For most flippers, you have already taken the biggest steps to make your property more competitive in the marketplace. This means you fixed everything that was broken, updated everything that was outmoded, freshened up everything that was stale, and cleaned everything that was dirty. Most real estate agents cannot talk their clients into doing those things, so you are way ahead of the market in that regard.
You can gain even more of an advantage by offering incentives not available in other properties. One best seller is the home warranty program. You buy insurance from a national company to cover repairs on all major appliances for one year from purchase. Even if all the appliances are brand new and still under manufacturers’ warranties, the blanket home warranty still seems more valuable to consumers. For more information about providers and their reputations, check with your state or local Homebuilders Association. The national website at www.nahb.org can provide you with phone numbers, or you can call them at 800-368-5242.
Completely installed home security systems, with one year of prepaid monitoring, are another big advantage. Usually the installation is free if you will commit to one year of monitoring, and the monitoring is very inexpensive. In my area, for example, monitoring is less than $20 a month. Why would someone buy one house over another house just because of $240 worth of security monitoring services? I call it “the fooling with it factor.” Most people simply do not want to fool with making a choice among security companies and then being present for the installation and the inevitable high pressure sales to upgrade equipment. They want the system, but they dread going through obtaining the system. If you make that painless, and if you point out they will save money on their insurance because of the monitoring, you will be a hero. They will buy your house. Everyone will be happy.
Another favorite marketing edge is to offer a vacation to the home buyer, a cruise, a long weekend at a resort, or an adventure package. Think about it. Most home buyers feel they have been thoroughly traumatized by the process and deserve a little break. Unfortunately, many will not be able to afford a little break for several years. The lure of a cruise after the closing can give your property the edge you need. Cruise packages can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
An auctioneer taught me this next trick. He said when people want something, they want affirmation from others that they are making the right decision. In addition, when buying a home, they want to know that other people will enjoy coming to the home for activities and entertaining. Using these two concepts, schedule a block party instead of the same old boring open house. Everyone has fun, meets the neighbors, gets the feel of entertaining in their new home, and all the potential buyers affirm each other by saying nice things about the house. Your out-of-pocket expenses will be several hundred dollars, but it is just part of your marketing budget.