So, you’ve located your property and now you have it under contract. Now it’s time to start marketing that property to find a potential buyer. I’m going to walk you through some of the ways that I’ve found to market my properties.
Before you do anything else, have some signs made up to put in the windows of your homes. Most of your sales are likely to come from people driving around to see what’s available in that neighborhood, so signs are a critical step.
Have the signs made and printed in bulk (because, of course, this won’t be the only property you invest in, right?) so you have them on hand. Don’t forget, the process of buying and selling these properties can happen very quickly, much faster than you might be able to have a sign company print them, so it makes sense to have them ready to have. There’s nothing worse than having a property you want to turn around, only to have to wait for the correct marketing material to move it.
You can still have these signs made up, even if you never see the actual property itself. As long as the property isn’t in the heart of a war zone (which you’ll already know by doing your initial research), the signs can be generic enough to be placed anywhere.
Here are some key words and phrases that you can use for your signs: “Low Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance”, “Fixer Upper”, Owner Financing” “Move In or Rent Out”, “We Finance It, You Fix It”, “Low Payments” and “Special Programs.”
Always make sure to check your spelling and have your contact information on each sign. Don’t expect someone else to proofread these for you. Also, you’re going to want to chose colors that really grab people’s attention, like black and gold and bold print. Think of construction signs. They catch the eye and keep your attention while you read and comprehend them. That’s the same thing you want with your house sign.
If the property is in a neighborhood where a yard banner might get ripped down or falls victim to bad weather (think snow banks that could bury them), a sign in the window is probably the best idea. Make sure it’s put on the inside of the window so it can’t be removed unless someone is inside the house.
If your property is in a decent area, a banner is definitely the better option. Banners get more attention from passers by, which results in more calls coming to you.
Before heading to the property, make sure you have all the supplies you need. Or, if you’re working with a realtor, make sure he or she has all the necessary supplies to put a sign in the window. You’ll want to have rope, nails, tape, a hammer and a lock box. You want to make sure you can put the sign up in one trip so you’re not wasting your time and money by having to run to your local mart to pick up a forgotten supply.
Another way to market your property is to put it on eBay. This is actually one of the easiest ways to list your property and I’ve had a lot of success selling my own properties on eBay. Keep in mind that this isn’t going to be your typical listing for a cash sale. When you list your property, choose a starting bid of around $500. In your listing is where you put your terms and conditions and this is where you state that the bid is for the actual down payment, not the property itself. Also within the listing, you can state how much the property is listed for, say $30,000. Make sure you clearly state that the bid is only for the down payment, and that you are financing the remaining balance for ten years, at 11% interest.
If you are planning to list your property on eBay, it’s a really good idea to go there first and look at some other listings. Go to realestate.ebay.com and do a search for the keywords “down payment”. This will give you a good idea of how other property deals are structured, as well as some clauses and disclaimers that you may want to use for your own ad.
Consider listing your property on craigslist.com or backpage.com to capture the attention of local buyers. People who use these sites are either looking to rent or buy, and are often hoping for a rent to own or a lease option. With Craiglist, you can add up to ten pictures per listing. Remember, pictures can be a great tool to get someone’s attention, and the realtor you worked with to buy your house provided you with pictures. You can use these without having to ever go to the property to take your own.
You can also keep your ad short or go into detail. However, remember the key is to get potential buyers’ attention by focusing on the financing and not the property itself. The key is to get people to call and find out more information. From there, you can weed out the people who just don’t fit what you are looking for.
Keep in mind the keywords that are listed above. Some sample ads include:
Why rent when you can own! Owner financing with $1,000 down on this 2 br 1 ba house! Call 800-555-1212
Payments less than rent! Yes you can become a home owner for as little as $1,000 down and $400 a month. Call 800-555-1212
Attention Investors! Get your first fixer upper with as little as $1,000 down and $400 a month. Fix it up and rent it out! Call 800-555-1212
You may want to consider running an ad in the local newspaper. You can even use the same format as the ads above, and these can generate a lot of interest.
Many times, though, it makes the most sense to sell to other investors who are looking for these same properties. A lot of people are looking to invest in real estate and may not have the cash or credit. If the person is handy enough, you can sell the property to them and they can fix it up and rent it out. This is a great idea, because that investor isn’t actually living in the property, but has the income from the rental. You get a good buyer, they get a piece of property that they can hold onto for a long time and they might just come back to you for other deals in the future!