David Rathgeber's

Exposure that Works

When considering exposure to the market, more is better, but it is difficult for home sellers (and, unfortunately, for some agents) to separate what is really important from what sounds as if it is important. By knowing which types of exposure are effective in producing showings that lead to offers, and which are not, our efforts can be directed mainly toward the effective types. Signs, open houses, and the internet altogether account for less than 6% of all sales. Newspaper and magazine advertisements, TV spots, direct mail campaigns, personal contacts, et cetera, altogether account for an insignificant portion of all home sales.

More than nine out of ten buyers purchase a home as a result of information provided by the MLS. Why is this? Because today's buyers recognize the overwhelming efficiency of searching for their home through a computerized database. This is why we have spent so much time assembling and checking the MLS information, photos, directions, et cetera.

Sadly, useless efforts result in false hope on the part of the seller and delay important action, thus adding needlessly to time on the market. So why would an agent engage in an unproductive activity?

Results vary unpredictably, and an open house is not an effective means of locating a buyer. It usually takes well over 100 open houses to sell a home. But an open house will not detract from your effort to find a buyer and it can be used very effectively if we have an interested fence-sitter! An open house can be held periodically anytime you wish.

Further, a "brokers open house" almost never produces a buyer. Successful agents find homes for their buyers by searching the MLS, not at these social gatherings. Often the purpose of such an event is to report to the seller that 25 agents say that the home is overpriced. You did not hire me to collect casual, un-informed opinions. (Even State licensed appraisers do not offer a price opinion at first sight.) Agents' comments on your home and its price are generally worthless compared with the rigorous analysis that we have done already.

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Your Friend in Real Estate, LLC
Arlington, Virginia, USA


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