4 Outside-the-Box Ways to Sell Your Home

Here are a few outside-the-box strategies for getting your home sold.

Mar 9, 2014 at 2:00PM

Real estate people often say that this business is hyperlocal. That's just another way of saying that whether your market is a buyer's market, a seller's market or otherwise can vary state to state, county to county, town to town and even in various neighborhoods in the same town.

But when it's your own home for sale, hyperlocal takes on an all new meaning. Your perspective on the market zooms all the way in and it can suddenly seem like nothing matters except how many buyers show up to your open house, how long your home has been on the market, whether any offers have come in on your house and, if so, precisely which numbers appear on those digital sheets of paper.

Bottom line: it doesn't matter how hot the market is or how many multiple offers your neighbor's house got, unless and until yours sells.  Times might not be desperate overall, but if it's your house lagging on the market you might need to do something more than just hang a sign in the yard to get your home sold. And the only thing you can control in that process is your actions: your choice of agent, your pricing, your property preparation and your marketing.  

If you're a seller committed to doing everything within your power to sell your home and it's not coming as easily or instantly as you'd hoped, here are a few outside-the-box strategies for getting your home sold:

1. Put your network to work. Anywhere there are people who know you or know your neighborhood, there might be the ultimate buyer for your home-or someone who knows them. In particular, social networks like neighborhood email lists, NextDoor.com and even your personal Facebook feed are great places to make sure you are publicizing your home's listing.

If your home is well-located vis-a-vis your workplace, don't hesitate to also make your colleagues aware of the listing. If you work for a very large organization or institution, you might even go so far as to let your Human Resources team know of the listing: many HR departments actively help new hires relocate and find housing as part of their services.

2.  Offer incentives or inclusions. If you want to distinguish your home above the rest of the homes for sale, you must do what other sellers won't. On today's market that might simply mean offering even a modest incentive, which can get your home noticed and turn a looky-loo serious, in short order. Offering a year's prepaid HOA dues or closing costs when your competition is not making such offers can be magnetic to the buyer who is frugal or tight on cash.  

Similarly, you'd be surprised at how the prospect of including customized furnishings, home electronics, or other high-value items that homes are usually sold without can sweeten the whole package your home presents to buyers. This is highly situationally specific, though, as it tends to be the most appealing to entry level buyers who otherwise might not be able to afford the included items or very high-end buyers who simply don't want to be bothered with furnishing a house. Discuss whether this strategy makes sense for your home with your listing agent.

3. Make a reverse offer. A lot of what is outside-the-box for today's market are strategies that get put to use in slower market climates. Speaking of having lots of viewings, but no offers-in a reverse offer, the listing agent calls up the agent from a buyer who has expressed an interest in the home and makes an offer from the seller to the buyer.

If you've had a particular buyer who has been to your home more than once but has given the feedback that the price is too high, HOA dues too steep or the necessary repairs too extensive, talk with your agent about making a reverse offer directly to that buyer to sell your home to them at:

  • a lower list price
  • with an HOA dues credit
  • with the agreement to conduct repairs before closing or provide a repair credit.

4.  Write a love letter about your home. When bidding wars abound, it becomes common for buyers to write what I like to call love letters to sellers, counting the ways they love the home (Shakespeare-style) and trying to woo them into letting the buyer become its next owner. But sellers whose homes aren't moving would do well to channel the Bard themselves. Buyers appreciate a home that has been cherished, and like to hear the lore of lovely family memories a seller had in the place. I've actually witnessed firsthand a buyer walk through a home, deem it cute with nonchalance, then warm to the property as they come across a binder full of a seller's notes about the place, the neighborhood and even local vendors and parks, from the rosy viewpoint of someone who loves them.

In this post, I went into greater detail about how to pen a seller love letter about your home. Make sure you also connect with your agent to gather their experienced input on what matters the most to local buyers, before you write a love letter about your home.

This article originally appeared on Trulia.

6 outside-the-box stocks to buy
They said it couldn't be done. But David Gardner has proved them wrong time, and time, and time again with stock returns like 926%, 2,239%, and 4,371%. In fact, just recently one of his favorite stocks became a 100-bagger. And he's ready to do it again. You can uncover his scientific approach to crushing the market and his carefully chosen six picks for ultimate growth instantly, because he's making this premium report free for you today. Click here now for access.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers