By Todd Shea
2023 President
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

Selling a home is a big task that frequently marks a turning point or change in someone’s life. To guarantee a smoother transaction, many elements must be carefully considered. Three factors are particularly important in determining the outcome among these factors: the agent choice, the applied marketing approach, and the pricing strategy. Understanding how each of these levers uniquely affects success is crucial, even in the Santa Barbara area, where we are fortunate to have outstanding real estate agents and a constant need for listing inventory.  

The First Lever: The Agent You Choose

The choice of the ideal real estate agent is one of the most critical decisions made when listing a house. Throughout the entire selling process, the agent wears many hats, affecting the result and the experience for the people involved. A qualified and professional realtor may offer insights into the neighborhood real estate market, assist in navigating tricky legal and administrative situations, and provide helpful suggestions on how to stage and get the house ready for prospective purchasers. An agent can help with everything from the tiniest queries about where to start to the most significant negotiation decisions.

The agent’s skill, your interactions with them, and familiarity with the local real estate market are essential considerations when hiring one. Agents with a wide network and local knowledge can use their contacts to attract buyers more successfully. Additionally, a seller’s property will sell for the highest price possible with the help of an agent’s savvy in negotiations. An experienced realtor understands how to match the interests and expectations of the seller with those of the buyer and with current market activity, resulting in a successful transaction for all sides.

The Second Lever: Marketing Strategy

It is impossible to emphasize the significance of an efficient marketing plan in the current digital era. The perception and interest of prospective purchasers can be greatly influenced by how a property is presented to them. An effective marketing plan uses various techniques to promote the property’s distinctive qualities and attractiveness, going beyond simple listings.

High-quality graphics, such as professional photos, videos, social media posts, and virtual tours, give prospective buyers an immersive experience that helps them to picture themselves in the location. Reaching a larger audience is possible through social media platforms, a large online presence, and specialized property websites. Strategic marketing initiatives can also include a sense of exclusivity and urgency, encouraging potential customers to act immediately.

Collaboration between the real estate agent and the homeowner is essential in developing a tailored marketing approach. Trusting the process and the Real Estate professional is key to a successful outcome. By aligning their efforts, they can leverage the property’s strengths and address any potential challenges, ensuring that the marketing strategy resonates with the target audience.

The Third Lever: Price Strategy

Determining the right price for a property is a delicate balance that requires a deep understanding of the local market, economic conditions, and the property’s unique attributes. Pricing a home too high can deter potential buyers, while pricing it too low may result in missed opportunities for maximizing profit.

Comparable market analysis (CMA) is valuable in establishing an appropriate price range. This involves assessing recently sold properties with similar characteristics to gauge the market’s response to similar offerings. A well-considered pricing strategy takes into account not only the property’s features but also the prevailing supply and demand dynamics, as well as broader economic factors.

Flexibility is crucial in the pricing strategy. As the market evolves and potential buyers respond to the listing, the price might need to be adjusted accordingly. An agent who closely monitors buyer feedback and market trends can guide the homeowner in making timely and informed decisions regarding price adjustments. Ultimately the market will set the price and while data and strategy will significantly impact the results, the property is only worth what a buyer will pay for it.

The Interplay of the Levers

Successfully listing a home is a multifaceted endeavor that requires careful consideration. Each lever carries its own weight in shaping the outcome of the transaction. Working with a local REALTOR® and knowing which lever to pull will achieve a successful result in listing and selling your home. 

Todd Shea is the 2023 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors (SBAOR). He is a California licensed real estate agent with the Zia Group powered by eXp Realty here in Santa Barbara. He has served on and chaired several committees within the SBAOR and served on its board of directors. Todd can be reached at 805.453.7730 and or message and follow @toddshearealtor on Instagram. 


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