Selling Real Estate in 2016 requires New Selling Skills

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Selling real estate in 2016 requires new skills that require commitment and a desire to learn new concepts from that used in the past. Outside and internal drones, professional photographers, photo billboards, full page colour advertisements in relevant publications, a customisable SEO ( search engine optimisation ) website, all of which is not for selling a million dollar property but is now used for the sale of a mid-range priced property.

Have you been bemused to be presented with a property proposal to sell with a costed marketing strategy to suit by your broker? Well, you are not alone. It is the new norm.

Things have moved on markedly from that of 5 to 10 years ago with real estate marketing. Then all that was needed was a small run-on advertisement in the newspaper and a basic sign outside the property and wait for the phone to ring.

The commissions and marketing costs plus the other fees associated with selling property have undergone an extreme makeover of sorts. This is due to the digitalisation of the media industry and globalisation of the real estate markets. Now people can live in one country and run a business located in another. No longer is your best buyer within 1 km of the property on sale.

Commission and other selling fees are not set in stone, that much is true but they reflect the skills of the agency. They vary depending on who is paying for the marketing and the expertise of the brokerage company. Desperate commission sales people will always offer to try to sell the property for less hoping to that luck will replace expertise.

Small localised brokers without international support are struggling to find buyers or marketing channels and are doomed to extinction.

In a complex world where there is more and more bureaucracy than ever before, an experienced International broker can be a lifesaver.


Getting your property up to a ‘sellable’ status may require a little more outlay on your behalf than you probably realised. It could be as simple, and as relatively inexpensive, as getting in a painter to refresh the walls or having a specialist come in to declutter and/or ‘stage’ your home for presentation purposes.

Or your home may require more extensive renovations like a new bathroom  or kitchen cupboards.

It all depends on whether any remedial work needs to be done and the kind of fit-out that your home needs to appeal to its target market.

Most agents recommend you look for imperfections,  both the external and internal of your property before selling, as they can influence whether someone gets excited about it or puts it in the too-hard basket. Sellers who fail to do this are dooming their property to the ‘do up’ category.

When it comes to the overall cost of marketing a property there is considerable variations depending on the property’s location, value and popular demand.

There are now  a number of marketing services modern brokers can employ to “push your house in front of the competition and sell it more quickly.

The sales process can be likened to an athlete preparing for a race.  All the preparation is done before the start of the race to ensure success.

Brokers need to research the local market first. Pretty basic stuff such as – who is going to want to buy the house? What are the opposition properties priced at. What are the recent comparable sales. Is the market moving up or down?

The target market (potential house buyer) must then be searched for in its local environment, and lured to the jackpot (the home).

The agent should offer the vendor client a choice of marketing tools with a range of price tags, all focused on reaching the potential home buyers, already identified by him or her.

Professional photography and associated video have become the norm now for serious sellers. You only get one chance to make a first impression and buyers are still few on the ground.

Floor plans for web listings is also now considered essential to avoid having unqualified people visiting your property.

Signs – old-fashioned but essential for the average property still.

Vendors can expect to pay between 0.5 and 1 % of the property’s value to market a home depending on its location, appeal and its competition.


Some home sellers have no idea about advertising costs and think the agent could be ripping them off. Once they realise the high costs of today’s marketing they relax.

The more you market a property, the more likely you are to sell it. That is assuming of course, you have priced it correctly in the first place.

Marketing is essential in creating urgency and ultimately competition for the property, which in turn drives up the potential price paid.

If you market a property then it’s clear it is not a secret, there is excitement around the property. The marketing gives the owners choices, and the neighbours see there were other people interested in the property and tell their friends.


An advertisement on a local website and a sign may work for a mid-priced property but it is not likely to be effective if your property is worth a lot of money.

For a higher-end properties, we would recommend to hire a drone to fly over the property to take some overview and location shots. Some properties would also benefit from an internal drone view. ( you need high ceilings and a lot of internal volume to do this).

Only a truly architectural home is best left empty of furniture, so any prospective buyer can picture where they’d place their art and furniture without any distractions. Otherwise, it should be “home staged”.


There are always those urban myth stories floating around where someone you know, knows someone who sold their house in a week for top dollar after placing an ad in the local gazette or answering a knock at the door.

Not impossible but highly unlikely. 99% of sales where people have received premium prices are achieved by careful planning and execution of sophisticated marketing plans.


Today the world is global with considerable movement of people living in one country but working in another. If your property is located in an area where this is true such as Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rio, and many of the popular tourist areas in our region then make sure the company you are dealing with has bilingual staff or you will miss out on potential sales.

Professionally trained brokers are now seen by home sellers as experts, rather than just salespeople. They need to be problem solvers, organisers, marketing consultants and digital media experts. Draw on their expertise, make assessments, and hopefully get that sold sticker on fast.

Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and disposal.

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About Gateway to South America

Established in 2006, Gateway to South America began as a single office in Buenos Aires. Since then, it has grown into a vibrant regional network, providing professional real estate marketing services to clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. If you enjoy reading our news site, please share it on your social media!

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