First Marketing Steps
Properties in high-traffic, high-demand locations can sometimes be sold by simply placing a “For Sale” sign in the front yard, but that scenario is not typical of successful real-estate transactions throughout the United States. Get motivated, and take your first steps toward marketing the property to potential buyers.
Your first step is to create an attractive “For Sale” sign, making sure your contact information is legible and can be seen from a distance. Talk to an advertising specialty company — you know, the people who sell personalized pens, pencils, calendars, and other items. They often sell personalized yard signs, too. Ask local political candidates where they had signs made, or contact a sign-making shop.
You can order personalized signs from the same companies that real-estate agencies use. That's somewhat expensive, but if you plan to market many properties, these durable signs might be your best choice. You'll find a list of sign companies in Appendix C.
If your property is not located in a high-traffic area, you might want to use small directional signs. Place them at the corners of busier streets, using as many signs as necessary to lead people to the property. Place directional signs up against a street sign or other permanent item to help keep them from blowing away or being mowed down by highway maintenance crews. Always ask for permission before placing a directional sign on private property.
Consider purchasing a brochure box for the front yard. Put promotional flyers in it for prospective buyers to pick up during times you might not be available. Make sure the information includes your phone number.
Notify Nearby Neighbors
Visit your county courthouse and study local tax maps to find the names and addresses of nearby neighbors, branching out as far as you feel is practical. Send each one a letter or postcard with details about the property, because they might have friends or family who would like to live in the neighborhood. If you're looking for more real estate, mention it, because you might find someone who wants to sell. Address your postcards and envelopes by hand, rather than using printed labels. Recipients are more likely to open and look at a personalized note than what appears to be a mass-produced piece of advertising.
How should I determine the price of my property?
You can use the same techniques to price the refurbished property that you used to evaluate it when you bought it. Refer back to Chapter 7 for tips that will help you determine value.
Brainstorm Advertising Possibilities
Have you researched your local newspapers and other potential sources of advertising? Look into using some of the following sources:
Classified ads in your regular local newspaper
Classified ads in specialty ad papers (if they exist)
Text advertising on your cable company's local information channel
Online ads for local newspapers
Printed magazines that specialize in FSBO listings
It's also a good idea to list your property with an online FSBO search engine. Study each site carefully to determine which one offers the best marketing package. Search for listings in your area to see how owners are promoting their properties. Some FSBO Web sites offer signs at reduced rates and can help connect you with other services you'll need during the transaction;