How to market your property in this Market
by James Miller
I am assuming that you are in the same boat as a lot of Real Estate Investors. There are plenty of deals out there to buy, but how do you unload the ones you already have.
Here are a few of the techniques I use for unloading properties in this market.
Tip#1: You have to make it easy to buy your property.
If you try to sell your home or investment property traditionally, and by that I mean looking for offers that completely pay you off the day of the closing by being either the all cash, or bank loan types. you will have severely limited the market that you can sell to.
Things have already gotten tougher as 720+ FICO’s and 20% down are now virtually standard. You can also bet that appraisers are not as lenient with their property valuations as they once were.
Here is a list of my alternative selling methods.
You can think of this as a rent to own type program where you get a substantial down payment as option consideration and in exchange you agree to sell the property to the buyer at a given price within a certain time frame.
The tenants are buying the home and tend to take better care of it. You can also get higher than market rents, by agreeing to put some of their monthly payment toward equity build up.
Since the Deed does not transfer until they cash you out with a bank loan, you get the added benefit of being able to write off the depreciation.
Carry back a Second
In this scenario you agree to hold a note for some portion of the purchase price. This amount can often times be credited toward the down payment amount that they need to bring to closing table making it easier to buy. The amount of a seller second is often limited by the lender of the first mortgage to a certain percentage, typically 5%, or 10%.
The Deed will transfer so getting your money back if the sellers default can require a foreclosure action. You are also second in line behind a lender who may eat up all the equity in the property in a foreclosure.
Carry back a First Mortgage
If you own a property free and clear, or if the buyers are putting down enough to eliminate any mortgage you have on the property you can hold a mortgage in first position, essentially becoming the bank for the seller.
The Deed will transfer so getting your money back if the sellers default can require a foreclosure action. You are in much better position by holding the first.
Land Contract, or Contract for deed
Similar to a rent to own scenario, but the buyer has a much stronger ownership position. Many banks will allow a Refinance after a buyer has proven himself or herself under a land contract. The deed does not immediately transfer, but you may need to bring a foreclosure action in the event of a default sue to a stronger ownership position.
Tip #2: Your property needs to have an edge
Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from the competition will help in this respect. This is kind of like my “why houses need a hook” post.
One of the properties we rehabbed started as a four bedroom one bath home. We decided to turn one of the bedrooms into two bathrooms making it a three bedroom three bath home. While losing a bedroom is not something you typically want to do, I knew the three bathrooms would give us an advantage over other homes of the same caliber when listed on the MLS.
There are a lot of three bedroom two bath homes out there, but not nearly as many three bedroom three full bath homes.
Tip #3: You will need to spend more on marketing
It is easy to sit back and blame the down market for a lack of results, but the truth is that we are still getting calls on our advertising and the number of calls is always a direct result of how much advertising we do.
It doesn’t feel good to be less results for the same amount of money, but advertising is a cost that directly relates to sales. If the sales numbers for the same marketing dollars spent are dropping, it is harder and more of a waste of time to try to come up with better, more creative advertising, when you know that increasing your marketing budget will bring you the traffic you need to sell a property.