Hi everyone! When we decided to try to market our home last summer, we wanted to try to show it in a different light. We knew the market was tough and wanted to try something a little different than the average "virtual tour" or slideshow so here's what we came up with..
Aside from the video, we knew that we had a somewhat unique feature of our home in that it has an a separate "Income Suite" or In-Law suite as we've heard it described by agents. When we built the home, we thought that we would have extended family moving in with us, so we added a full kitchen section on the bottom level of the home. This level also includes two bedrooms, living room, and full bathroom and is approx 1,000 sq ft.
Here's the question: We've tried to market our home as a unique "income property," but who might actually want it as that? It seems like the large families that have come in to look at it thus far are more interested in the overall size (approx 3,100 sq ft) rather than the fact that they can rent the bottom suite for income. Where might I be able to find potential buyers wanting a versatile plan like this? There are 3 full bedrooms and two full baths on the main level (approx 2,100 sq ft) and if people are not interested in the bottom level for income, it can easily be used for extra entertainment space, studio, etc. Lastly, we're about 15 minutes outside of Nashville, TN. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!!This message has been edited. Last edited by: NashvilleDan,
I didn't have the patience to watch the video as it took (so far) 5 minutes to buffer about 1/2 of it.
However, the photos on the website show a lovely, well decorated, clean-as-a-pin home. One crucial piece of info looks to be missing from the website: where is the price? That info is absolutely crucial.
It seems to me that you'd be more successful marketing the house for the exact purpose of why you remodeled it. Change the primary thrust from "income property/home business" to "Family Home with MIL or Teen Suite" and you'd likely appeal to a broader audience.
However, moreso than the terminology, your biggest stumbling block is it appears you're attempting a FSBO in the worst market ever for it. Why are you not working with a realtor to sell your property?
Thanks for the input Jewel. The video viewing issue sounds like an internet connection issue. You can always un-click the blue "HD" icon at the bottom right of the player as this will turn HD quality off and likely resolve an issue with a slow connection or bogged down server.
The price is in a couple of places on the website from the second link in my first post. It's $228,099.
To answer your other question, we're currently meeting with agents in our area. We had to move to a new location to follow job opportunities and didn't have time to formally list the home. You're right, it is a bad market, but we also had interest from a couple of friends and family members. It's all about finding the right buyer.
NashvilleDan, First, welcome to the Real Estate Boards!
Although I understand exactly what you are referencing regarding "income property," I think many others might feel that it involves becoming a landlord with all the duties and responsibilities of that role plus lots of complicated tax aspects AND just as many don't want to have room for family members to move and free-load!
Although the concept is the same, terminology can make a great difference so I would simply describe the house as a whole and then add that the basement portion would make a great area for a "live-in family member or care-taker."
Like it or not, as we age, many of us do not intend to ever move into a "retirement community/assisted living facility so having a home with built-in separate living quarters for that purpose in a big plus. Just have to figure out a graceful way to say:
"Buy this house and when the times comes, you can have full-time care-givers living here instead of having to move where you don't want to go... " Think a lot of people are beginning to look for this option.
Thanks for posting; keep us up-dated.
PS. Haven't checked out your video yet; if it doesn't load in less than a minute, I move on as do, I think, most people. Will give it a try.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Okay, just checked out your "Home Video" (not the website) and it loaded right away but then started sputtering so I unclicked the HD blue button and it went smoothly from then on. Your home shows beautifully - looks brand new!
You have a talent for videography which shows but maybe the close-ups are just a bit too artistic; instead, perhaps, you should concentrate on the basics since the point, after all, is to get your home sold? But, I did appreciate your artistry!
Only thing I had a strong (negative) reaction to? The music is WAY too heavy and over-done - it starts out good but then gets overly dramatic! You want people to want to come see your house, not feel like they are being hit over the head and over-whelmed by a clashing/smashing overture!
