One of the most important aspects of rehabbing and flipping houses is offering the best house in the neighborhood. You buy an older, run down property at a deep discount, and bring it up to modern high standards to turn a huge profit.
Creating the Wow Factor
Beyond completely renovating the home with modern amenities such as granite counters, re-finished hardwood floors, and everything new from top to bottom, here are a few more things to increase the wow factor:
- Stainless Steel Appliances: In almost all cases, you can include a matching stainless steel stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave. Not only does it give the home more value, it also makes the kitchen look complete. Rather then dead space, the kitchen now has brand-new appliances.
- Free Home Warranty: Although a free home warranty is not a physical feature, it provides a great deal of comfort and confidence in the buyer's mind. It costs $300-375 but is a huge selling feature.
- Free TV: An added feature is giving a free 46” flat screen TV with an accepted offer. You can place a plastic imitation flat screen TV hung on the wall with a small sign that reads, “With an accepted offer, you get this free TV.” The cost is $380 for the actual TV. By having a replica of the TV in the home, it provides an additional wow
- 100% Ready: Never show the house to potential buyers until the house is 100% ready. Completely ready means vacuumed, cleaned, spotless, and ready to go. Bring in a professional house cleaning company to bring it up to spec. The perfect-condition homebuyer is turned off if it’s not 100% and you want to make an amazing first impression.
- Mats/Sign: To give potential buyers the image that your homes are “high-quality,” you should put mats at the door entrances with a sign that reads, “Please take off your shoes.” The image this gives the buyer the first impression that this home is a first-class property.
Listing Your Investment Property
The requirements for the listing agent are very clear and specific and include the following:
- Yard Sign - Require a professional (no scratches/dents) yard sign that is very visible from the street.
- Brochures - With each property, you want a 2-page color brochure explaining the features, neighborhood stats, school/shopping info, updates, etc. It has numerous pictures and showcases all the benefits of the home. It also includes the list price. Copies of the brochure are placed in an info box attached to the yard sign. Brochures must be refilled weekly. A stack of brochures is also placed on the kitchen counter inside. You want each potential buyer who views your home to take a brochure with them when they leave. Often, buyers will look at several properties at a time and you want them to remember your home above all others.
- MLS Pictures: High quality online pictures are essential. You'll be amazed at how often you see MLS listings with no pictures, only a few pictures and/or poor quality pictures. How detrimental to the listing! A buyer often decides if they will even look at the property solely based on the pictures. Upload the maximum number of pictures allowed on the MLS (most allow 24). Special attention is given to the lighting, order, quality, angles, etc. of each picture.
- Comments: There is a lot of psychology that goes into the comments. Like the pictures, well-crafted comments will draw the buyer in to set up a showing to view the house. The key is to focus on features. Here is an example of a comments write-up for one property:
“New cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and spectacular new kitchen. This home is completely remodeled, it’s like a new home. Bathroom is fully stylish and completely new. Lots of gorgeous refinished hard wood floors, new carpeting, and new travertine-look ceramic tile. Neutral paint and crisp white trim throughout. Acclaimed Lake Orion schools. Hurry this won’t last long."
Notice some of the key words used – “granite”, “completely remodeled,” “gorgeous,” “refinished,” and “neutral paint”. You want to create urgency with all of your write-ups (“hurry this won’t last long”). The comments section limits the amount of words so you’ve got to be concise. A top selling agent should be able to create a top-notch comments section.
Learn From the Showings
Every time you have a showing, you want an email notification of the scheduled showing as well as a weekly report of how many showings happened during the past week. This can be set up automatically through the MLS. This is important because you want to have a good pulse on how often you're getting showings.
You want the listing agent to call up the buyer’s agent that showed the property and get personal feedback. Here are some of the questions that should be asked:
- How well did the property show?
- What is your opinion of the price?
- What did the buyer like most about the house?
- What did the buyer like least about the house?
- In a rating from 1-5, one being bad and five being excellent, how would you rate this property?
Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. In the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.
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