Marketing Your Home For Sale

Valerie Bomber, ABR, AHWD

Marketing a home for sale has changed a lot through the years. Long ago it just took a sign in the front yard, newspaper ad and yes an open house. Realtors today still install signs on the front yard but newspapers have become internet listings and posts. Your home gets listed on  the MLS and social media. Your realtor puts property photos all over the internet for buyers to see. They do agent tours to let realtors in the area know about your home. They produce marketing information and flyers to help sell the home. They have the seller create a home book to help sell the property. Yes they still do open houses but not too often. Realtors now use virtual tours that buyers can view online. 

I am Valerie Bomberger ABR, AHWD Remax Harbor Country. As your listing agent I can offer the following services part of the marketing of your home. 
  • Install signs and submit to MLS.
  • Schedule time to shoot property photos.
  • Install lock box. (optional)
  • Arrange for an office tour by agents.
  • Review showing procedure.
  • Prepare marketing information and advertising.
  • Place marketing flyers in home for prospective buyers.
  • Distribute marketing information.
  • Show property to potential buyers.
  • Attempt to give 1-hour notice to show.
  • Review the market continuously.
  • Follow up with other agents who show home.
  • Communicate with you regularly.
  • Advice of possible solutions if home has not sold.
  • Negotiate the best contract for your needs.

Through this process I will expect certains things of you the seller:

  • Complete all repairs and cleaning.
  • “Stage” your home to be appealing.
  • Keep home ready for showing.
  • Hide valuables (also prescriptions).
  • Keep marketing information out for buyers.
  • Call me if information is depleted.
  • Leave premises for showings.
  • Call me with any questions.
  • Market your home to friends and acquaintances.
  • Keep me advised where to reach you or give permission to show if you are unavailable.
  • Refuse to discuss terms with buyers or their agents without me present.

Create Your Home book 

I have listed all the information that should be contained in your home book. You will need to  attempt to use all the pages listed. The more material that is included the better image it projects to your prospective buyers. Remember to place copies not originals in your home book. You will need at High quality binder with a plastic sleeve on the front cover to make your home book. You will also need a lot of plastic sheet protectors.

If a buyer takes the home book this is a clue that they are interested in the house. This is why you keep the home book separate from your ad material. On the front of the binder add a page in the plastic that includes your address and a color photo of the exterior of your home.

Add the following to your page protectors in the binder:

  • Photos of each room highlighting the best feature.
  • Seasonal photos of the outside of your home ( gardens in different seasons, pool in summer, decked out for the holidays etc.)
  • Before and after photos of any home improvement projects that bring value.
  • If you live in a complex that has a  Clubhouse, pool , Gym or walking areas. Take pictures to include with descriptions
  • Copy of Property Description- (Should be in your Title Insurance Policy (taken out at the time of purchase your home)
  • Copy of Plat of the property -Should be in your Title Insurance Policy (taken out at the time of purchase your home)
  • Copy of Survey of the property
  • Copy of Floor Plan and any changes that you have made- Should find inside the appraisal of your home Note any changes you have made.
  • Utility History ~ Sewer, Water, Electric, Gas or Propane, Cable, Telephone and Trash collection – Most utility companies today let you print out a report of annual cost.
  • Copy HOA documents ~ Bylaws and Fees
  • Copy of your  disclosure statements
  • Copy Annual Property taxes
  • Copy of Insurance Premium
  • Copy of Lender Information
  • Copy of Home Appraisal
  • Copy of Home Inspection
  • Copy of all Major Repairs – Copies of any major repairs on appliances, water heater, cooling, heating systems. Copies of all warranties you have on appliances. Copies of information on all NEW appliances if you have recently replaced them.
  • Any future blueprints for additions, Decks Etc –  If you have had blueprints made for any changes to the house that you have not started include a page outlining the project and reference that you have blueprints.
  • Add a list of all  warranties that you have on the house or appliances
  • Information on area schools
  • Once completed, the home book should be placed on the kitchen counter separate from your ad materials. It should be very visible to prospective buyers. After closing and the home has sold, you should ask the Buyer if they wish to keep the Home Book. If you have questions on creating your homebook or any part of the home selling process please, Don’t hesitate to Contact Me!

Note:  Along with the home book a new trend in the industry is to have the seller write a letter to the buyers telling them a few of our favorite things about their home. This may help a buyer to make up their mind if your house is right for them. Check out the example of A Seller’s “Love Letter.

How to keep your home show ready

Now that your home is on the market let's go over how to keep it show ready. All homes always need a tidy up especially when your home is on the market. Checkout these 5 steps to keep your home tidy and ready for your  showing. I have come up with five steps to keeping your home clean and ready for showing

  1. Bedrooms  are hard to keep straightened if you have kids or a mess husband. They do not need to look like a hotel but they need to be tidy. Have your kids pick up their room at night and make their beds each morning before they leave for school. Remind them that dirty clothes belong in a hamper.
  2. Laundry can be thrown in and started in five minutes. Toss a load in as everyone is getting ready for the day. Then put it in the dryer when you get home from work and let it dry as you are getting dinner. Fold and put away while kids are doing their homework.
  3. Kitchens need a three minute sweep. Put dishes in the dishwasher, wipe counters and sweep.
  4. Vacuum a room once a week unless something  has been spilled or tracked in from outside. When in doubt, vacuum. The kitchen gets swept in the three minute sweep.
  5. Bathrooms are hard to keep clean on a daily basis. Keep a container of disinfecting wipes under the counter and do a quick wipe on the counter, sink and toilet. Put in a toilet tablet in the tank to help keep the toilet clean and fresh. Pick up dirty towels and use one of the dirty towels to give the shower a quick once over. Bam five minutes and ready for showing that day. If your husband is the helpful type leave this to him to do the bathrooms each morning.

Housing Market Changes with the Seasons

Spring has sprung, which means the housing market is in full bloom. “For Sale” signs are sprouting up along with azaleas and dogwoods as buyers start to search for new homes. Each year, around 40 percent of real estate transactions occur between the months of May and August, with peak inventory times varying some depending on the region. Metropolitan areas in the Sun Belt have a much more consistent market, for example, because of their year-round warm weather. It is important to be aware that although there are advantages to selling in these prime months, they aren’t necessarily the best time for real estate transactions. 

Check out some of the seasonal tips from Val:

Be Ready for the Spring Selling Season

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Selling a home changes with the Seasons

Let Valerie Bomberger, ABR, AHWD Re/Max Harbor Country help you in the Home Selling Process.

Berrien County Michigan Homes For Sale