INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — When property owners in Incline Village and Crystal Bay list their houses and condos for sale there are a number of issues to consider when it comes to marketing your property effectively. Many sellers take it for granted that once the listing agreement is signed that their agent will do all the work and they can just sit back and wait for an offer to roll in. But a successful marketing plan involves a cooperative effort between sellers and their agents. And one of the first steps in that marketing plan is to have a good turnout and positive response when your property is on the weekly Tuesday morning MLS tour for all the local real estate agents to see.
The Incline Village Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service is the primary place where local properties are listed for sale. Every Tuesday morning the members of the real estate community gather at the Donald W. Reynolds Center (aka The Parasol Building) for a meeting that involves networking, marketing, speaking engagements and informative lecture and discussion sessions. There is a dedicated marketing segment each week when every agent has the opportunity to speak in front of the group about their listings and price changes and to give a pitch if they have a property on the tour that week.
The speech that an agent makes on the morning their listing is on the MLS tour is almost like a presidential candidate kicking off a campaign. You really need to grab the attention of all of the real estate agents in the room and get them excited about visiting the property you are promoting. During the busy listing season from mid-April through late July, there will usually be between 15 and 20 houses and condos on the tour each week. It's not practical for most agents to see every property during the three hour time frame allotted for the MLS tour. So, creating excitement and interest in your property on the morning of the weekly MLS tour is the single most effective way to get the local real estate agents to take notice of your place.
With all of the effort that real estate agents spend on print advertising, websites, Internet marketing, virtual tours, open houses, etc. the reality is that the vast majority of properties get sold because a local agent has a willing buyer in their client base. Since most of our buyers live 100 miles or further outside of the area, it is imperative to network with other agents and promote your property throughout the real estate community to get the best exposure. There is a rule that your property can be on the MLS tour only once every six months, unless there is a change of agents. You can create a positive buzz for your house or condo by doing a few things that will incentivize agents to visit your property and also help your place stand out from all of the other new listings.
First and foremost you need to get your property looking spiffy. Consider doing a home inspection and repairing those items that are potential deal killers or obvious to the naked eye. Bring in a professional stager to help you de-clutter, rearrange furniture and decorations, make minor repairs, touch up paint and even purchase a few decorative items to make your place look warm and inviting. A very thorough cleaning from top to bottom is an important part of the staging process and it will take a fair amount of diligence for homeowners keep their place looking sharp when pollen season arrives.
Take a good look at the landscaping and do the yard work necessary to create curb appeal for your property. If you live in a condo, talk with your homeowners association if you see anything that needs attention. That first impression when a buyer steps out of the car and looks at the exterior of your property can make or break a sale. The same is true when agents arrive on Tuesday morning to see your place on the weekly MLS tour. They can either get excited about the exterior and look forward to what awaits inside, or they can write off the property before walking through the door. While your agent can provide advice and guidance, it's up to you as a seller to follow through with the preparations in the days prior to your property being showcased on the Tuesday morning tour.
If you have tenants at the property, notify them at least two weeks in advance of the MLS tour so they can straighten up the place. When it comes to neatness and cleanliness, not all tenants are created equally and some will need additional time along with friendly reminders that you need their cooperation to prepare for the agent tour. Lastly, having some type of incentive to draw real estate agents to look at your property never hurts. Whether you serve food, have a drawing for a bottle of wine, provide entertainment or put on a barbecue, doing something special in coordination with your listing agent will help to increase the number of brokers and agents who visit your property on the Tuesday morning MLS tour. It's all about exposure and using the proper tactics and strategy to attract agents and buyers to visit your property. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one.
— Don Kanare is a Realtor at RE/MAX Premier Properties. Read his blog and weekly stats on his website at www.InsideIncline.com.