My suggestion? Re-do the video with the same quality that you are obviously capable of doing but, this time, lose the artsy close-ups, the clamoring music and instead, play something light in the background AND, most importantly, do a walk-thru from top to bottom skipping the close-ups. For example, I never did figure out exactly where the separate apartment was vs the rest of the house?
IF you do, I think you will get lots of interest! Great concept - just need to fine-tune it. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Just checked out your website and it loaded with no problems or time delay. I think you have a beautiful home that is worth every penny of the asking price but, then, I live in Idaho! Good luck... keep us posted.
PS. Had one last minute thought - is there any exterior space that is private? Just realized that I didn't see any featured...
I believe the "take away" message to be gleaned from my previous post is that you could be losing the interest of potential buyers due to the video loading issue and because the price isn't presented where and how buyers expect to see it.
Remember, you're not around to advise potential buyers to turn off the HD option or where to find the price.
And, as both Idaho and I have commented above (and that you realize also), the "income property" approach is not your best bet for attracting as broad a buyer pool as possible.
I'm glad to hear you're consulting with area realtors to list your home. Many buyers don't feel confident dealing directly with the homeowner. Also, of course, you're not reaching many potential buyers as a FSBO as you will be when listed with a realtor, despite your wonderful photos and video production skills.
The good news is that the spring selling season is right around the corner! Best wishes to you.
As many have seen the HGTV program called Income Property is in Canada, Toronto. I think that income properties like yours are better in big cities like New York DC or any of the North East States in which people want to live in Downtown and work downtown.
Perhaps like many have suggested state a different name. Like mother in law apt. or for children that come back home etc. Your agent will know how to word this better than myself.
Wow, thanks to all for some great feedback thus far! We were definitely influenced by the idea of an income property because of the HGTV show, but at the same time didn't realize there might be a different way to convey it to the market. Thinking about an all around bad market and the list of potential (and qualified) buyers dwindling, it seemed to make sense to try to sell the house on an investment basis… perhaps creating a little bit more value and reassurance to a financially savvy homebuyer. My wife and I are in are late 20's and would consider renting the first level space to friends if we were staying. Considering the music we chose, it may appeal to that demographic, but not others. I know everyone has different tastes and it’s hard to please everyone, so thanks for the feedback Idaho! Also, there is a small back yard and deck, but most of the homes in this neighborhood do not have a lot of property.
As for the video loading, its definitely an internet connection issue. I've referred buyers who were interested to my site, which automatically buffers at a lower rate to avoid any issues with slow connections. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to wait for something to load. I figure if someone is tech savvy enough to find my site from the forsalebyowner site, they'll likely have a good Internet connection. If not, at least they can see the pictures; which I have provided a lot more than you see on the average Realtor.com site or even agent sites. I guess it's all about the details right? I figured the video was just an added bonus, and yes, it may be a little too artsy.. haha. I was definitely on the other side of the fence compared to traditional 360 tours, etc and appreciate the feedback.
As for the FSBO pitfalls… trust me, I’ve heard them all and I agree. Going with an agent gives me a much better chance to sell. However, like a majority of current homeowners who have worked hard for their investment, I’m looking at having to take a bit of a loss. I’m already priced 10,000 below the purchase price and I have added 10,000-15,000 of upgrades since then, mainly including new floors, the first level suite, and new appliances. Subtract another 13,000 for agent commission and you have to at least tell me it’s worth a shot to have it listed FSBO in the interim. Agents aren’t exactly thriving in sales right now themselves. It only takes one buyer, that is, the right buyer. So, why not try if I have the opportunity to?
Thanks again for all of the great feedback!!This message has been edited. Last edited by: NashvilleDan,
You have gotten great advise, here, and yes, depending on how fast you want to sell, in this market you need an agent.
When we bought our home 5 years ago, we renovated and updated practically everything. If I was to put my home up for sale, I wouldn't get hardly any return on that investment.
My house will only appreciate to the market value of my area, and will be seen in comparison as to what the other properties offer.
