The COVID-19 crisis and the resulting response from the federal, state and local government has had a dramatic impact on all our lives. In March Governor Brown of Oregon and Governor Inslee of Washington issued executive orders that laid out strict social distancing guidelines and restrictions on all business activities. After an initial slowdown in activity, the real estate industry was reopened and responded quickly to meet the challenge with the adoption of new business practices. What has evolved are new business methods that make it possible for individuals to sell and buy homes safety. The end result is that after the initial dip in real estate transactions, the market took off and we are on track to end up 2020 with more sales that in 2019. What makes this fact even more impressive is that this dramatic turnaround has occurred in spite of the fact that there are 18% fewer homes on the market than at the same time last year.
Covid-19 Protective Measures
Sellers who open their home for buyers and buyers’ agents to tour may want to consider taking sanitation precautions. Sellers can also work with their agents to include specific showing requests and instructions related to sanitation in the property. These precautions and requests could include the following:
• Open houses are restricted to maintain social distancing guidelines.
• Monitored sanitation stations on premise (gloves, booties and sanitizer available, along with a trash can to put the used articles in)
• Request “Hands off” walk through (seller turns on all the lights, open some interior cabinet doors, bedroom and closet doors for a “hands off” viewing)
• Request 6ft social distancing between agent and prospective buyer
• Request that only buyers who are pre-approved for a loan tour the property
• Request that buyers tour the exterior first and only tour the inside of the home if still interested
• Limit the number of people allowed to tour the home
If you’re considering selling now, be sure to check out our recent post What to Do If You Need to Sell Your Home Now.
Thinking about selling your home? If so, your first question is how much is my home worth? You may have heard that we’re in a “sellers’ market”. What is a sellers’ market and what does it mean to you as a seller? A sellers’ market means there is less than six months of home-inventory for sale in the market. In other words the demand for homes is greater than the current supply of homes. What that means to you as a seller is that well-presented, well-priced, and well-marketed homes sell quickly, for top dollar. Read on to see the strategies we use to partner with you to sell your home for top dollar.
No matter what the market conditions – the market determines home prices. As professional realtors, it’s our job to accurately interpret current market conditions and help you formulate a price strategy that will give you the maximum return on your investment in the shortest time on the market. It’s a balancing act. We have market tested strategies to help you get the best possible price for your home in today’s market.
Even in a sellers market, it’s essential to price your home to the market. Remember every home has to be sold twice. The first sale is to a potential buyer. The second sale is to the appraiser. In an escalating market making this second sale presents a unique set of challenges that we can help you navigate. Check out our articles, When the Price Is Right: How to Price Your Home for Sale and The Art of Pricing a Luxury Home for Sale.
Regardless of market conditions, staging gives sellers a competitive edge. According to Trulia, listings that are staged and priced competitively SELL at least 50% faster than unstaged homes. By showcasing your home in its best possible light, it is automatically assumed that the home is well maintained. Staging even affects the appraised value of your home.
Enter SkyBlue Portland partner, Maureen Bray, founder and lead designer of Portland-based Room Solutions. Maureen was named Top Ten Professional Stager of the Year for the United States for both 2013 and 2014, an award sponsored by the Real Estate Staging Association . Their extraordinary staging gets properties SOLD!
For a deep-dive into the benefits of staging your home for sale, check out our article, To Stage or Not to Stage Your Home for Sale.
In today’s internet-driven real estate market, you have under 10 seconds to tell your story and hook a potential buyer. TEN SECONDS! It’s a high stakes competition, with a lot of money, YOUR money, on the line.
Statistics show that home listings with higher quality photos and more photos sell faster and closer to list price.
Our professional photographers use state-of-the-art cameras to take hi-resolution, high-quality photos, which we then upload to the RMLS, your home listing website, and other marketing materials.
For a no-holds-barred look at what professional photography can do for your bottom line, check out our article, The Easiest Way to Botch Your Home Sale.
3D Virtual Tours
The key to selling your home for top dollar is to get a buyer to fall in love with your house. We do that by delivering an exceptional online experience. Our 3D Virtual Tours allow a prospective buyer to actually walk room-to-room through your home for sale (even going up and down stairs) while sitting in front of their computer and get a view of it that’s “better than being there.”
