Monthly Archives: October 2011

Three Easy Steps to Powerful Home Listings That Sell, Part 3

Our recent research has revealed that certain manufactured home listings attract far more home buyers than others – often getting as much as three times the number of views as other listings.  Our series on Three Easy Steps to Powerful Home Listings That Sell goes through our research and shows you exactly what we’ve found.

From Part One:

These high-performing power listings weren’t always the first ones in the list, or the cheapest, or even the fanciest homes.  However, they do have three special listing details all in common – and here’s the best part – these details can be added to any home listing – regardless of the home!  In this three part series we are going to discuss each of these details, why they matter, and how they can triple your listing’s visitors.

Part Three – The Right Price

In Part One we covered the importance of Compelling Thumbnail Photos. In Part Two, we discovered the power of a Well Crafted Caption Line. In Part Three we will look at the impact of correctly pricing the home.

Very few professional sellers under-price their homes. Even if the homeowner is willing to “give away” the home, it is the responsibility of the professional agent to guide the homeowner to a reasonable price, probably slightly, but not grossly over the market value of the home.

However, most homeowners tend to believe that their home is worth more that it really is, and talking them down to reasonable is far more difficult than talking them up.

First of all, let’s look at some common reasons that homeowners overprice their homes:

  1. They want to add a buffer – “I will accept $20,000, but let’s list it at $30,000 and see what happens.” Unfortunately, nothing will happen.
  2. They believe that they can base the price on what they owe on their loan or what they paid for the home. They do not understand that buyers simply don’t care what was paid or how big the loan is. Buyers are only interested in what they are going to pay.
  3. In most listing searches, the homes are sorted by price from high to low. Homeowners reason, “If I list with a high price, my home will be displayed at the top of these search results lists and will attract more traffic, right?” Wrong! This was one of the most surprising results from our improved web site analytic studies and requires a little additional explanation.

The counter-intuitive fact is that buyers rarely click to view overpriced listings.  In actuality, overpriced listings receive far less views in total than other homes in the same area. Here’s why:

First, when a shopper looks at a list of similar homes in the same area, overpriced homes stick out like sore thumb. It is readily apparent to the shopper that the seller is unrealistic, confused, or perhaps even dishonest. Whatever conclusion they come to – they won’t even click to learn more about the home.

Secondly, the very popular MHVillage “Watch This” and “Ideal Home” features are used by 10’s of thousands of MHVillage shoppers to alert them to homes for sale that meet their specific criteria. In other words, they set up automatic searches so the homes they are interested in come to them, rather than having to manually search for homes. It is a very powerful tool to get your homes in front of the buyers who are actively looking and interested in your specific type of home. Unfortunately, good potential buyers who set their maximum watchlist or Ideal Home price at what the homeowner would accept, but below the asking price of the home, will never even see what could have been the perfect home for them.

As a broker/retailer you must take charge to correctly price a home:

  1. Use the market knowledge and expertise that you’ve developed over the years to guide your customers to the correct market price.
  2. Bring a MHVillage Market Analysis report with you on the listing call to show the homeowner what homes have been selling for in your market. We use our database of millions of closed sales to build a current model for your local market. The report does not recommend a specific price, but provides solid data to back up your advice.
  3. Do not depend on a book value. A book value may help determine the maximum loan value for a home, but book values for manufactured homes are based on the cost to produce, and generally have little to do with the local market value of a home.
  4. If your customer insists on placing the home on the market at too-high a price, at least get buy-in from the seller to lower the price if the home produces little activity in a month.

One final note: What if there are legitimate reasons to price a home higher than what may be apparent from a casual glance at an Internet listing? Perhaps the home has been completely remodeled or upgraded, includes land when other homes are on rental lots, has an incredible view, or includes a country club membership. In cases like this it is imperative to capture the unique feature of the home in the Caption Line – this is the line of text that shows up with your listing on the search results page. The Caption Line is was the topic for Part Two for high-performing listings.  Below is an example of the use of a Caption Line – you can use this area to explain why the home is higher priced than its neighbors and encourage people to learn more!

(The full article on writing effective Caption Lines can be found HERE.)

In today’s challenging market, many techniques that might have worked in the past are now ineffective. You only have one chance to attract the interest and gain the trust of the consumer, and more and more that chance is happening on the internet, not at your office. As a Broker/Retailer you need to be aggressive about setting the correct price for your customer – and yourself.