Home Sale Strategy For Upper Bracket Homes


Background Much emphasis is placed on “marketing strategy” when a potential home seller is interviewing real estate agents hoping to list their home. Countless hours, days, weeks, and months are spent by every brokerage firm in America attempting to teach agents “the right way” to market a home for sale, and even more hours on the latest sales gimmicks to try to convince the seller that a particular agent or firm has more “value-added” than anyone else. The theory most brokerages try to portray is that once they convince you of their “added value”, they can then justify a 6% commission rate rather than face the reality that, in 2017, a seller can contract with an exceptional agent for a much lower fee.

The New Reality, and a Different Way – In today’s world, industry after industry is undergoing massive change because of the new availability of information to clients, and the reduction in cost to provide a service that most people should be experiencing. The internet has created many cottage industries and just as much confusion when it comes to the home sale market. Let’s summarize the impact on you, the seller, as follows: It is more important than ever to hire an agent who is sharp, savvy, knows your market, and understands that either his/her cost of providing premier service declines, or he/she will soon be out of business. There is no such thing as “you get what you pay for”; you should get the ultimate quality of service and professionalism in the marketing and sale of your home at a much lower price than has been available in the past. Demand a “both/and”, not an “either/or”, that is, you demand better service and at a lower price. Both are attainable.

Consistency in Approach: The Basics – Cutting corners in the name of efficiency is simply not acceptable in today’s competitive real estate world. Now more than ever, your listing needs to stand out and shine in every possible way. Whether you are selling a $150,000 condo or a $1,500,000 estate, the basic consistent approach remains unchanged. Demand it.



This is by no names an all-encompassing examination. One obvious example is that I am not discussing the use of video drones in this piece, which would be unique to your situation and need a deeper review. However, the basic blueprint remains intact. 

It is impossible to provide the exact details of any sales methodology for a specific home without studying the subject home and its immediate neighborhood. However, it is important that you understand the basic methodology and core beliefs that your agent will bring to the table and follow religiously in marketing your home.

These basic strategies all revolve around the same basic principles:

