Sometimes, when thinking about how to sell homes, it can be useful to go back to the basics. If you find something holding you back from your goals, it’s always useful to ask yourself whether you’re executing the fundamentals as well as you can be. For surprising numbers of Realtors out there, one or more of the items listed below are known to fall through the cracks.

1. Mispricing the Home

Pricing is, beyond doubt, the single most important step in securing a successful sale. This is something every Realtor knows in principle, but, surprisingly enough, there are still some agents who advise the use of price per square foot (PPSF) as a value indicator. PPSF may well be a standard for appraisers and tax collectors, but neither of these parties is tasked with actually selling the home and working out what price the current market will bear.

For a realtor’s purposes, PPSF is only a meaningful measure of value if all the homes of a given square footage in a neighborhood are otherwise identical, which in most cases is extremely unlikely. Agents may, of course, encounter clients who want a valuation in PPSF, because they believe this reflects fair market value. There’s nothing to stop them from providing it, so long as they explain its limitations and avoid actually using PPSF as the primary guideline for pricing the listing. A comparative market analysis is far more reliable.

2. Using Substandard Visual Marketing

It’s a commonplace piece of Realtor wisdom by now that photos and videos are among the most important tools for marketing a property in the digital age. And yet, despite this, there are enough blurry, poorly composed, ill-conceived and badly Photoshopped images on MLS to provide the subject matter for an entire website in itself. The reason for this is simple enough: Knowing intellectually that quality photos are important is one thing, but actually acquiring the skills and visual judgment to be able to take and use them in marketing is a different step altogether.

Taking good photos is not necessarily in everyone’s skill set. Appraise the kinds of images you’re using with brutal honesty, and ask yourself if you’re one of those people. If so, it’s likely worthwhile to invest in hiring a professional real estate photographer to help. At the very least, you’ll want to peruse some lists of tips and tricks, although this will be most effective if you can understand and implement the content of posts aimed at the photographically proficient.

3. Missing Out on the Full Range of Marketing Opportunities

The Multiple Listings Service is the starting point of getting the word out about a property, not the end. Granted it takes some time, effort and investment to build your own website that generates consistent traffic, and to reinforce that site by learning how to use social media tools like Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ properly. It’s likewise an investment of energy and care to ensure that all the other materials being used in your marketing efforts — including printed materials like brochures — are top-notch. But the difference it makes is very real.

Avoiding these rookie mistakes is a great step to improved performance for your business and bigger commission advances with Commission Express. Consult other posts on this blog for more great tips on how to maximize your effectiveness as a real estate professional.