Kevin Wirth Realtor - Sale pending sign

Selling Your Home – Think First Impressions

A Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtors Guide
to Selling Your Home

Here is the first in my series of guides to selling your home.

1. First Impressions Count!

It’s a big decision in selling your home – and what is important are the first impressions your home makes to prospective buyers!

As a Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtor it is really disappointing to see the number of homes that are listed for sale where the owner and/or agent has not made a really good first impression and some of this I think has to do with objectivity and some perhaps agents reluctance to make recommendations to sellers.

As a seller you need to be objective and too put yourself in a customer’s shoes and that can be hard to do if you’ve lived in a home for months even years.

When marketing your home for sale – I use the analogy of marketing a new restaurant and trying to attract customers – and I discuss with clients the importance of the overall appearance – from fresh paint, a welcoming front entrance and landscaped front yard, new window treatments and good lighting great and captivating signage – ie: Joe’s Fresh Fish & Seafood, along with plenty of parking are all very important factors – and people driving by take note of these.

The same applies to your home but in a very different way – 90% of home buyers don’t drive by your home – instead they rely on the internet when searching for homes.

So your homes first impressions need to be conveyed successfully over the internet if you want the best chance of a successful sale

Home Sellers Check List

So here is my check list on how to make a great first impression.

Prepare The Home

Consider the following factors

  • Curb Appeal – trim the yard, freshen pots and planters
  • Staging – remove clutter and simplify the home / consider professional stagers
  • Light – the more light the better / turn on all lights and lamps too
  • Space – part of the staging process – less is more – create lots of space
  • Smell – a buyers nose is an important factor – it can be decisive – make sure the home smells fresh
  • Signage – have your agent not only put a for sale sign up – have them add riders promoting the most important features of your home – we discuss how to decide which features below.

9 times out of 10 buyers love additional Information – so consider brochures, a fact sheet or a city guide.

As a Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtor I have a lot of Gay/LGBT buyers so I often use the Gay Ft Lauderdale Guide and/ or the Wilton Manors Gay Guide to the City when promoting homes and neighborhoods to Gay/LGBT buyers.

The Internet & 90% of Buyers

The internet is all about using images and text through the MLS – or multiple listing service.

The MLS is how your listing agent markets your property over the internet – it is a marketing system used by nearly all realtors – and by 90% of all home buyers – this system then feeds into other popular home/real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia

So to make a great first impression on the Internet you will need:

Great Images – you need good professional photos and I recommend a Virtual Tour too

Great Text – selling your home via the description (words and phrases) you use to describe the home is vitally important.

However you are limited to just two areas in the MLS’s Summary Report where you can add a description– the summary report is how your home is described when entered into the MLS / Internet.

The Summary Report has just two areas where you can add a description of your home – these are the Body Remarks and Broker Remarks. The Body Remarks are 510 characters and the Brokers Remarks are 150 characters

MLS Summary Sheet
MLS Summary Sheet – Body Remarks

Your choice and use of words in these spaces are very important – use adjectives to describe your home:

I use the words like: spectacular, spacious, peaceful, custom,

Use of Phrases – look for short simple and concise phrase to describe your home – ie: panoramic views, filled with light, warm and welcoming, beautifully appointed,

You should make a list of words and phrase – then pick the best – making sure that they tie in with your photos.

Positioning Statement(s) / Phrase(s) – from this list of phrases you like to describe your home pick the best 1-2 phrases – that you and your agent think is the most important – this is your positioning statement or phrase.

Wrapping – the second most important thing you can do is once you have your positioning statement is to wrap the other phrases and words around this statement – so that they enhance and build on your positioning statement.

For Example:

Custom Home / Great Neighborhood

Seek Contemporary Home / Finished to Perfection

Entertainers Dream

Great Family Home

Handyman Special / Reap the Rewards

Each of these positioning statements paints a different picture of a home – so once you have decided on your statments choose photos that support it – generally you have in the MLS space for upto 25-35 photos.

Sometimes and in fact often times with photos less is more!

The photos above are from a home I was selling – we focused in one the Entertaining Aspect of the Home and its New Kitchen – we featured lots of kitchen photos and home and bedrooms photos – none of the bathrooms or toilets.

Thinking back to the restaurant analogy – don’t load your “plate” with more than 2 different descriptions or your home may end up being marketed more as a “buffet” vs. a focused “fresh fish” and “seafood restaurant”!

Often times as mentioned above – sellers can lose perspective when marketing the home and you get tied down focusing in on the fact it is a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom open plan home vs. selling the home for example as an entertainers dream home.

The nuts and bolts of it being a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home of so many square feet are already recorded in the Summary Report your agent entered into the MLS.

To successfully market and sell your home you need to focus in on “selling” the features and benefits of your home – putting the best 1 or 2 features described as phrases in your positioning statement first!

As a Fort Lauderdale Realtor with over 20 years experience in real estate I know that Selling a Home is all about first impressions and is much more than just pricing alone. The approach I have outlined above – focused on a clear positioning statement and phrases wrapped with a supporting description and photos – txt and photos – that tie it all together will help you create a great first impression for your home!