Seller Insights: Irina Jordan
Overall, 2015 has been a seller’s market. Inventory has been low and bidding wars are popping up left and right. But regardless of the overall market landscape, circumstances change when you have a unique property to sell and you’re facing a quickly approaching deadline. In this situation, you’re at the potential buyer’s mercy – and that’s where I found myself a few short weeks ago.
I came across a great job opportunity in San Diego - so without hesitation, I got my husband and kids on board and our house, which is on over an acre of land in a suburban area outside of Chicago, was listed within two weeks. Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t ideal. The house hit the market in early February, which is not peak season, and to top it off - Chicago was in the middle of an epic, seemingly never-ending winter storm, complete with frigid temperatures and record-setting snowfall.
Instead of wallowing in pity and giving up, we got to work. First – we found an agent to help. It was very important for us to find someone who was open-minded and willing to listen to and act on our suggestions – and we found that with our agent Rebecca. Once she was on board, the real work began. We started making improvements to our home based on feedback from showings, staged our house and worked closely with Rebecca to promote our listing online.
Here's a great real estate marketing tip; in addition to promoting our property on the MLS and on Rebecca’s own site, we also promoted the house (and our open houses) in newspapers, on Craigslist and on Facebook. I shamelessly asked friends and family to share house updates with their networks and they obliged. Thanks to the exposure, we had great traffic at both of our open houses and one couple – who found the house on Facebook - attended our second open house, fell in love with the home and put in an offer the next day.
Don't make these open house mistakes: Download Open House Tips: What NOT to Do
So what did I learn from this experience?
Make Sure You Pick the Right Agent:All agents are not created equal – so it’s worthwhile to talk to your agent about their historical successes, reviews, overall strategy and marketing plan before you enter into a contract. If you are on a tight timeline, choose someone who is aggressive with their promotional tactics and don’t settle for so-so.
Always Solicit Feedback from Potential Buyers:If someone takes the time to come see your house – take advantage of their feedback. Ask their agent to share what they liked and didn’t like and make changes and improvements as you see fit. Just do your best not to take their suggestions too personally. While it’s home to you, to them – it’s still a house.
Stage Your House:Hire a staging consultant to come to your house and make recommendations on how to de-clutter and re-arrange furniture so your house shows really well. The goal of a good staging job is to help prospective buyers visualize what it would be like to live in your house. Again, don’t take their recommendations personally – they want to help you sell!
Promote Your Listing on Your Own Facebook Page:Post your open house announcements and links to your listing on your agent’s website on your personal Facebook account. Make sure you have a link to the listing so anyone who is interested can click through to check out the property. You never know when a friend of a family member is looking for a home just like yours!
Stay Positive and Don’t Give Up:Your house WILL sell if you stay upbeat and flexible. Maintain open communication with your agent and provide any information they need in a timely manner. Also – be sure to listen to suggestions from agents, staging consultants and prospective buyers, and treat all their feedback as valuable information.
What advice can you share about selling your house?