Archive for the ‘Selling Houses’ Category

Is 1 Little Word Costing You $900?

Friday, April 13th, 2007

This is a quick lesson on communication, negotiating, and getting exactly what you ask for.

Tim has been fielding the phone calls on our properties that are for sale, and I noticed that on the house that we were asking $219,900 for, when people asked him how much, he was saying “Two Nineteen” instead of “Two Nineteen Nine”. When I mentioned it, he said “same thing”

Guess what…we found a buyer, who is paying us “full price” of $219,000 because that’s what Tim told her. You can’t exactly go back now and say “oops, it’s really 900 more”.

Lesson: Don’t be too lazy to say the extra word “nine”, if you don’t ask for it, you will never get it…you now can make an extra $900 per deal just by asking.

Selling with Owner Financing

Monday, March 12th, 2007

We have had great luck lately finding buyers with our sign: “May Owner Finance”. The funny thing is…most of the people calling actually can qualify for a regular loan, so they are ending up cashing us out anyway!

You can’t advertise this way if you have no intention of ever doing it though, that would be misleading, but if someone with 50% down came to you and was willing to pay 10% interest, would you do it?

Update on Houses: Dogs vs. Real Estate

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Well, November and December were very slow for us, we had very few calls on our houses for sale, and even fewer showings…(could have been because we were traveling so much!)

But on January 1st, someone flipped the buyer switch and we have been getting TONS of calls. We got our Pine Hills house under contract and the appraisal is today, so that will probably close next week. The call volume on that house has been CRAZY!

Musing Thought: 4 rott/pitt bull mix dogs next door chained to trees/bark alot when anybody walks on side or back of house/scares buyers away…put up privacy fence on that side for $900 and get an offer the same week…coincidence? Or fence?

No, seriously…we have had challenges selling houses in the past with dogs next door, so when you are analyzing properties, keep that in mind. A new investor recently showed me a house she was wholesaling, and it was in an OK neighborhood, except to get to this particular house, you had to drive down a little dirt path between 2 houses, then at the end you took a sharp right, go past the house with the pitt bull chained up and the 2 cars without tires up on jacks then you get to the house for sale. She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t real excited about the house…can you figure it out?

Anyways…no contracts on the others yet, but getting activity. I non-renewed one of my tenants and am in the middle of rehabbing it for sale, and then another one of my tenants disappeared on us, so we are rehabbing that one to re-rent it…so we are keeping pretty busy right now.

I’ll keep you posted on progress!

Writing a Classified Ad For Houses

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Sorry it’s been a few days since I checked in, believe it or not, the tile guy saga is still going on (would you believe he lied to us? the job wasn’t done when we went and checked!), and the broken window cost $159!

We got an offer accepted yesterday on a house just outside of Pensacola Florida, but as we were researching it…we found out that the square footage was mis-represented in the MLS listing as 1352 when it is really only 1040 plus an illegally converted (and a bad conversion job at that) garage. The comps we had been given were 1200-1300 real feet PLUS a garage, so we revised our offer based on that info, we’ll see what happens. (note, the reason we were able to revise our offer is because they had not accepted our offer exactly as it was written…they had Counter Offered that they wanted $1,000 EMD (earnest money deposit) instead of the $500 I had put on the offer, so in effect, they had “rejected” my offer and made ME and offer which I had the option to accept or reject, which I “rejected” and made them back a different offer. Until both of us agree on the exact same terms, we don’t have an agreement, or a contract.)

Anyways, this post is supposed to be about writing classifieds, so here goes: we are running classifieds for 2 of our properties this weekend in the main newspaper, and here is the first draft I was given for the ads:

Apopka – 3/1.5 with Lots of NEW + bonus room, Owner/Agent, No banks needed, Move In now! $183,900, phone number

Pine Hills – Newer roof, kitchen & carpet. 4/1 or 3/1 with lrg FR. Bath-handicap accessible, Owner/Agent, Move in Now! $149,900, phone number

Both give details on the house, including area of town, bedrooms, price, etc., but what are we emphasizing (and what SHOULD we be?)

  • Owner/Agent is a necessary evil if you are licensed, but we don’t need to flaunt it, so stick it at the end after the phone number
  • Remember, every word costs you money in a classified ad (if you go over onto another line) so take out anything that doesn’t need to be there, such as “4/1 or 3/1 plus big LR” let’s just call it a 4 bed because that’s a selling point, take out the 1 bath because that’s a negative, and get rid of the living room thing, they probably assume it has some kind of living room already!
  • Instead of “lots of new” list some of the items
  • If your property is right on the border of a more desireable location, put that in too.
  • The word “handicap” is not PC (politically correct) so lets say “wheelchair accessible” (I actually called a friend of mine who is in a wheelchair and asked him how to word the ad and flyer for this house)
  • Here’s a biggie: the biggest thing that will catch people’s attention in these ads and make the phone ring is thrown into the middle with no emphasis, “No Banks Needed!” needs to be moved right up to the headline.
  • Think like the reader of the newspaper…are they scanning looking for something that says “move in now”? probably not, so get rid of those expensive 3 words.

Here’s the ads after re-writing them:

Apopka/Lgwd- No Banks Needed! 3bed/1.5ba + bonus room. new kitchen, floors, paint $183,900, phone # Owner/Agent

Pine Hills No Banks Needed! New roof, kitchen & carpet. 4bed, wheelchair accessible $149,900, phone # Owner/Agent

Short, simple, to the point, and should make the phone ring!

Good luck with your ad writing,

Andy