How to Market Your Real Estate Listing as a Product

© Christian Hillebrand –

Beauty can be in the eye of the beholder, but not when it comes to real estate. Visiting a number of high-end properties over the past few weeks has reminded me of this fact: every property must be dressed to be successful. Editing and staging completely transform the curb appeal of a property, especially during those crucial first minutes. I’ve been telling my agents for years that buyers don’t necessarily know what they want to buy right away, but it doesn’t take them more than a minute to figure out what they don’t want to buy. It’s pretty easy to make sure your ad doesn’t fall into the latter category. Even after 40 years in the business, I can still be confused by old gray furniture, empty shelves, yellowish carpets or dirty windows.

Here are some ideas to make sure new ads attract:

Clean that up. It’s remarkable how many messy and/or dirty properties I’ve walked into in my career. Any agent who allows this to happen at a property they represent must be licensed! There should be no dishes in the sink or on the counters. Nothing should be strewn on the floors, which should be polished to shine. Carpets and rugs should be washed or, beyond hope, thrown away. And please wash the windows!

Paint it white. Or off-white. The walls should be pale and even to create as light a feeling as possible. I like an eggshell finish because it has a soft glow.

Strip him. Sellers don’t see their home the way we see it as professionals. They need our help to transform it from a very personal home into a marketable product. Clear clutter from tables and shelves. Make sure cupboards are only half full so they look bigger. Remove about 80% of the family photos (I like to leave a few; they create a cozy vibe.) Once you’ve completed these steps, it becomes easier to evaluate the furniture. Antique (or, as it’s now called, brown) furniture doesn’t create the feeling that most buyers are looking for – even the highest quality antiques still look like Grandma’s house. Furniture should define rooms but not fill them. It’s often best to stage the property with rental rooms that feel contemporary and understated.

Use color as an accent. Few buyers are looking for a home in which orange and purple are the primary paint colors. The same goes for electric yellow and avocado; in fact, just about any color paired with a 1950s Formica color probably doesn’t belong on the walls of a home coming to market. But color has value as an accent. Couch cushions, a colorful piece of art in an otherwise neutral room, even a pair of brightly colored chairs enliven a space without overwhelming it.

Organize your visit. Every property has good and bad characteristics. One of the goals listed above is to emphasize the good while minimizing the bad. Just today I advised an agent to put sheer curtains over a pair of dining room windows facing a wall just a few feet away. Defining the most positive path to guide buyers through an ad is an essential aspect of the agent’s job. Always try to get the buyer to focus on one of the good things about the property moments after entering the unit – it could be a view, architectural detail, light or decor. an exquisite renovation detail. The presentation path should be designed to highlight the strengths of the property while relegating its weak points to secondary status.

Every house that agents sell has good and bad points in some balance. Obviously, it’s easier to sell those in which the good outweighs the bad. But not all lists are like this. Using the methods outlined above can help agents and owners rethink the spaces they sell as products that need strong visual marketing. The buyer’s eye must be brought to appreciate the assets of a property by focusing less on its deficits. This is the first step towards a sale.

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