Creative Advertising Ideas

Asked by Joanie, 67204 Fri Mar 7, 2008

We are willing to get creative with helping a buyer a) make their house payments for all 0f 2008, b) pay up to $10,000 in closing cost, We would like to suggest to our agent placing ads in the paper and posting this info on MLS. We understand in this market budgets of agents may be stretched. We are willing to pay for the ads and other ideas with the caveat that we are reimbursed by the agent upon sale of home. We want to sell our home fast! Are these crazy ideas or sound?

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Jon Ernest, , Brookline, MA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Let's compare your pricing strategy to other corporate pricing strategies. Let use Dell Computer rebates as the example. If they are trying to sell a $1,000 computer, and decide to offer a $200 rebate, how do they advertise the computer?
1) $1,000 with a $200 rebate
2) $800 (with mail in rebate)

Point of the story, if you're willing to give up $10,000 why not just take it off the asking price? Asking price is the first thing people see.... not the fine print...
3 votes
Irena, , Newton, MA
Sun Mar 9, 2008
Aren’t you the nicest seller…
Well, besides from the obvious MLS, company’s web sites,, trulia etc. your agent should also notify the neighbors with something like “just listed “cards, do a call around to the neighbors, inform other Realtors via e-mail or voice, post an add in local paper, post an add on Craig’s list, give you some nice flyers that you can post at your local grocery store and other places that you frequent….basically you both need to spread the word but your agent needs to work a bit harder and earn that commission. Further agent should organize Brokers OH, neighbors only OH, and than Public OH.
You also need to do your part by keeping your home neat and clean and easy to show. Some simples staging is recommended.
You should definitely take 10K off the price or whatever it is that you have intended to pay for the buyer, since if you do not , you are reducing the buyer pool. More people are concerned with price and value than closing costs.

Best of luck
1 vote
Mary, Both Buyer And Seller,
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Hi Joanie,
I read in K. Lasky's book titled "A Brilliant Streak" that when Mark Twain was going to give a public lecture in San Francisco, He decided to make up his own advertisement. The poster read:
"Doors open at 7:00 O'Clock. The Trouble to begin at 8 O'Clock"

If you have some items that make your home unique you could suggest to your agent to change the description.. it must comform to all the fair housing laws. I suggest this because you are the best judge, having lived in the home, of what features the future buyer will love!
location, location, loqution??
Just a thought..
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Thank you for your very creative post. If I may answer your real question "how can I get my home sold fast and net the most profit (or minimize the loss)?

Glad you asked. The answer is actually pretty straight forward. This is the sixth question like this in two days I think.
First, most markets are buyer's markets. That means there are more homes for sale than buyers. The absorprtion rate (total homes in active inventory divided by homes sold in the last 30 days) in a balance market is about six months. In our market it is currently 12 months. What is it in yours? this will tell you how your market is balanced.

Second, the buyer that first sees the home they buy sees it with a Realtor. Yes, buyers are shopping online, but 905 of the time a Realtor is the key factor. So your Realtor is markeitng to other Realtors.
So if the Realtors do not show your home, you are in trouble.

Third, homes that sell in the frist 30 days sell closest to asking price. That means homes that sell at 120 days sell for less, that would be AFTER a price reduction or two.

Buyers want value. Price your home well, declutter, stage, market to buyer's and their Realtors.

The latest Calif. Association of Realtors buyer survey stated that only 12% of buyers look at print ads.

Good luck
1 vote
Sam Ingersoll, , Philadelphia, PA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
ARGGHH. Any agent can post ads in MLS. Newspaper advertising does not work. Terribly unfocused and does not offer any Return on investment. You are better off (a) running Google Ads to your own Website that has huge photos of the home. Give me a call at 610-984-4957. CHeck out (this kind of site can be easily, quickly copied for you -- or your RE agent)

BEST STRATEGY. You don't want to attract a "Buyer" with your advertising. You want to attract an AGENT who has a buyer. INCREASE the COMMISSION from 3% to 5% to Buyer's agent...and every buyer's agent in that price range will visit your home -- just praying that their client likes the house. If the deal jams up, they'll do whatever they can to rescue the deal.
1 vote
Lucky Rock, , Tampa, FL
Sat Jun 28, 2008
Though it's new, features 1.6 million listings and is in the midst of aggregating hundreds of MLS databases into their website. Better yet, the listings are near real-time. No, I don't work for them. Yes, they will work for you.

On another front, have you considered Bluetooth marketing? That's right, the same thing that connects your phone to Bluetooth headsets can be used to freely send opt-in slideshows, videos and listing info to prospective buyers who pull up curbside. Unlike text message services, you don't need to know the prospect's phone numbers and it's free to receive Find out more about it at the website below.

