The Right Way to Sell Northern Virginia Real Estate in DC
Sellers, the world has changed. Why are you paying extra to sell your
Northern Virginia real estate using yesterday's methods which are actually more expensive?!?! The answer is probably that you haven't been researching this intensely as you are too busy. You do have a life, right? And I'm sanguine that the "high powered" listing agents whose ads you see all over the place in your Arlington Sun Gazette (insert your own local newspaper) are not telling you how real estate has changed.... In fact they probably don't even know themselves. And if they did it might make them cry:
Yet they continue to talk you into using themselves to sell their homes for 6% commission usually, and because you see their faces everywhere when you read the paper or receive postcards in the mail you usually buy it.
So let's begin our lesson onTruth vs. Bullcrap about Selling a Home.
An article recently came out (see related links) about how the Newspaper Association of America was running an ad campaign promoting papers as "a destination, not a distraction." Anybody who keeps up on news knows that newspapers are suffering greatly in terms of lost revenue from ad sales and plummeting subscriptions. "Real estate agents and real estate advertising are undergoing a very significant transition period, which is certainly not a surprise," observed Peter Zollman, founding principal of Classified Intelligence, publisher of the Real Estate Advertising 2006 report. "And when it comes out the other end," he continued, "online will be a substantial winner and daily newspaper print is going to be a significant loser."
Businessweek.com recently noted, "Indeed, the Net already
drives consumer behavior. The bigger, more notable jump in the
NAR's data is in the percentage of buyers who pick a home they
first identified online, usually before consulting an agent. That's
up to 24 percent, from 15 percent in 2004 and 2 percent in 1997.
Only brokers themselves point out more homes to consumers, at
36 percent. The Internet has waxed such longtime staples as
yard signs, which come in at 15 percent. Newspaper ads
accounted for only 5 percent of sales, according to the
NAR." So this is why the $$$$ is
shifting away from newspaper ads--the ads cost lots of
money but do nothing except make the seller feel better that they
see a picture of their home in the newspaper. Much of the 6% listing commission goes to pay for
these print media ads which are how the listing agent's get sellers
calling them to list their homes in the first place. This
brings to mind a rat race of sorts in which nothing is being
accomplished except that Sellers' money is being wasted running in
circles but getting nowhere.
So let's get more specific and wrap up this post with data compiled by Leslie Appleton-Young, the chief economist and VP of the California Association of Realtors (www.car.org).
- 100% of buyers started looking at homes first online and agents second
- 92% of agents found their agent on a web site
- "Internet buyers bought a home on average after spending 2.2 weeks looking for a home with an agent; traditional buyers spent an average of 7.1 weeks"
- The approximate distance between previous residence and new residence for traditional buyers was 25 miles; for Internet buyers, it was 242 miles (you can sell anywhere compared to traditional ways)
- article went on to say, "The money you may spend on brochures, ads, newspaper ads, and the like should be reconsidered and placed into Internet marketing."
- finally 70% of people 65+ read a daily newspaper but only 35% of 24 years olds do. "Print is dead to this generation of home buyers." Whose going to buy your home, Mr. Seller (although it the seller is single it's likely to be Ms. Seller since far more single women are buying homes today than single men--more on that another time)??? Somebody who is 65+ or somebody in their 20-30s and even 40s? I submit a younger buyer will purchase your home and he/she will not be looking for it in the newspaper and therefore you shouldn't be paying for it.
(and as I hope I've demonstrated, paying out the nose for ads in your local paper isn't a "strong marketing plan").
"Glossy magazines are pretty, but I can tell you I’ve never gotten many calls off of those ads. The weekly newspaper? Forget it. Who wants to search through completely unorganized little boxes with blurry black and white photos that leave your hands smudged?"
Google your agent's name and what do you find? I searched the following phrase, "jay seville" remax and got over 1500 results. I searched the listing agent who lists most of the homes for 6% commission in the neighborhood I used to live in Madison Manor, " " weichert and found 1/3rd the results. And when searching for "arlington virginia real estate" or arlington va real estate" or "arlington va home prices" and countless other variations I was always there for buyers to find and the listing agent was/is nowhere. Same thing would apply if you searched for "townhouse old town alexandria" or countless other searches that buyers employ.
Conclusion: I can sell your home for less by not wasting money on worthless marketing. Even if I don't live in your neighborhood I still know how through countless online methods to get your home far more attention than almost any "listing agent" for less $$$. With 300+ visitors a day to my website where your listing is featured, not to mention the other venues I use outside of my website, you'll get the exposure you need. I get buyers from all over the country asking to see specific homes in the MLS since my site meets their MLS needs for all of NOVA and DC. And it's me they find, not guy smiley in the local newspaper who loves pics of himself on everything. (see Realtor Egos Run Amok).
There is a reason that the agent who brings a buyer to the table is called the selling agent--he/she actually sells the property, not the listing agent. And that's why the influence of LAs is diminishing rapidly as the public becomes more informed about real estate....