House #12: Major Marketing

October 20, 2009 · 14 comments

We’ve certainly learned the value of good marketing over the past year, and when we need to, we really put it to use. The first contract on The Mini House fell through a couple weeks ago after the appraisal came in low, and we were disappointed to find that we weren’t getting much activity through the property since we put it back on the market.

It’s not too surprising…with it being under contract for nearly 6 weeks the first time, the listing has now been active for about two months, which means a lot of buyers aren’t really noticing it (many buyers like to see what’s new on the market, thinking that the stuff that’s been sitting isn’t very good). Additionally, the original offer was for full-price, which was higher than we had ever expected to sell it for. Apparently, we had gotten cocky and thought that we could get another offer at that list price, but we should have known it was unlikely.

So, towards the end of last week, my wife did some serious marketing on the property. She upgraded the staging with some nicer furniture, created a marketing flyer for agents (view here), put together a virtual tour (watch here), and sent an email to about 200 agents that we’ve worked with and shown houses to in the past. Additionally, we offered those agents a $500 bonus if they could bring us an offer quickly.

Over the past four days, we’ve had about a dozen showings (including a couple scheduled for today and tomorrow). Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any offers yet from those showings, but that is good information. If we get a dozen showings this week with no offers, it most likely means our list price is too high, and will give us further incentive to drop the price again. Even with another price drop, we’ll still likely do well with this house, but not selling it before the tax credit expires next month could severely hurt our chances of getting it sold soon.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this one…hopefully we’ll get an offer this week…

14 responses to “House #12: Major Marketing”

  1. Steph says:

    House looks great, Jason- great job with the staging.

    Hey- where did you get that picture of the flowers in the kid’s room? I like it.

  2. Chris Ranney says:

    We have a 3 family up for sale now as well. 4 weeks on the market. Don’t worry, it will sell.

  3. J Scott says:

    Thanks guys!

    Steph – I’ll ask my wife and let you know…

  4. Carol says:

    Hey Steph! Thanx for your compliments on the staging. I’m actually now working on some materials geared towards staging/marketing for other investors–we’ll see how it works out. The flower pic in the kids’ room was a TJMaxx Clearance rack special… I’m such a super thrifty shopper :o)

  5. Bilgefisher says:


    I think thats a brilliant idea to market to other investors. Many folks don’t have the time to collect the furniture or the knowhow on staging it. I think you’ll do quite well.


  6. Steph says:

    Hi Carol,

    I think that’s a great idea- I’ve actually seen some staging jobs that make the house look worse than if it was left empty…

    I also pride myself on being a thrifty shopper, especially when it comes to home furnishings. Not sure if you have Ross stores in Atlanta, but they have some really great bargains there, too.

    Keep up the great work, and congrats on the little one. 🙂

  7. J Scott, have you ever noticed any loss of interest from multiple price drops on a property? or when you do get an offer it’s lower then your asking price because the buyers might think you are more desperate to sell?

    Just curious, thanks.

  8. J Scott says:

    Scott –

    In this market, we’ve only seen good things with a price drop. In fact, when we get offers immediately after a price drop, they tend to be full price (or very close). I think the mentality is that, “Oh, there was just a price drop…there could be a lot of competition…I better make my offer a good one so I don’t get out-bid…”

    Of course, that’s only the case when the price drop reflects a good price. We’ve had cases where we dropped the price and got no offers at all. But, once we hit the “right” price, we generally get a full-price offer pretty quickly.

    I don’t think we’ve ever been low-balled after a price drop, though…

  9. Bilgefisher says:

    Interesting point on the price drop. Ive been talking to several local flippers. There having to put much more money into each property to make it compete. Have you noticed any changes like this?

  10. J Scott says:

    Bilge –

    I think we have a tendency to “over-rehab” our properties as it is…

    I take the attitude that if you’re going to upgrade some stuff (like light fixtures) you need to upgrade everything, so that nothing looks old or neglected. So, we basically have two speeds on our rehabs:

    1. Do essentially nothing and wholesale to an investor;
    2. Do a full rehab, and replace/repair/upgrade pretty much everything

    Historically, we probably lost a little money by over-improving, but I agree that with the current market, there’s a bit more competition, so the over-improvement is actually more necessary…

    That said, this month there seem to be a lot of desperate buyers (tax credit about to expire), so I think it’s somewhat a seller’s market if you’re doing entry-level homes this month…

  11. jp moses says:

    Loved the staging and the video slide show – well done. Good looking house. May you now liquidate it with a quickness and get paid.

    Regarding the appraisal coming in low, seems to be happening a lot more lately. Appraisers as skiddish and coming in shyer than ever. It’s not just you. 🙂


  12. T says:

    J Scott –

    The links aren’t working for your flyer and virtual tour above – any chance those are still around/available? I’d be particuarly interested in seeing the flyer you produced to send to agents.


  13. J Scott says:

    Hi T,

    Links are restored…feel free to try again!

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