Taking a different approach
IS YOUR home something a little different, or special? I realise we all think our own homes are pretty special, but I’m not talking about typical homes — I’m referring to homes that really are something a bit different.
This does not necessarily mean expensive, but it is more about the tricky house sale category of ‘‘homes that are not typical of the local market’’. Properties that are unique.
Perhaps yours is a small, twobedroom house in an area full of big properties. Maybe it is a historic home surrounded by modern estates or a contemporary house surrounded by 100-year-old terraces.
You may have neither parking, nor a garden while everyone else has both.
Perhaps you have the last big block in your street, the stunner in an area that clearly hasn’t quite finished up-and-coming, or it is the only home without water frontage in a street full of waterfront homes.
Whatever the difference, these are the homes that have to be marketed really creatively and not only need the right agent but also the right marketing campaign.
I recently inspected a house a client had been trying to sell for some time. Looking at the property type and location, and the fact the home was only bought in recent years, my initial reaction was to expect the problem was simply a greedy seller not accepting that the value was no longer at the dizzyingly high figures of the boom.
My research revealed a beautiful home in a desirable location, which needed more in-depth research, meetings and some time to think.
It really was not a clear case of ‘‘high-price-itis’’. It appeared more a situation of weak and unimaginative marketing combined with uncreative agents following the set process they did for every other property.
The problem was that this home really was pretty special. It was very impressive for the housing market in which it sat and therefore needed to be marketed creatively.
The major issue with properties in the ‘‘bit different’’ category is while they could be normal elsewhere, in their local market they are not the norm. It is all about the seller and agent understanding the home and trying to think who it could appeal to, and knowing buyers in this category are rarely looking for this exact type of home and location and have to be led to the discovery. So how do you lead such buyers? ENSURE the differences in the home are acknowledged and featured, good or bad;
GOOD quality, but not misleading, photography and floor plans are a must;
THE agent must be right for the property and understand its idiosyncrasies;
YOU may need to expand your online and print promotion, but stick to acknowledged, propertybased publications and websites;
WORK together with your agent to manage the process. You may have to redesign the campaign completely at a few stages.
YOU may have to invest in enhancing the product, if your research reveals major negatives that can be minimised;
Selling something different is always tricky, but the right marketing, the right agent and a true understanding of the property will improve the process. Andrew Winter is a real estate consumer champion and the host of on The LifeStyle Channel