“Don’t Be a Secret Agent,” the Corollary

What’s one way to avoid racking up market time — the enemy of every home seller trying to get top dollar for their home (in other words, all sellers)?

Don’t formally put your house on the market.

Instead, more would-be Sellers appear to be quietly networking their homes — some through agents, some themselves — in the hopes of scoring a “private” transaction (agents will occasionally show non-listed homes through something called a “one-time showing contract” — pretty much what it sounds like).

Even some MLS-listed homes now seem to be skipping “For Sale” signs in front, presumably to avoid the stigma of a home that’s sitting on the market, unsold, month after month.  

Hit or Miss

Does such a “quiet” sales strategy ever pay off?

It can, but the odds aren’t great — and it goes against the grain of most Realtors’ instincts (including mine).

Which are . . . to prep and stage a home “to the nines,” then create maximum market awareness through a combination of professional (vs. amateur) networking, flattering photos and literature, and market exposure via Broker Tour, Sunday open houses, etc.

No Shortcuts

By contrast, a purely word-of-mouth marketing campaign may not attract the right Buyer — or any Buyers.

There’s also the question of the home’s market readiness (less than optimal) and price (if set by the Seller, suspect).

All of which suggests the corollary to the “Don’t be a Secret Agent” mantra drummed into every new Realtor.

Namely, “Don’t be a secret home seller.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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