Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign

Over the past decade, I’ve managed to sell a lot of properties without the assistance of a real estate agent. These were properties I owned and was selling in my limited capacity as a real estate investor.

After going through the selling process time and time again, I’ve learned that there are some fundamental principles that can have an enormous impact on how quickly a property ends up selling.

When you wrap your mind around these ideas, you will start selling properties faster than you ever thought possible.

Sound exciting? Let’s dive in!

1. Get Great Pictures (And Video)

At first glance, this is pretty obvious to most people (I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t include images of their property in a listing). That being said – I don’t think most people realize just how influential a good visual portrayal of their property can be.

If you want your property to stand out among the others in your market – it needs to look remarkable.

It’s not just about getting the same old, boring, mundane pictures with terrible lighting and nothing in the image that pops. I’m talking about going the extra mile to make sure your property pictures look awesome.

Think about it… if you stand to make thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on a property, isn’t it worth paying someone a few hundred to get some mind-blowing, professional photos AND put together some great video footage of the place?

RELATED: Need a Local Photographer? Use My Job Posting Template!

I realize this isn’t always easy to do, especially if you’re hiring a random person in the near vicinity to drive by and get pictures for you. Sometimes you’ll get great results from this, but it’s usually a roll of the dice.

If you do find yourself with a set of pictures that don’t look particularly great, it is absolutely worth paying a few extra bucks to make those pictures as beautiful as possible (without misrepresenting what the property actually has to offer). One way to do this is with a service called BoxBrownie.

I’ll show you how it works in this video…

A good visual representation of your property can mean the difference between selling NOW (at your full asking price) vs. selling 24 months from now (after you’ve cut your price in half). Which option sounds better to you??

Especially if you’re working with a higher-end property, it can be very much worth your while to invest some money into creating a high-end appearance in your listing (and by the way, this is what most billionaire real estate investors do… just check out any of Donald Trump’s websites).

I know, you’re probably thinking this is way more trouble than it’s worth but TRUST ME – it’s not as difficult as you might think. Check out this sample video I created with shots I got from a hired photographer off of Craigslist:

Pretty good, right? All the equipment and skills required to create this kind of video production are 100% attainable by people like you and me. Is it worth the additional time/investment? It all depends. If you can factor this cost into your overall project and still come out with the minimum profit that you needed in the first place, I would say YES, absolutely!

And keep in mind – you don’t need to spend thousands to do this. Even if you’re working on an investment property remotely (which is how most of my projects work these days), you could also hire someone to create a video like this for a very reasonable investment:

You get the idea.

2. Write A Solid Headline

When you’re listing your properties on websites like Craigslist or Facebook (which you should always be doing) it is imperative that your listing has an eye-catching headline.

In many cases, this is literally your only shot at getting a buyer to notice you, so you’d better not be bashful about what you’re bringing to the table.

There are a lot of books and blog posts that have been written on this subject and it’s importance really can’t be overstatedWhen you’ve only got a split second to catch someone’s attention and engage them to click on your listing – your headline is EVERYTHING… I’m not kidding!

Take a careful assessment of your property. What are it’s positives and negatives and how can you play off of each? Try saying something that will make people do a double-take! Can you make it funny? Can you make it stick out like a sore thumb amongst all the other boring headlines?

Take a look at these headlines and tell me, based SOLELY ON THE WORDS… which ones would you click on to find out more?

  • 258 State Rd Rockville MS – Open House This Sunday
  • CHECK THIS OUT! Amazing 3-Stall Garage w/ a Free House Attached!!!
  • 4 BEDROOM COUNTRY HOME LAND CONTRACT TERMS
  • ARE YOU SERIOUS?! 25 Acres of Wooded Land on Lake Geneva for HOW MUCH??
  • Handyman Special. Priced To Sell. This One Won’t Last.
  • FIRE YOUR HANDYMAN! Move In Today – This House Is Ready To Rock!!!
  • New Construction in Collinsville Westbrook Homes Development

As you can see – a good headline can mean the difference between people seeing your listing or NOT seeing your listing.

Fortunately for you, most sellers have absolutely no imagination when it comes to creating headlines that catch the eye so use this to your advantage and make an effort to shine in this area.

RELATED: SOLD! How to Write Real Estate Ads That Sell Properties Fast

3. Give Good Information

Once somebody clicks on your listing – you’d better have some details for them to dig into. If someone expresses interest in your property, it will do you no good if you don’t make all of the pertinent information instantly and easily accessible for your prospective buyers.

There’s a reason we do our homework before we buy a property… we do it so that when it comes time to sell, we can very quickly roll out the basic property details and display them for our buyers to see.

We don’t want to make our buyers work hard to make a buying decision. We want to make it EASY, by giving them everything they need in order to say “YES, I WANT TO BUY!”

It also doesn’t hurt if you’re able to write your listings well. Good information is important, but you can take this one step further by writing in such a way that your property actually sounds irresistible, as I explained in this blog post.

Example 1 – Typical Listing:

new furnace, air conditioning unit. all appliances includes. Huge deck off back of home. walk out in basement to back yard which is fenced in. Lots of updates done. 1 stall attached garage with finished breezeway.

(Note: This is a completely random listing that I copied and pasted from Craigslist. No editing was done – this was literally the first thing I clicked on. The point is to show you how terrible most people are at writing property listings.)

Example 2 – Well-Written Listing:

You’ll love this peaceful and cozy bungalow overlooking beautiful Riverside Park. Spend your summer mornings on this front porch with a fresh cup of coffee and your winter evenings snuggled up by the stone fireplace with a good book. This is the home you’ve been dreaming of! Situated in a friendly community on the outskirts of Robertson Township, just thirty minutes from exciting Springfield.

