Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX on January 15, 2001 at 21:04:46:
Since you’re a real estate agent, I’m sure you’re aware of most of the factors that affect the salability of a home. Many of these factors are difficult if not impossible to change such as location, neighborhood amenities, property amenities, livable square footage, lot size, and number of bedrooms/baths.
There are a few factors over which you have a great deal of control such as curb appeal, property condition, and interior decor.
Obviously you want the house to have good curb appeal. Evaluate how your house looks in the eyes of a prospective buyer driving up to the curb for the very first time. Would the house make a better first impression if you spent a few dollars sprucing up the front yard? I don’t know what part of the country you live in, but here in the Sun Belt we can plant some inexpensive flowers even this time of year to enhance the curb appeal.
Then when the prospect steps into the house, you want to make sure that the property is in excellent condition. Would the house benefit from a fresh coat of paint? When was the last time the carpet was shampooed? Is the house absolutely spotless? Are the windows crystal clean? Pay attention to little things like squeaking doors, loose knobs on cabinets and burned out light bulbs. These are very easy and inexpensive to correct.
As for the interior decor, this is where a few subtle touches can make a big difference. Think of the things that you can do to make your house look as much like a model home as possible. If some of the rooms are crowded with too much furniture put a few pieces out in the garage. Some attractive silk flower arrangements may really brighten up a room. Here are a few tips that I call “setting the stage”. Have the stereo set to an easy listening station with the volume set real low for background music. Turn on EVERY light in the house. I routinely replace all the 60 watt light bulbs with 100 watt bulbs to ensure that the place is as bright and cheerful as possible. If there is a fireplace, have a cozy fire going. Have air fresheners in each room. Have packages of premixed cookie dough on hand so that you can quickly throw a batch in the oven just before your prospect arrives. Here’s a trick that works great. Put a few drops of vanilla extract on each light bulb. As the bulbs heat up, the whole house will smell like fresh baked cookies. Just be sure to put the drops on when the bulbs are cool.
All of the aforementioned are things that come into play once you’ve gotten the prospect to the house. From your post, it appears your problem is getting the prospects to the house in the first place. There are three MAIN factors that affect the salability of a house. Your problem may be solved with one or more of these factors. They are marketing, price, and terms.
As for marketing, there have been many posts covering this topic. You might want to check the archives. In addition to what you’ll find there, here are a few more suggestions.
Mail a postcard or deliver a flier to the homes within a 2-3 block radius of your subject property with a ?Choose Your Neighbor? message.
Post ?Home For Sale? fliers on as many bulletin boards as you can, i.e. supermarkets, churches, community centers, employee lounges at large companies, faculty lounges at local schools & universities, housing offices at nearby military installations, etc.
It should go without saying that you have a yard sign. I attach a ?Take One? tube to my FSBO yard signs, just like the REALTORS® use. Make sure the tube is never empty. I bribe a neighbor to keep an eye on it for me and replenish as needed.
Of course the two MOST important factors that affect marketability are price and terms. As has been mentioned many times on this new group, terms will definitely make your property move faster. You mentioned owner financing or a wrap. Yes, use some form of owner financing to make it as easy as possible for your prospect to buy your house.
Hope this helps.
Best of Success!!