whether short sale, foreclosure, or not. This ad is basically saying "You get at least one more bedroom and these benefits for the same price!". And I like this approach.

We can also tell that his home had been listed for exactly two weeks (as of the day this is written), unlike other area homes which have been listed for months.

It's good to see the listing agent presenting this listing with benefits against the other homes in the same price range, instead of on its own merit. You see, my search was for "2+" bedrooms, and this was the only five-bedroom home that came up within the $10,000 I selected. Obviously, anyone looking for a five-bedroom home in this area would also pull up this property. The fact that I wasn't but it came up and appears favorable against two, three, and four bedroom homes in the same city is a strong one.

Of course, this ad could use some improving upon. The fact that there are no interior photos and no mention of anything specific to a five-bedroom home does make me skeptical. I could not find anything about a basement and/or rec room, about the capabilities of the kitchen (where meals for a lot of people would be created), paint, carpet, closets, or storage.

Even though the lack of information about the interior is a glaring omission, I can just about let it go for this example for one important reason. There just might be enough here that if I really was looking to buy it might get me to contact the agent for more details. Of course, that agent had better be ready to promote the amenities inside, or I'd be on to the next property and another agent quite quickly.

A good start on how to sell against other homes in the area!


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