Thinking of Selling Privately In Toronto? Better Sharpen Your Marketing Skills

This is the second in a series to inform Toronto sellers what herculean task awaits them if they are considering selling their home themselves.    Like I stated in my previous blog, I have no problem of selling privately, but just realize that only 1 out of 10 of you will be successful.

The key driver to any successful sale is marketing; however any market plan is doomed for failure if it does not specifically targeted, approved and motivated buyers.  So, what I will outline is how the marketing message of a home selling privately through a seller’s position from that of a buyer’s perspective.

Marketing A Seller’s View

 Most sellers realize to sell privately they have to be on mls.ca.  So for $600 you can have your listing put up on mls.ca through some unknown brokerage, BUT HEY the house will be on  mls.ca and its only $600…so the seller slams down their credit card. So in 48 hours the UPS truck show ups with a package and your ready to go.  Lets have a look at what a $600 debit on your credit card gets you for marketing your home:

  • A big lawn sign plastered with their logo and a nation wide toll-free number
  • A couple of smaller lawn signs with arrows
  • One listing information sheet to be uploaded to mls.ca (the seller is 100% responsible for its accuracy)
  • Instructions how to send photos you provide to the brokerage
  • How to write an ad to include in newspapers

However, how effective is  this marketing in actually helping sell the house. With the lawn sign up, this will certainly attract the lots of agents who will hound them to list with them.  Check out my blog on realtor trolls.    The listing information which has been loaded onto mls.ca typically has one exterior photo.  You can certainly write your newspaper ad, but in reality how many of today’s buyers will actually see it?   When you add any open houses they do not load onto mls.ca, just private brokerage site, therefore you are invisible to those buyers scheduling open houses for the weekend.

Marketing a Buyer’s View

Today’s Generation X buyers do not apply the same buying tactics as sellers believe.  They look at for sale by owner properties with generally a great sense of trepidation.  Buyers perceive for sale by owners properties as overpriced, based upon them looking to pocket the 5% commission, and if buyers are considering an offer they too want their share of that commission pie.
Mls.ca has become so much more robust in the last few years, with today’s buyers having the expectation of: professional photos, virtual tours, professional staging and video tour which are all available across multiple website platforms. One static photo won’t cut it with buyers..they justclick next.   Buyers expect access when they want, and if showing a for sale by owners’ home is unavailable or inconvenient then expect limited bookings and showings traffic.

We are all in the selling business, however whatever it is you want to sell ensure that your marketing message resonates with your specific target market.     Nothing is worse than have spent $$$$ and time on the wrong marketing strategy then have it fall on deaf ears.