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11 Steps to Selling Your Home Successfully in San Francisco- Step 5: It's ALL About Marketing!

San Francisco Realtor House for SaleOnce you have gotten your home ready for sale – marketing will be the next step in getting it sold.
There are a lot of factors to be considered in marketing a home. For instance, the steps you will take to market a $50 million dollar home will vary to a large degree from a $1 million dollar home. Since I’m guessing that most of my blog readers do not have a $50 million dollar home for sale, and instead have something more typical of the San Francisco market which can be anywhere from $500K for a small condo or TIC to $3-4 million for a property in Noe Valley or Pacific Heights, I’ll be focusing on those more regular homes here in San Francisco.
Of course, if you have a $50 million dollar home to sell, feel free to contact me to discuss the marketing approach I would suggest – I’ll be happy to assist you.
Your agent will pay for most marketing. Of course, we are talking within reason. If you have decided that your 1BR TIC warrants a TV commercial that airs on all of the HGTV shows during prime time – well, you might just have to pay for that yourself. But your agent, in most cases, can and should cover all of the basic marketing expenses. These expenses include:
Market Preparation

  • Professional level digital photography
  • Optional line drawing or watercolor of exterior
  • Professional video shoot and DVD
  • Professionally shot virtual tour

Print Marketing

  • Real Estate Times display ad
  • Sunday Chronicle display ad
  • “Just Listed” cards delivered in the area surrounding the property as well as to select REALTORS® and clients
  • Property Statements that are professionally designed

Online Marketing

  • Feature property at website
  • Publish listing at the #1 site for listing traffic,
  • Publish listing at the #1 site for San Francisco property information,
  • Participation in the IDX (Internet Data Exchange) program. This publishes your listing to all major Brokerage websites, including Pacific Union, McGuire, Hill & Co., Sotheby’s, TRI/Coldwell Banker and others. Individual agent websites who participate in the program would also carry your property.
  • Custom property website, dedicated to your property only, e.g.:
  • Promotion on local blogs such as Curbed SF, theFrontSteps and maybe even your own agent’s blog and/or website.

Additional Activities for the Premier Home Market

  • Catered Broker’s tour, to increase turnout from the brokerage community
  • Twilight catered showing in first week with notice to neighbors and REALTORS®
  • Exposure internationally to the top firms in the U.S. via our partnership with “Leading Real Estate Companies of the World” – the largest relocation network in the world

Those are some of the most basic marketing tactics for your home – and again, your REALTOR will take care of all of these for you.
But I haven’t yet touched on what might be the most important part of marketing your home for sale in San Francisco – STAGING!
Potential buyers make their decision to purchase your home in the first 30 seconds upon entering. First impression is the key to selling your home fast and for top dollar.
In addition, well staged homes sell for 30-50% faster than their counterparts.
HUD data shows that a staged home sells for 17% more, on average, than a non-staged home.
Your agent will:
a. Arrange a staging consultation at the property with or without a professional stager
b. Execute staging plan in consultation with Broker and property owner
c. Install fresh floral arrangements and will refresh as needed prior to major showings
d. Arrange for a “fix up” loan to assist you with cash flow and help get you top dollar

However, most agent don’t pay for staging, unless of course, they reflect the cost in their commission. In my case, I have set professional fees, and if a seller is willing to go above and beyond my standard commission rate, I will reimburse a seller for a portion of staging costs at the close of escrow.
Since a staged home sells for more money and sells quicker than an unstaged home, staging is in everyone’s best interest.
And let’s not forget actually showing the home – that is in fact part of marketing your property. Ideally, you will no longer be living in your property during the sale. That means that once the property is cleaned, staged and ready to present, there won’t be anyone to make a mess and it’ll be left exactly the same from one showing to the next.
However, sometimes circumstances require that you live in your home while you’re selling it. That doesn’t mean it will be difficult to sell your home. It just means that there are some things you should keep in mind when preparing to show it. From

  • Pull the drapes back
  • Light lamps
  • Simmer a few drops of vanilla on the stove
  • Light your fireplace
  • Set the dining room or kitchen table if you have particularly nice linen or china
  • Put fresh towels in the bathroom
  • Leave the house so your REALTOR® is free to deal with prospective buyers in a professional manner

Following these suggestions will help your REALTOR make the most of every showing. And while the San Francisco real estate market isn’t doing bad, putting your property in the best light possible will definitely help you sell your home quickly and for the most money possible.
So that’s the basic gist of what goes into marketing a property for sale. There’s obviously more to it than that – but I’m trying to keep this short and sweet for the sake of a blog post instead of a short book. If you have questions about the best way to market your property, feel free to contact me, and I’ll be happy to give you some advice.
I hope you’ll stop by when I’ll be talking to you about Step 6 to Selling your Home Successfully in San Francisco – Disclose, Disclose and Disclose Some More!