So, it is your choice, I know that is hard to accept that, but in todays market those are the facts.
I agree with these comments. I could care less about a close-up of a clock or a fish tank, sink faucet. You are trying to sell your house not your videography talents! What I would have appreciated is a calm voice over narrative describing the materials used/the dates installed etc.
I also did not like the cutesy things like love your neighbor etc. This isn't a backyard party it is an important sale.
Also I noticed that when a responder here mentioned the slow loading up of your video you laid the blame on her computer. What if that was the computer of an interested buyer?
It is not the responsibility of a viewer to make the sale of your home easier. Just saying.
(the video was too long to watch)
The interesting part, to me, is that we have new computers and high speed internet. This video is the only one that I've run across that doesn't buffer like a snap....
Wow, definitely a lot of good feedback here. Thanks to the contributors thus far. With that said, let me give a couple of responses.
Bballin, thanks for the extensive critique. You seem to have a lot of experience with real estate and I will definitely pay attention to the staging issues. Part of the challenge is to actually decide to spend money on staging and/or new furniture when you’re looking at taking a loss. We did what we could do with what we had. I know it’s far from perfect, but it’s also better than a lot of our direct competition. I did have buyers with their agents come through and every single agent said that the home showed “very well.” Even if only half of them were telling the truth to make me feel better, I consider that a good rate. I had 21 showings in the 90 days that I really tried to market my home FSBO this past year. Of those, 17 we’re agent showings. I also forgot to mention that we did offer 3% to buyer’s agents so it was only quasi-FSBO... So, if you know of any agents that want to make some money on my house, kindly let me know. You said that you work nationally, so I figured I’d ask.
As for the price, I wouldn’t really expect you to get a solid idea of comps being that you’re in CA. (But more importantly, because you said that you're not an actual real estate agent) I actually didn’t come up with the price myself. Several agents ran comps when offering their services this past year and I took the lowest value that they suggested to list the home. Considering that I purchased the home for $234,250 five years ago, (new) and adding the improvements, I figured that 228k was a fair starting point. Equally, the home right beside us with far less upgrades/quality sold for $220k this past year. I realize that people tend to think that their home is worth more than the market value because of personal reservations, but in that case, I would have to list my home around 250k. That would be absurd, although unfortunately, that is what I have in it. Maybe this was my first time homebuyer mistake? However, consider someone who actually starts making money on a monthly basis by using the unique features of this house. Maybe then, my improvements were of value to them and they buy it for a fair and negotiated price. I disagree about stripping down the house to sell as a basic 5 bed/3 bath.. with that strategy, I may have more potential buyers, (no doubts there) but I also jump into an extremely over-saturated market of homes “just like mine.” When you said that buyers “lack vision” I sensed that you underestimated the type of buyer that I’m looking for. For me, it’s not simply about closing the sale, and that’s apparently where we differ greatly. Also, consider my market and other types of buyers who might want a home this size besides large families. Nashville is a very creative city and a lot of people have home studios.. Hence the drums and studio setup on the first level at the time. There was a method to my madness, believe it or not, and I do realize that some of these points can be argued either way. This is simply the strategy I have chosen and these are the reasons why.. all great thoughts though, thank you.
