Home Selling in 49442>Question Details

Lance, Both Buyer and Seller in Walker, MI

When holding an open house, is it OK to print out your own brochure or should you leave that to your Realtor?

Asked by Lance, Walker, MI Wed Dec 29, 2010

I ask because we have made a lot of improvements to our house that are not quantified within the brochure for our house. My thought is, a brochure that highlights all of the renovations, upgrades, and replacements would highlight how we cared for the home. Thoughts?

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Hi Lance-

You know your home best and I always want to know what sold you on the home when you first bought. In addition, where you feel the value is. But there is another way to hook buyers....leave a little to the imagination. In other words, briefly highlight the top 3 things that you feel a buyer will love and put these in the listing remarks.
Beyond this let them experience it in person. Pictures, descriptions and marketing are a part of what gets a buyer to buy, but it is not until they get a feel of the home and seeing their couch in your living room and bedroom set in the Master Bedroom, that they get hooked.
Everyone wants to walk away with listing sheets and brochures, but good quality photos that remind them of what they loved about the home and keep them hooked after they leave. They key word is Visualize, the buyers should visualize their family parties there. So a little on what you did to make it what it is, but let them experience it

Good luck!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Lance, my thoughts are this - the brochure should be designed to try to sell the house in at least two ways - one of them visually, the other descriptively. Some people go for details, so the text is set up as bullet points, but those are the two variations.

The description should explain the distinctive selling points of the house. If the improvements are selling points, then the brochure should reflect that. If they're not, then a supplement inside the home may suffice.

Generally speaking, buyers are not looking for improvements as much as they're looking to satisfy lifestyle requirements; whether the home originally had a master bedroom and bath or whether you added it isn't as big a distinction to a home shopper as it is to the current homeowner.

A lot of "improvements" simply bring the home up to "standard," when advertising a 1920s home, I'm reluctant to devote much brochure space to detailing the 1990s changeover from fuses to circuit breakers, galvanized piping to copper, coal furnace retrofit for oil replaced by gas, electronic garage door, et cetera. I might have a paragraph to the effect of, "all systems recently updated and ready for 21st century living," or some such thing.

I have some flyers on my website; my approach to design is to show off the features of the interiors - and to have text for the passenger of the car to read to the driver as they pull away. Most agents have their own ideas; some think the MLS printout is sufficient.

So what I suggest is to have a list of improvements, nicely presented and printed, on display inside the house, next to the flyer box. Unless the improvements are actually selling points - the kitchen and all the baths upgraded in travertine, for example.

The supplement that I did for a listing is in PDF format on my website, the home is the "Crown Hill Garden Cape Cod" for $450,000. Check it and the flyer out; it will illustrate my point.

All the best,
Web Reference: http://NiceSeattleHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010

I agree with Sean. Why not a merging of the 2 if you can do it cleverly. Sit down with your agent and put it together , together.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Dan makes some good points and I guess I should have added............I will ask for receipts to back up the improvements. I put those in a binder inside plastic sleeves along with a large note asking to please do not remove from property. That way the would-be buyer can go through the book to see not only improvements made to the property, but also current tax bill(with owner's name blacked out), appliance manuals et cetera.

I have also had clients who wrote a personal letter (no more than one page or less) about their home. They print it with a border and put it in a frame or a stand so that it is easily noticed by the buyer. Most (not all) buyers appreciate that special touch. Another great tool is a photo album of seasonal pictures to show what the property looks like during the warmer months. Michigan is a great state for this.

There are many things you, along with your agent, can do regarding advertising that go over and above your competition. Just make sure that you are talking with your agent about any ideas that you may have.
Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Besides marketing to the broadest possible market, agents are also careful to observe all legal ramifications with advertising. If you were my client, I would prefer to manage all the flyers and brochures for this and several reasons. The purpose of advertising is to encourage the buyer to take the next step, which would be a live showing. Once in the house, a bullet point list of home owner upgrades and improvements may be useful, but I wouldn't encourage all the data in the general flyer.
You mention holding an open house; will you be doing this without your agent? Personally I believe this is a very bad idea. I am an experienced professional negotiator looking for whatever insight I can use for my clients best interest. When I meet a home owner I ask innocent questions and allow a free flow of information to proceed which I am obligated to use against them.
When I do Open houses they are to show off a home and a chance for me to meet new buyers and neighbors who may also want to sell. Please reconsider if you were planning on holding your own open and either have your agent do it, or someone from their office.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Still wondering if you asked your agent to update the brochure.

When I list a property, one of my questions is to ask the homeowner to make a list of all improvements and special amenities particular to their property. Once I have the list, I put it into a professional looking brochure or list. I attach the list to the information sheets that stand in the box outside the property.

Shawn makes and excellent point. Your agent is most likely advertising in places you may not even be aware of and it would certainly be beneficial for him/her to have that information to advertise on your behalf.
Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
As an agent, I would welcome the Seller making a list of highlights, improvements, etc. to let me and potential buyers know what the most important selling points are in order to market your property better. I would suggest that you give that list to your agent prior to the Open House to that the agent could possibly attach your list to their brochure, or combine the two. Also, I would think your agent would like to have the list in order to add it in the MLS attachments.

Good luck with the sale of your property!

TK Dorsey
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
I would discuss the points that you would like to address in your fact sheet with your Realtor. I don't think there is any issue with creating a additional fact sheet clearly coming from the home owners point of view. I have been on several showings that people did these and I feel it gives the impression that the homeowner is very involved in the care of the home. In fact I usually point out that it is a good sign that the homeowner clearly cares for the details of their home!

For more seller tips check out our site: http://www.RochesterHomeLocator.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010

Good Evening.

I would sit down with your agent a create a new flyer, so that the information is the same and as accurate as possible. If said agent is doing their job, they are posting that flyer in a number of places, including many social media sites, so you want everything to be apples to apples.

I hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Have you asked your agent to make a new brochure?
Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
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