The Truth About Real Estate Marketing

Fact or Fiction: The goal of any good real agent is to show your home to as many home buyers as possible.  Answer: Fiction!  Contrary to popular opinion, most listing agents do not market homes directly to buyers. Gasp! Why? Believe it or not, marketing directly to home buyers is inefficient and wastes the seller’s time. Listing agents instead do the bulk of their marketing to other agents that work with buyers, giving your home the best chance of being seen by the hordes of buyer’s agents and their clients.

How Do Agents Market Your Home to Other Agents?

Listing agents upload all of your home’s information, specs, disclosers, tax records and pictures onto a database called the Multiple Listing Service or ‘MLS’.  Our regional MLS is called MRIS (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems) and it covers the Mid-Atlantic region spanning 25,000 square miles in Maryland, Pennsylvania Delaware, Washington DC, West Virginia, Virginia.  The MLS connects real estate professionals with immediate, accurate and actionable data 365 days a year.  If buyers are looking for something across town or across state lines, their agent has access to all of it (including your property) on the MLS. The MLS vastly expands your agents marketing reach.

Listing agents will hold private showings of homes they have for sale just to other agents.  These showings are called Broker Open Houses and Real Estate Caravans.  Most of the time there are incentives for agents to attend, i.e.: food, prizes and drawings. Why? This allows buyer’s agents to more effectively sell your home to their clients because they’ve physically gone into the home and gotten feel for it.  Again, if your listing agent can persuade 4-5 other agents that your home is marvelous, those agents will go and tell their 4-5 buyers about the marvelous home they just saw. (math = 25 potential buyers) This method is way more effective than holding an open house for the public and hoping 1 or 2 people drop by.

Anything Else Work?

Digital advertising. Yes, some real estate agents still put their listings in the paper and purchase advertising space in home magazines but studies have shown that less than 1% of home sales come from print advertising. Print advertising is expensive and ineffective, mostly because you are marketing to people who are not even looking for a home at all. The vast majority of consumers (be it home shoppers or otherwise) want to see information on homes immediately; they are not going to wait for their ideal home to appear in the paper.  94% of today’s home buyers start their home search online.  Websites like, and now provide consumers with instant information on homes for sale around the world.  Just like real estate agents, home websites upload the information your agent enters into the MLS onto their website. (That’s right!  You can see how important it is to check your MLS listing and verify that all the information entered is correct.)

If you have any questions about marketing your home, please feel free to contact us at 301-759-0100 today.

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