“Maverick” Ideas for Selling Luxury Homes

Part I – MLS Listing

The “Achilles Heel” of RE agents is that they all do same basic things to sell a home.  Should a luxury home be marketed the same as an average home?  What does the average real estate agent do to sell a home?  They immediately put the listing in the MLS, put up a sign, hold a public open house, run a few ads and hope that a Buyer comes along.  It is called “Hope Marketing”.  Too many agents innocently operate as automatons, doing things the way they’ve always been done because that’s what they are expected to do.  They don’t intend to hurt their Sellers.  They just have not been exposed to the kind of price maximization strategies used by top retail and online marketers, and how those techniques could be applied to real estate.

I have a whole different process for marketing these luxury homes which creates excitement and demand – and also goes against some traditional real estate practices – thus the “Maverick” name.

Today, I want to talk about the wisdom and timing of placing a new listing in the MLS. MLS discloses to  everyone (agents and buyers)  a home’s days on the market and also any price reductions.  Time is acid to the price of a home.  When Buyers see that a home has significant days on the market, they immediately start mentally discounting the price.

Sellers might well ask if holding their property listing out of the MLS might cost them a Buyer.  And yes, the MLS is an easy way to expose homes to Buyers with other Agents but, in my opinion, “easy” is trumped by the downside risks.  Also,  if the house does not sell quickly, DOM (Days on Market) negatively affects what Buyers will pay.  Also, you lose the opportunity to make Buyers and Agents feel  special with a private opportunity to see a home not available to the Public.  The only risk is that a “perfect” Buyer ends up buying another home in the area without knowing about the listing.  I can virtually assure this won’t happen by supplementing non-MLS marketing with open house signs directing Buyers to the home on weekends during the Neighborhood Preview, Agent Preview, Buyer Showings, etc.  Most Buyers drive their preferred neighborhoods on weekends.

This does not mean that I never think a home should be placed on the MLS but I strongly recommend waiting at least 30-45 days before doing so.

I have a very strong Marketing Program for listing a Luxury Home and it requires preparation time before the first showing.  I will write another article in the near future outlining what I do to prepare a home for that first showing.  But suffice it to say here that it takes a couple of weeks of preparation before that first showing – like great pictures, a highest value market appraisal,  Neighborhood Open House on a Saturday with plenty of advance notice and a VIP Agent Showing Day the first Sunday.  I have plenty of other “tasks” to perform during this time.  But another perk of my method is that most all showings are scheduled for Sundays (unless the Agent has an out of town Buyer or one who simply cannot look on Sunday for one reason or the other).  But generally, showings are on Sundays with an Open House sign out and me present.  Oh, and did I mention I do not think it is necessary to put a yard sign out?  Owner preference.

But, as I mentioned, more next info next time.  Till then,

Your Maverick Agent, Carol

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