3 Apps to Prepare Sellers for D-Day

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Article originally written for and published by Inman News

For home sellers, D-Day stands for an important strategic operation, critical to the successful mission of selling their home: DECLUTTERING.  Clutter is the home seller's seemingly innocent but conniving mortal enemy to getting to sold in the least amount of time for the most money.  "Over 140 million people over the age of 50 years old are now facing the overwhelming task of downsizing and handling all the personal possessions found in estates" as explained by Julie Hall, The Estate Lady® in What am I Going to Do with All My STUFF?  And clutter is by no means a generational phenomenon - clutter clings to the best of us.

Decluttering connotes work (it may take hours/days/weeks to purge), emotional anguish (it is hard to say goodbye to yesterday), and insult (what do you mean would-be buyers won’t like ____?!) for many.  Yet sometimes, the sting of decluttering is minimized when homeowners realize they can declutter for dough, dinero, dollars, or cheddar. 

D-Day is not just a matter of taking everything to the dumpster (talk about adding further insult).  Nor, is D-Day the time to annoy your neighbors with an obnoxious yard/garage/estate sale that may expose you to pickpockets and other criminals.  Instead, help your homeowners see that their treasures may actually be worth a pretty penny or two to others without the nuisance of setting up, policing, and haggling a yard full of strangers on their off day.   

Here are 3, no-fee apps/websites to get your iPad-or-smartphone-using, home selling clients excited about the prospects of cashing in on their D-Day:

Letgo

Screenshot_2015-11-13-13-18-34Letgo is a free app and website that allows your sellers to visually catalog and market their home goods that they want eliminated for D-Day.  You home sellers can post each item in less than 30 seconds from their smartphone or tablet devices.

Plus, your clients can easily share the details of their goods with their Facebook, WhatsApp, email and other contacts with just a extra few clicks.  No more unattractive, awkward emails from home sellers to their family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers desperately and annoyingly pawning off their discards.

Letgo allows shoppers to search for items that are near them, which is great for shoppers that are not looking for anything in particular but will buy something that grabs their attention (so great pictures matter!).  Shoppers can also search by category or a specific item type on Letgo.  

Shoppers can ask questions and submit their offers to you sellers either in the exact amount that was posted or they can try to negotiate with your clients - it will be up to your home sellers to decide if they want to do the “dance”.  As a bonus for you, this may give your home sellers some practice in negotiating before receiving offers from home buyers.

Wallapop

Screenshot_2015-11-13-14-01-19Wallapop is the newcomer of the bunch.  It has the same great features of LetGo but it may not have as many users near your home selling clients (meaning a smaller pool of shoppers) based on how popular it is in your area.  However, Wallapop can still be an effective app to use because lower users also means less products to compete against.  This may work really well for your home sellers that do have large networks and just want an organized catalog system (that is free) through which to share and sell their home goods.

OfferUp

Screenshot_2015-11-13-14-09-22OfferUp is the sophisticated cousin of the other two apps.  In addition to the features of the other two apps, OfferUp allows shoppers to specify a search radius, manually edit the search location (the default is based on one’s current GPS location), and sort items by how close they are in proximity or how recently they were added to the app.

OfferUp has an Instagram feel, in that you do not get bogged down in the details and descriptions.  Instead, shoppers are able to scroll through the picture gallery to see what catches one’s eye and suits one’s fancy.  Then they can message your home seller, who will receive an alert.  As with Wallapop and Letgo, shoppers can accept the posted price or negotiate.



Tips to raise your stock with your home sellers as they use these apps:
  1. Encourage your clients to follow prudent safety practices to make sure they are not dealing with criminals or others that mean to do them harm.  For example, your clients can avoid having strangers traipse through their home by arranging to meet at a nearby Starbucks or other busy, public store.  Also, your clients would be smart to do what we do and ask for a copy of the shopper’s driver’s license before a meetup.  Then send that to their family members or friends.  Or, recommend your home sellers use an app like bSafe.

  1.  Suggest to your home sellers that they use all 3 apps simultaneously!  Since all of them allow quick picture uploads and written descriptions, why not cut and paste the text to each app?  Your home sellers belongings will have wider exposure, meaning they will likely sell faster - yippee!

  1.  If your home sellers are not financially able to hire a home stager, these apps can also be used to purchase a few tasteful, inexpensive pieces that can compliment and accent the existing decor.  For this reason, you or someone from your team may want to download these apps and send recommendations from time-to-time to your clients.

  1.  Will everything sell?  It depends on if there are buyers looking at that moment for what your home seller has to offer.  Thus, I highly recommend you add some time constraints to D-Day (i.e. if the items do not sell in ___ days, then items will be donated, etc.) to ensure you can list the home at the most opportune time.  For example, it makes no sense spending the best part of the summer trying to declutter and miss ready and willing homebuyers.


I hope that was helpful for you.  As another helpful tidbit, get ready to join our next Facebook Ad Freestyle (by Google Hangout).  If you have a question on running Facebook Ads in Real Estate, then this Q&A session is a must.  There is no fee to participate so click here to learn more and sign up.  Happy selling!

Have more questions about helpful real estate technology? Ask away by following me on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  And, be sure to get a copy of the 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform your real estate sales game plan.  Here's to your success!
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