Seattle area listings: It has to be the complete package.
Imagine yourself walking through the grocery store looking for nuts. You found the aisle and here they are. The problem is all the packages say just nuts and state the weight. A few of these plain nut packages give the nutritional information. But that’s it.
From nuts to huts
You are looking for Seattle area listings. How does “2-story, 2,100 square feet” sound? You need more information? What about: “3-bed, 1 and 3/4-bath, 1987, septic, territorial, FHA, wood products, fireplace, vinyl, forced air, carport, unfinished basement?
It may be informative but it’s hardly persuasive.
Ogilvy on Advertising
I come from the world of marketing. My favorite adman of old is David Ogilvy. In his 1985 book, “Ogilvy on Advertising,“ he said: “First, study the product you are going to advertise. The more you know about it, the more likely you are to come up with a big idea for selling it.”
Ogilvy advocated tasting the soup, sleeping on the mattress, and driving the car before you advertise it. The more you know about the product, the better you understand it. The better you understand it, the more likely it is that you will come up with the big idea for selling it.
Gerhard on Real Estate
It’s no different with every Seattle area listing. I like to know as much as possible about a home that I will be listing. I want to be in the position where I can answer every conceivable question a potential buyer or agent throws at me. I need to be confident in my knowledge. That confidence about the facts combined with an understanding of a home’s characteristics allows me to present homes with a point of view.
Three Homes, Three Points of View
The Snohomish Suburban Home
Like many Seattle area listings this home in Snohomish county was owned by technology-savvy perfectionists. The home was already in good shape when I helped the young couple purchase it six years earlier. The improvements the owners had made were numerous and many of them were expensive. Little did they know that job changes and a move to California would force them to leave it all behind. Located beyond a comfortable commute to employment centers and featuring a huge, maintenance intensive yard, this home was not going to have a large buyer pool.
The big idea or point of view was to stress one of the home’s most appealing improvements – an expensive gas generator. There had been several recent and lengthy power outages in the area. The other two selling points were the home’s technology content, and high quality of the many improvements. The custom Web page listed all the improvements in minute detail while the sign said it succinctly.
The Camano Island Cottage
Closing in early August, this home is perhaps the most charming cottage on Camano Island. I’ve known the owners for years as friends and clients. Like many grandparents, they wanted to be closer to their extended family. The man of the house is a building professional and his wife an expert decorator with exquisite taste. The home was always beautiful, but to sell it at the highest possible price required more than aesthetic improvements.
When it was all done, I stayed at the house one last time as a guest. The owners had left for a well-deserved vacation. We priced it a bit on the high side to reflect the cottage’s unique character. We were looking for the one person who would appreciate the cottage design and would fall in love with the place at first sight. The custom Web page and this short video were aimed at that person.
The home sold after three days at full price to just that person. She had been looking at other Camano real estate before and immediately knew that this cottage was her future home.
The Seattle Urban Farmhouse
I helped my friends and their growing family purchase this somewhat rundown Colonial as part of a bankruptcy. Selling this radically transformed home eight years later was not a matter of finding the big idea. The vision of the owners had turned this home into one of the most accomplished combination of the old and the new – an Urban Farmhouse. “Urban Farmhouse” was the term coined by the lady of the house and mother of seven who directed the interior designer. The three-year renovation caught the attention of the design community, including a feature story on Houzz.com.
My challenge was to do the home justice in presenting and promoting it. Luckily, the now nine-member family had moved out and into a home with far more outdoor space. I called on my trusted staging company to do the Urban Farmhouse moniker justice. Over the years, I had been at the home several times before construction and during it. I quizzed the owners about every aspect of the renovation and stayed in the vacant home to work on the list of features for the special Web page.
This home was added to Seattle area listings when it went live on the MLS and elsewhere on the Web Friday, June 29th. Here it is on YouTube. If the online interest and the number of visitors to the open house are any indications, selling this home during the coming week should be no problem at all. (Update: the home was under contract on the 7th day of the listing, August 5, 2016.)
If you want to see your home among Seattle area listings, but with a point of view, give me a call or send me an email.