With the challenges of today’s real estate market sellers and their agents are often looking for unique techniques and strategies to get the house noticed and sold. I have seen offers of a new car or boat thrown into a deal for an acceptable offer. In some condo communities we have seen buy one get one free deals. This type of marketing may help in getting attention but can also lead to a sense in a buyer that the property is not a value in and of itself. It can perhaps lead to problems with bank appraisals as the value of the gimmick item should be correctly deducted from the home value or reported as a subsidy.

Most often a home buyer is not looking for a car, they are looking for a house. They normally are only looking for one house, not several and they want to pay as little as possible to get it. That’s why a marketing plan that begins with a framework built around PRODUCT, PRICE and PROMOTION will be your strongest most efficient way to go.

The PRODUCT is of course the house. Some homes are excellent with updated kitchens, baths, carpets and floors. Some are pretty good, some average and some not so good. It is important to prepare the house as well as possible given the financial ability of the seller. Once that condition is determined you will want to determine the most effective PRICE at which to offer the home for sale.

Setting a homes list price is very important. You will want it priced to attract as many prospective buyers as possible, yet leave no dollars behind. it is unreliable to go by rumors in the neighborhood about what this or that house sold for as they are often wildly inaccurate and can lead to pricing a home too high or too low. Those who sold the house tend to inflate the number a bit, neighbors tend to round the number down.

The only reliable source for this sold information is the recorded public record of the sale in tax records and or a multiple listing service for the area. The valuation on your property must be based on the reported sold homes of similar size and features over the previous six month period. It is true however that recently some bank appraisals for loans are only looking back 6 months. With this info in hand you will match up your property to others. Adjustments will be made to compensate for variations as seldom are two homes exactly alike. The overall condition must be taken into consideration, for instance, if a very similar home with new windows, kitchen, and baths sold for $385,000 and you home still has a 20 year old kitchen, and needs all new appliances and carpet you should not expect it to sell for as much unless there are other attributes that your home has. For example, a larger yard or extra structure like separate garage. An informed decision, based upon the improvements needed, as to the value should be made and the price set accordingly.

The final P in this equation is PROMOTION. Years ago listing a house with a listing service and putting a sign in the yard was enough. Today is much different.

You will want first a strong realtor. One who has a demonstrated set of results over the past two years. When interviewing do not let them tell you what they have done in their life, or 5 years ago, or that they are on the GOLD TEAM. Get a specific answer to how many transactions and what volume they have achieved over the past two years. They should be able to show you their internet marketing component, how well they have marketed themselves and examples of the sales materials and techniques they will use.

Ask them where will the flyers be distributed? When and where will the home be advertised? Why will it be advertised in those publications?

Selling a home is not much different than selling any other product. Gimmicks such as car giveaways occasionally get some attention. But a steady plan of action built around a correct formula of PRODUCT, PRICE and PROMOTION will get your home sold in the least amount of time for the most money possible.