Listing Courtesy of OCEAN ATLANTIC SOTHEBY'S INTL REALTY
This March has been such a busy one on the Sussex County real estate calendar that I thought it would be a good idea to double-check everything just to be certain I wasn’t overlooking any important happenings.
It wasn’t just that the first day of spring on the 20th is the traditional start of what’s regularly the busiest time of year for Dewey Beach real estate activity. This is a reliable phenomenon, further reinforced by the 61 million results you get when you Google “Spring Real Estate Selling Season.” To be accurate, the National Association of Realtors® fudges a little by calling spring and summer the hottest seasons for real estate activity—but it turns out they are pointing to the fact that many sales initiated in spring close during the summer (which is when people prefer to move).
March also has a red-letter day on the 23rd, which is when Freddie Mac, the mortgage reinsurer, is set to kick off their ‘Home Possible’ program. It’s a lowering of their down payment requirements, so mortgage lenders will have more leeway with borrowers. That should provide a further boost for Sussex County real estate activity, which has been laboring for years under tough lending requirements that discouraged some otherwise well-qualified home buyers.
Then there was also St. Patrick’s Day (although that has a less-than-convincing effect on Sussex County real estate activity). There is March Madness, in which basketball plays havoc with more than just television schedules. You could say that it plays hob with appointment times for many Dewey Beach home showings, since the last five minutes of most of the games take at least half an hour.
Just in case the calendar has even more events that might affect Sussex County real estate, we thought we’d better check to be certain we haven’t overlooked any upcoming happenings.
We found out we can relax.
True, this March is Optimism Month, which is certainly thematically in tune with the positive spring real estate outlook (speaking of ‘in tune,’ March is also Music in Our Schools Month and Play the Recorder Month).
It’s International Ideas Month, which, for anyone who’s been following the headlines, is certainly arriving in the nick of time. For those who are, internationally speaking, prone to sticking to their old ideas, March is also International Listening Awareness Month. It’s Mirth Month as well as Humorists are Artists Month. It’s also Noodle Month (does this have a connection with Mirth Month?), Peanut Month, and National Nutrition Month.
In addition to minding nutrition, this is a month for safety: it’s National Collision Awareness Month, as well as National Cheerleading Safety Month. It turns out, there are another couple of dozen other Months that are taking place right now, but most have little to do with buying and selling homes.
What seems better connected to Sussex County real estate is the fact that this is also Umbrella Month, although it’s too early to know the precipitation total for the whole month. It hasn’t prevented many showings or open houses, for sure. In any case, if you are thinking of taking advantage of the Spring Selling Season, it’s also a terrific month to give me a call!
If you are bound and determined to try to sell your Dewey Beach house without the aid of a real estate professional, you will quickly discover that one critical element that can’t be overlooked is marketing. Just planting a ‘For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) sign on the front lawn and taking an 8-line classified ad in the Dewey Beach paper is a good first step—but that’s all it is. Not only must you immediately embark on a do-it-yourself real estate marketing campaign, you will be doing so against competition from all the similar properties which will be promoted by the veteran voices of the real estate industry. It’s a true David and Goliath situation; but Goliath isn’t just a giant—he’s a superbly well-organized giant. If you’re going to be a David, you’d better arm your sling with more than pebbles!
Start with the product you will be marketing. While you are putting your house into top-notch presentation shape, first banish any temptation to overlook areas that need elbow grease or budget dollars to bring them up to top condition. Any defects that go uncorrected will be reason for lowered offers (or no offers at all). Remember that competing properties have Dewey Beach real estate marketing channels open to them, and will have been put on the market after consultation with experienced hands. Your ultimate ace in the hole can only be that of having a desirable property, well-situated and clean as a whistle. But that ace will only be relevant if your marketing effort brings a critical number of potential buyers through the front door!
Another key will be to hire the best real estate photographer in Dewey Beach, and on the appointed day, to give her or him reason to relish the day’s project! Photographers are in the business of presenting eye-pleasing products, but they can’t create what isn’t there. On the day of the shoot, arrange to be at the photographer’s side to help clear or rearrange objects that the lens ‘sees’ as superfluous or obstructive. When spaciousness is mission critical—as it is in real estate marketing—less is always more. The pro you’ve hired will be used to working with professional real estate agents (who sometimes pay their fees), so be quick to help where needed. The difference between great professional real estate photos and poor ones taken by an amateur is more critical in a FSBO situation, where the seriousness of the endeavor is automatically subject to scrutiny.
Ditto, the video or virtual tour. Real estate marketing in Dewey Beach does not in all instances require a video component—but most FSBO campaigns are launched without even considering the option. What is not optional in any serious offering is a well-written, technically correct Dewey Beach listing, so you should do your best to use every web outlet available to position your offering online, including a web site that facilitates gathering data from interested parties. There are also services that, for a price, will help you place your listing. Generally, you pay more for more exposure—frequently six to 10 times the base rate—with the enhanced deluxe packages usually including an MLS insertion, which is vital. When you remember that you are competing against Goliath, it’s no time to skimp!
You should also consider creating, printing, and distributing flyers, photo ads in the local press (real estate magazines, newspapers, etc.)—everywhere you are used to seeing Dewey Beach real estate brokerage ads. All of which points to what most Dewey Beach home sellers eventually conclude: rather than reinventing the wheel, the other option is to team up with an Dewey Beach real estate marketing professional…
If that’s your choice, I hope you’ll count me in! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.