Happy selling!
0 votes
NJ State Wide…, Agent, Union, NJ
Wed Mar 12, 2008
No, it is not crazy, but sounds desperate.
My experience tells me that buyers first consideration is price, second is how does the house looks, so my suggestion take the incentives you want to offer to the buyers and deduct to the asking price, reduce the price, and also offer higher commission to the selling realtor (only on the realtor who bring in the buyer).
Good lucky
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0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Some interesting ideas here. What I'd suggest you do is figure out the profile of your desired buyer. Do they have children? Do they have a long commute to work? Are they retired? Are they in the military? [Note to you and to the Realtors reading this: Don't panic. I'm not suggesting steering or anything of the sort. But it's reasonable to guess who is most likely to buy the property.]

Then figure out what incentive might work best to attract your most likely buyer. Someone with a long commute might like "Free Gas For A Year!" And it won't be horribly least not until gas tops $5 a gallon or so. Consider: If someone commutes 20,000 miles a year, and they drive a vehicle getting 10 mpg (pretty wasteful, there), then they'll use 2,000 gallons of gas a year. At $3.50 a gallon, your cost would be $7,000...far less than you're considering paying out. A more reasonable calculation of 15,000 miles a year at 15 mpg results in 1,000 gallons of gas used.

So, figure out who your target demographic is, and then put together some package that might cost, say, $5,000 a year, more or less. Someone who needs a car? You pay a year's worth of lease payments. ($300 a month for 12 months equals $3,600. You might even go 2 years, perhaps with a slightly less expensive lease.) An "alpha male" who wants to be the next Ultimate Fighter? That's easy. Karate/kickboxing/Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons cost roughly $1,500 a year--at least in Northern Virginia for 2 -3 times a week lessons. If the family had teenagers (teenage boys, especially), you could offer weekly pizza parties. I've heard of this being done for rentals near colleges. A couple of pizzas from Domino's or Pizza Hut cost about $20. A year's worth, once a week, would cost about $1,000.

Anyhow, you get the idea. You can add a lot of sizzle to the package. Just get/stay creative.

Good luck.
0 votes
Heather, , Shrewsbury, MA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Joanie - As the publisher of a real estate magazine, I am seeing more and more sellers contribute to the costs of advertising. It's a necessary evil if you want to get your home exposed to more potential buyers. I can tell you that people in the beginning of the buying process pick up my magazine, as generally they haven't been in the market in aprox 5 years so they are trying to assess what's "out there" and what hommes are going for. Further, more and more people are moving to area's they would have never considered before because so many more people can telecommute or work from home a few days a week than ever before. So, just make sure your advertising is targeted to people in the market and that your ad has lots of pictures and a good story about the house. It's not enough to have the house in the MLS and on websites all over - people need visual stimulation. There are buyers out there that can be coaxed into making a decision with some of your ideas. I love them!!!
0 votes
Joanie, Home Seller, 67204
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Thank you everyone for your answers. It gives us things to consider.
0 votes
Michael Giles, Agent, Beverly, MA
Mon Mar 10, 2008
Creativity is never a bad thing! Something you may want to look into is an interest rate buy down. Most banks will allow you to pay to give the buyer a better interest rate. It can be done in steps( 4.5% for year 1, 5.5% for year two and then lock into 6.5% for the rest) Or you can simply pay to buy down the rate for the life of the loan. This will give your home a huge advantage over other homes in the same price range. Also, I believe that the amount you pay is tax deductable to you. You may want to run that by your accountant first! Good Luck!
0 votes
Seller, Home Seller, Massachusetts
Fri Mar 7, 2008
A lot of people are getting creative. Agents are broke and can't advertise - meanwhile, there's so much inventory on the market, that without a strong marketing plan, you have no chance of standing out amongst the crowd. Go for it. Obviously advertising works or else our country wouldn't revolve so much around it.
0 votes
Jon Ernest, , Brookline, MA
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Plus, Lexington is a very nice town. Do you really think that prospective buyers are going to need you covering their closing costs? I don't think that people planning to buy in Lexington are scrounging to make a 5% downpayment. If you were purchasing the home, what would be more compelling to you?

If you want to sell your home fast, price it 1% below actual market price....
0 votes
Jose Gomez, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Mar 7, 2008
Crazy ideas? Yes and No. You are not crazy to want to promote your property even further nor are you crazy for riding the wave of offering incentives or contributions to a buyer. Times are tough and we all must do whateer we can do to get the job done. Two things that you might want to really consider are" First, are you over-sweetening the pot? By offering too much a buyer might simply say to themselves, the property is way over-priced and that's why they are "including all these incentives" with the purchase. So keep things simple. Secondly, if your agent is advertising and marketing your property correctly to gain maximum exposure and you want to place your own ads - then by all means, do it on your own account. You are only helping yourself further. By asking your agent upfront to reimburse you at the closing of the sale for advertising costs, he/she could simply say "forget it - I don't want to do it" and then what? you don't advertise at all? You'll wind up cutting your nose to spite your face. So in my opinion, if you want more exposure, above and beyond what is being offered, then get creative in your own ways. Best of luck! Jose Gomez - Miami Realtor
0 votes
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