Furthermore regarding price… I also searched the neighborhood for real comparables via the MLS, not models that are only 70-80% of the size of my home. The one that you mentioned for 150k was built during a different phase of the neighborhood’s development, 15 years ago. Now, I realize that just as my home would likely bring up the value of that home, it’s more realistic to assume the older homes are bringing my value down. You’re right, the home is only worth what someone wants to pay for it, so I’m simply set on finding that someone. That’s the original reason as to why I posted on this board. I’m not going to give up just because a bunch of irresponsible lenders and buyers screwed up. In the meantime, I can just play landlord and take advantage of the rising rental industry.. so, that’s actually what I’m doing. No fish to take care of and no staging worries right now…
Lady of shallow, you’re comments are the most interesting thus far. Let me address them. It seems like you and some others who could “care less” about close-ups and the divergence from the standardized home tours are simply stuck in a sad and grey “this is the way it is and always will be” real estate industry. To be completely fair, I started the video with a concept that I never really got to finish. That’s why I was interested in some critiquing. The idea sort of got mixed with my own ideas and a more traditional walk-through. If I were to redo it, I would make a healthy compromise between interesting and useful, so thank you all who contributed that sort of input. ie, no crazy music… However, the main GOAL was for this video to be different. I’m not sure why that’s hard to understand and I’m not sure why traditional real estate marketing is so creatively famished… Perhaps it’s because of the “mentors” at the top trying to sell agents on old technology. The calm voice narrative that you suggested is exactly what I was trying to avoid, but thanks for the laugh, I’m kind of having a Bob Ross moment here.
I’m sure that when I sign on with a realtor the video (and website) will be taken down and we will use all of their generic “marketing tools.” Above all, if you don’t like what I’ve done, you’re likely not interested in my home. I am not offended, just trying to explain why I tried it. Call me crazy, stupid, or someone who tried to get their house noticed in a terrible market. As for the download issues, I was simply trying to suggest a fix so that it could be viewed. As it was mentioned above, the main issue is on the site where the video was originally uploaded, Vimeo. It’s a pretty reputable site, but the file is in high def, so I could see how it might slow down even with a great connection. When viewing the video from my site, where 99% of the viewers have watched/found it, there seem to be no issues. (as confirmed by Idaho Resident)
One other thing for now, and this is in response to bball/Lady too.. The “Love Your Neighbor” poster was a print used to generate funds for victims of the May 2010 Nashville flood. I’m not sure if anyone remembers a schoolhouse floating down Interstate 24, but that was in our town. Google 'Nashville Flood' if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Luckily for us, we live in a neighborhood on a hill and are not at risk for flooding. Trust me, if we were, it would have happened over those 3 days. Since then, the school was rebuilt by ABC’s Extreme Makeover team. The poster may be meaningful to Nashville Residents, but not other’s outside of the city/state.This message has been edited. Last edited by: NashvilleDan,
NashvilleDan, So glad you posted back with some observations and responses - it can be very frustrating when new posters seek feedback and then disappear when they don't agree with the responses!
AND, you did post in the title of your thread that you were trying a "unique" video! Bottom line, think you just need to tweak your video a bit BUT, even if you list with an agent, no need to turn that aspect over to him/her/them as your videography skills far exceed that employed by the usual real estate agency. Enough said!
I do think that you have received some excellent feed-back; hopefully some of it will help you "get it sold." Please up-date us with your efforts and the results of them! I still think that you have a beautiful home with perhaps some marketing challenges if you want to think outside of the box!
Meaning, find a classy way of adding some phraselogy to say "care-taker" suite in addition to MIL, Income Producing or Home for the "boomerangs" - adult children who leave the nest only to return - again and again and again! I, personally, think that care-giver suites are going to be the next "hot" thing to have in the near future!
Glad you are capable of keeping it as a rental in the interim; please keep us up-to-date!
PS. You definately need to feature the outdoor private living space available when you re-do your video - especially if few properties in your area can feature the same.
Just one comment. If you searched for homes up for sale and not sold homes, then you are not really having a true notion of comps.
Comps are based on sold properties over the past 6 months. Good luck to you, and keep us informed.
Well Nashville Jim, you sure like to attack the messenger. You ask for feed back and then you criticize it. Good luck with selling your house.
actually I have some rather creative house marketing ideas that would be wasted here!
I wouldn't say that I was attacking the messenger... simply returning message to sender. This message has been edited. Last edited by: NashvilleDan,
UPDATE: I sold the house, no realtors, just me.
Good for you, Nashville Dan! Hope the closing goes smoothly!
Thanks Idaho Resident! We closed the first week of May, so all is well!
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