This feature provides a high resolution, interactive view from every angle inside every room. Think of it like Google Street View, but for inside the home. You can also see a dollhouse view that removes the roof, allowing you to look into the entire house’s floor plan, see how various rooms flow together and even see the relationship between rooms on different levels of the house.
Video Tour with Aerial Photography
Online video marketing is the single most effective way to reach and positively impact a potential home buyer today. One minute of video has the same value as 1.8 million words, according to Forrester Research. 1.8 million words equates to 3,600 typical web pages. Writing one web page an hour, it would take 150 days to achieve the impact of one video.
Our videos tours incorporate drone photography for aerial shots of the neighborhood and are professionally narrated. Click the image above for an example of how we use video to generate qualified, motivated buyer traffic for your home.
For a closer look at compelling statistics on the effectiveness of video marking, check out our article, Video Marketing: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.
Individual Home Websites
To facilitate search engine optimization, our in-house website developer builds a custom webpage with a friendly URL, complete with home address, for every home we list. Then our marketing director showcases it on the RMLS and in custom brochures. We evangelize the URL, along with a QR code, in all of our marketing materials and Just Listed cards that we distribute throughout the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Web Pages
From demographics, maps, schools, parks, recreation, festivals, shopping, restaurants, markets, history, to news—we cover each neighborhood in-depth. Your community’s featured page will give interested buyers even more reason to want to move into your neighborhood.
Check out our West Linn Neighborhood Guide with individual web pages for each of the 11 distinct neighborhoods.
Global Internet Exposure
When you list with SkyBlue Portland, we submit all information about your home to the Regional Listing Service (RMLS)—the Northwest’s largest REALTOR®-owned Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Serving approximately 10,200 Real Estate Professionals in over 2,300 offices throughout Oregon and Southern Washington, the RMLS facilitated sales of nearly $12½ billion, unique visits of over $1 million, and listing views of nearly $3 million in 2013.
In addition your listing is syndicated to over 3,000 real estate websites including Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.
Traditional marketing methods are still effective, even in the internet age. Putting a colorful snapshot of your home directly in the hands of potential buyers gets attention. Our color brochures include professional photos and other pertinent details specific to your home. SkyBlue Portland’s Just Listed cards are customized with an image of your home and the unique URL for your home listing website.
Open Houses & Brokers Opens
A small percentage of homes are sold as a result of an Open House. But it’s important to hold them. Why? Because the percentage of homes sold as a result of an open house compared to the number of open houses held is over 15%. We take those odds and increase them with our custom open house strategy.
We begin by advertising each open house a week or more in advance. Then we go door-to-door in the immediate neighborhood and let neighbors know that the home is for sale. We encourage neighbors to tell their friends as well. Finally, we hit all of our social media channels with an invitation, encouraging our followers to turn out.
Creating a buzz around each open house draws significant prospective buyers to the home. Open Houses and Brokers Opens drum up excitement for your listing. They are conventional real estate marketing tools and are an important way to further increase the buyer audience for your property.
Social Media Engagement
Here on the SkyBlue Portland Team we live, eat, and breath social media. We know that YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and blogging are the most powerful social marketing channels in the world and we know how to leverage that technology to help get your home sold for top dollar.
Our dedicated Marketing Director drives buyer to your home from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, our website, our blog, and our YouTube channel. We’re reaching today’s buyers, in real time, with dynamic updates on new listings, real estate market information, and topical advice for buyers, sellers, and brokers. Join us on our active social media channels.
When you decide to sell your home it’s a life changing decision. Your home is usually your largest asset and the process can be stressful. When you … put us to work for you … we understand that you’re not just selling a piece of real estate. You’re entrusting us to get your home sold so that you can move on with your life. Our team is here to guide you through the process. We create, package, and showcase your home in a way that will make it attractive to buyers. Each element of our listing strategy—pin-point pricing, professional staging, professional photography, virtual tour, professional video, home website, neighborhood web page, internet exposure, print marketing, and social media engagement–is carefully crafted to help ensure that your home captures the hearts and minds of multiple potential buyers. Our goal is to get your home sold for the best possible price, in the best possible time, with the least amount of hassle.