I’ll be completely honest with you… it took me about 10 minutes to write those 4 sentences above in “Example 2”.

It takes real effort to be creative and think of descriptive words that will actually make your property sound appealing! But the real question is, is it worth those extra 10 minutes? You tell me… without seeing any other pictures, videos, comps, numbers, or any other hard data – which of those 2 descriptions sounded better to you?

The vast majority of sellers are TERRIBLE at writing property listings (as illustrated by the first example above). Again, this is great news for you because it means you’ll have the opportunity to stand out and look WAY better than all the other amateurs in your market.

4. Price It Right

If you don’t have your property priced appropriately, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. This can be a tough aspect of selling any property because pricing can be a very subjective thing.

Once you’ve taken the time to understand what your property’s full market value is (more insights on that here), I’d suggest you start by listing your property for approx 10% – 20% BELOW that number (and the lower you can go, the faster you’re likely to sell it).

When it comes to selling anything – remember that people aren’t motivated to pay the exact price of the value they’re receiving. They want the value to EXCEED the price they’re paying (and in most cases – they expect nothing less).

market perceived value

If you want to create a listing that buyers simply can’t refuse – you need to make them believe (in a legitimate and compelling way) that this isn’t their average real estate transaction…  they are truly getting in on the deal of a lifetime!

Remember, when you’re deciding what to list your property for, you need to keep your greed under control. I know this is easier said than done, but the fact is – you need to leave some meat on the bone for your buyer. If you bought this property for the right price in the first place, there is no reason you can’t pass some free real estate equity on to your buyer.

At the end of the day, a great price is usually going to be your most powerful selling proposition and this is what will drive people to buy from you. Be sure that you’re delivering excessive value to your buyers and most importantly…  make sure they’re able to see it.

RELATED: Deadly Pricing Mistakes Most Real Estate Investors Make

5. Strong, Relentless Promotion

At the end of the day, all of the above-mentioned fundamentals will mean nothing unless you get your listing in front of people. A LOT of people.

You can start by taking advantage of as many free listing services as you’re able to. You should also be building and communicating with an ever-growing buyers list.

Depending on your situation, you may want to list your property with a real estate agent, and don’t forget, there are all kinds of paid real estate listing sites that can reach a much larger (and serious) audience.

Promotion is probably the most important fundamental that makes this list come full circle. There’s no point in promoting until you have an awesome listing to show the world, and there’s no point in creating an awesome listing if you’re not going to promote it! These things go hand-in-hand.

RELATED: 50 Websites to Post Your Real Estate Listings for FREE

(Bonus) 6. Offer Seller Financing

It’s no secret that seller financing is a huge money-maker. A lot of investors use it because it can multiply their profitability many times over, but perhaps the more important reason is that it’s also an extremely potent selling tool that can open up the doors of opportunity for A LOT of buyers who would otherwise be completely unable to buy your property.

Access to capital (aka – CASH) is something that many would-be real estate buyers are going to struggle with. They may have a few thousand bucks in their bank account, but coming up with your FULL asking price today can be a serious challenge. They’re the right person. It’s the right time. They want to pay your full asking price… but they don’t have access to the cash and/or financing to pull it off.

Most sellers don’t offer seller financing with their properties, but this is something that you can do – especially if you own your property free and clear (which is easier than you’d think when you’re buying for the right price).

Whenever possible, you should absolutely be offering seller financing on the properties you have listed. Trust me, it makes sense for a number of reasons.

Putting It All Together

When you execute these items well, you will start knocking it out of the park with your sales efforts. It can certainly be a challenge to perform all of these things flawlessly (most people will find that they are more gifted in one or two of these areas, and not ALL of them), but even so, all of these items are extremely important to do well. If you fail at one of them, your ability to sell properties fast will be impacted.

Take the time to figure out what you’re good at, understand where you’re coming up short, and don’t be afraid to outsource the things that you can’t do yourself (it’s actually pretty fun, I do it all the time).

RELATED: HELP! What To Do When Your Property Just Won’t Sell…

Do you have any tips that have allowed you to sell a property quickly? Share your insights below!

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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  1. Dave says:

    Thanks for kind words about my video.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      No problem Dave! I appreciate all of your amazing videos. You’re a real inspiration for me!

  2. Ian Kuchman says:

    Excellent article you’ve written here. I will definitely be looking into creating some high quality video like Dave has shown us. Nobody really sticks out in my market as the ones showing incredible video to show off their retail/wholesale properties. Looks like an opportunity to zag.

    It’s funny, I just asked a realator if he could do this for me, but he never gave me a good answer.

    Thanks guys.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Ian! I know what you mean. I think most realtors and investors (and people in general) aren’t great at “forward thinking”, aka – pursuing new ideas and behaving differently than the rest of the crowd. If you can create great videos, your property will look remarkable, no question.

  3. estate agent says:

    hmm..right title fundamentals that sell..i agree with all your fundamentals u listed..they are the must..

  4. sachinbop says:

    I am fully agree with your thoughts. You listed all the fundamentals in a proper manner. Good job.

  5. Nancy Frain says:

    KISS theory, great content with good advise. Any further help is always welcome. Keep it up.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks a lot Nancy! I appreciate you checking out this blog post.

  6. Josh Norris says:

    Seth,
    I gotta know who or how you did the video above. That is a priceless piece when selling land. I find the hardest part is to show the people why they want the land that I have for sale.

    Josh

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Absolutely Josh – which video are you referring to? The first or second one? They’re both pretty awesome representations either way.

      1. Josh says:

        Seth,
        Sorry for the delay. I was thinking the second one. It is nice to showcase vacant land that way instead of just providing the parcel number.

        Josh

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