When it’s time to put your St. Cloud house up for sale, one of the most important built-in marketing tools at your disposal is the write-up at the top of its St. Cloud listing. Ad people call short descriptive essays like this “blurbs.” In St. Cloud listings, its importance is second only to the curb-appeal of the photo that appears above it.
When the blurb is thoughtfully crafted, it can shape prospects’ expectations by way of highlighting the best features while softening the importance of less desirable details. A huge backyard could be emphasized as “park-like”—while a tiny patio could be “cozy” or even “intimate.”
That’s why, after a lightning-fast sale took place last month in Sunnyvale, California, the agent who’d authored its blurb had to have been more than pleased. Realtor® Doug Larson had been working with a home that was definitely “cozy.” The blurb called it “a charmer”— a carefully-chosen adjective given its size (just 848 square feet of living space) and unremarkable lot size (about 1/8 acre). The blurb diplomatically pointed out a “large backyard patio.”
Now, the fact is that even though the single-story house clearly belonged in the “modest” category, its proximity to leading Silicon Valley campuses like Google and Apple merited a hefty asking price—even though Sunnyvale is a more affordable community than neighboring Cupertino or Palo Alto. At only $1.4 million, the listing price represented a strategic exercise in attracting motivated buyers by setting an asking price below comparables. Larson hoped that offers of $1.6 million or so would be forthcoming eventually.
The listing appeared on a Wednesday, but by Friday, despite a request that offers be withheld until a week had passed, a “persistent” Realtor® submitted her client’s offer.
If you are reading this while standing, please sit down.
“I was blown away by it,” said Larson. The offer was for a flat $2,000,000. That jaw-dropping sum works out to $2,358 for each and every one of the 848 square feet —making it not only the highest square foot price recorded in Sunnyvale; it is the highest price per square foot ever recorded in local MLS history. It generated headlines from coast to coast.
St. Cloud sellers might be forgiven for regarding this tale from a notoriously superheated market as somewhat irrelevant—but I’d argue that there are real-life St. Cloud lessons to be learned. For one, this is now the season for the kind of active market you may expect when springtime breaks out after a long, cold winter. For another, strategic underpricing can actually draw motivated buyers in a hurry. This particular example is hyperbolic, to be sure—but the takeaway is authentic.
For more ideas about maximizing your own St. Cloud listing’s marketing impact, give me a call!
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