Get It Sold Now: 5 Ideas

Listing agents from coast to coast say now is the time to think outside of the box which could help you get the property sold.

April 1, 2009

Getting buyers off the fence isn’t easy. Listing agents from coast to coast say now is the time to think outside of the box. These tactics could help you get the property sold.

1. Organize a Raffle

Partner with a charity to raffle the house. That’s what Tom and Dianne Walters did when they needed to quickly sell their 4,500-square-foot, six-bedroom home in Edgewater, Md. The couple partnered with the Annapolis, Md., charity We Care and Friends, which administered the raffle and received 10 percent of the ticket sales. We Care sold 23,000 tickets through the site Although the Walterses needed to sell 31,500 to break even on the property, all parties involved felt it was a win-win, especially Karen McHale of Idaho Springs, Colo. On Jan. 29, she became became the lucky owner.

2. Have a Sleepover

Take inspiration from the HGTV show "Sleep On It" and give buyers a chance to try out a house. Apparently, some sellers are doing just that, allowing one- or two-night stays to give serious buyers a feel for the house and the neighborhood. As a special touch, owners can leave a gift certificate to a local restaurant or a free gym pass for prospective buyers to enjoy.

3. 'Invite' a Celebrity

Real estate practitioners are pros at editing garbage cans and lawn clutter out of photos, but have you ever thought about adding whimsical images to your interior shots? In her Ink blog, media maven Barbara Corcoran of New York suggested this example: a photo of Marilyn Monroe in the listing’s living room. Tip: Expect to pay for celebrity photos, and remember that copyright laws apply to photography as well as text.

4. Appeal to Their Good Taste

Although Subway sandwiches are fine for the broker tour, some practitioners are serving high-end lunches at their high-end listings. One salesperson in Florida parked a latte cart outside her listing and sold the house nine days later for $23,000 more than the asking price. Have multiple listings on a block? Team up with colleagues to host an open house block party, complete with hamburgers and hot dogs.

5. Go for More Exposure

That huge billboard that you drive by every morning could be yours for less than you think. Typical suburban billboards rent for as little as $400 a month and cost about $100 to produce. Another tactic: Use a car magnet that advertises your Web site. For a few dollars, you can advertise your listings all over town.