  • Your agent must be skilled in communicating the value, excitement, and appeal of your home. This must be done in both online advertising to the majority of buyers whose initial search is through the internet, and in the actual showing of properties once you have attracted people to come inside. The reality is this: many of the features of your home will be similar to those of your competitors and in some cases, less desirable. It is imperative that your property does not appear as a plain vanilla commodity and rather, it is seen as an exclusive and superior product. Is the showmanship of the agent important in this regard. As they say in the vernacular: “You betcha.”
  • To differentiate your home and add to its appeal, make a detailed list of all special features and additional improvements made to the property since it was first constructed. This may mean creating an eye-catching flyer separate from the sales brochure, describing these features in detail. I use a unique style trifold brochure with these features listed prominently on the inside jacket. When showing the property, make sure to highlight each of these features to any prospective buyer, rather than releasing them to, “take your time and come back to me with any questions.”
  • In showing your home, make it look as close to a “model home” as possible. Landscaping the exterior is a relatively inexpensive and extremely effective way to make the home “pop” and have that necessary “street appeal.” The key is to make sure the buyers can say to themselves, “I can envision our family living here, just as the home sits now.”
  • Placement of furniture can make rooms look larger or smaller. Abundance of light or lack of light in any particular room can dictate how best to design that room for showing. The entrance to any home is always an important factor, and to the extent that a buyer opens the front door and screams, “Wow!”, your odds of a good sale increase exponentially. Highlights of such features need to be prominent in online photography and in brochures.
  • The brochures should look like works of art that ooze money. Heavy, glossy card stock is important. It is simply unacceptable in today’s world to have Xerox-copied pages staples in the upper-left corner being passed on as a “brochure”. The quality of both the written literature and especially the photographs speak to the image of exclusivity and/or advanced quality of your home over the competition.
  • Photography is of the utmost importance. Got that? Photography is of the utmost importance. In today’s world, the visual is the key ingredient in attracting buyers to your home. Anything less than an agent who hires the premier professionals in this field; i.e., the field of outstanding photography of residential homes, is totally unacceptable. If someone shows up at your home with a 35mm camera or an iphone, fire them immediately. Of all the controllable elements of a home sale, this is the most important.
  • Make the agent show you past marketing brochures to prove his/her skill in presenting your home in the highest quality possible.
  • Every home has both positive and negative features, especially in regards to location. The advice is simple: make a mental note of both and understand them. Then accentuate the positive. If confronted with negatives, minimize them as best you can. Here are some examples: proximity to schools, shopping, mass transit, major highways, parks, entertainment, and the like. Drill down on those that are most appealing about your home.
  • Remember, aesthetics are crucially important. Fabulous landscaping creates a warm feeling that welcomes a buyer into your equally beautiful home. A pleasant visual experience is essential to setting the tone for a positive showing. Keep that in mind before thinking that the front door and entry foyer are not so important. You may not sell your home based on these initial aesthetics, but you can kill a sale before anyone sees the entire interior with a sloppy entry or aged front door.
  • The open house should be an event, not simply another real estate sales requirement. Does your agent consider this something that can easily be assigned to a “team member” or less experienced agent in the office? If so, don’t hire him/her. Let this fact rest indelibly in your mind: In today’s world, the open house is of the utmost importance in selling your home. Never before in real estate history has the need for a skilled agent who can impress/inform your buyers in a personal setting been more important. Everything about your open house should be geared toward creating the “wow” factor, and your agent should be skilled at informing customers, engaging them, and yet not being pushy. In today’s world, a growing majority of buyers are finding their own homes on-line, and they comb the Zillow open houses on Sundays to see those that are presented best online. They prefer to “shop” in a less pressured way than is normally the case if accompanied by their agent. In many cases, these people are much more likely to have interest than many agents believe, and the skill of the agent holding the open house in presenting the home and engaging the customer is critical to success. Do not let an agent tell you that open houses are not important, or not a good source of selling homes. More than half of my sales in the last two years have come from buyers who initially found the home through an on-line search and subsequent open house.
  • The open house should be viewed as a “launch party”…an “event”…a “must see opportunity.” Anything less is unacceptable.
  • When conducting an open house, invite neighbors. The appearance of activity is a major positive, and who better than your neighbors to suddenly realize that they have a friend, family member, or officemate for whom your house would be “perfect?”
  • Graphics are crucial in advertising. We all know the saying: a picture is worth a thousand words. Every visual, every piece of artwork, every photograph reflects the level of quality you perceive in your own home. I use the highest quality, independent graphics art professionals in my business. This includes photographers and creators of elegant artwork displayed prominently in any advertising. If an agent is not willing to incur the extra cost of hiring graphics advertising professionals of the highest order, then do not hire them. This is a necessary cost of doing business in today’s world. The “buzz” such professionals can help us create far exceeds the additional cost.
  • As much as you love your home and as much as you can be very helpful in its sale, do not engage with any potential buyers unless instructed to do so by your knowledgeable agent (occasionally it pays to “break the Realtor code” and allow such interaction, but not often). Think of it this way: anything you say to a customer can never be taken back. If the customer misinterprets, or if you present something in a less skilled manner than a real estate professional would, you are stuck with the statement. For an agent to try to undo this likely would create a lack of authenticity in the buyer’s mind. However, if an agent is not entirely clear, the owner can always step in later with clarification without creating any harmful effects.
  • Your home should always be clean, painted, finished, and clutter-free before being shown. The idea that a buyer will “see through” such things is a fundamental mistake. Don’t make this mistake. It is especially true today: Buyers want to visualize a finished home that they can immediately move into without doing much work.



And in today’s world, now more than ever: Hire a friendly, knowledgeable, and skilled sales professional! And do not pay that agent anything near 6%!


And remember this adage: When in doubt, overpromote.






Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA

Samson Properties

 703- 855 – 7299




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: