Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's mostly about the marketing

Last month, I shared some ideas on helping buyers be more comfortable bidding online.

Since then, I held a 7-day online auction for a property in St. Louis and thought you might be interested in the results.

First, despite the winter weather conditions, it was very successful getting buyers into the house. The house was a bank foreclosure so it had no heat and with temperatures in the 20's and 4 inches of snow, the house felt colder inside than it was out.

I held 3 open house previews Friday, Saturday & Sunday but only for 1 hour each (I didn't want to sit in a cold house longer than I had to). During those 3 days I had 65 people come through, which I felt was an amazing turnout considering the conditions. I used Craigslist and yard signs for most of my marketing.

Unfortunately the bidding didn't meet the sellers reserve, but we are still negotiating with the winning bidder and I'm hopeful it will go under contract soon.

Once again, I found that marketing a property using an auction gets people to notice and into the house (even in less than ideal conditions).

Regardless of the final results, I always learn something. Here are my takeaways...

  1. Friday open houses aren't very popular in St. Louis, I only had 4 people come that day.
  2. Saturday & Sunday open houses are well attended.
  3. Seller needs to be more motivated (He is now and has come down on his "reserve")
  4. Put it in the MLS sooner - I didn't put it in the MLS until Saturday, thinking I could find a "pre-auction" buyer looking for a non-MLS "deal" and not pay an agent co-op. By the time most agents saw it in the MLS, the bidding had ended. (Won't do that again!)
  5. With NO heat, warm boots and two pairs of socks are a MUST.

If you're interested in learning more about using online auctions to sell your listings, join us on our next webinar - Real Estate Online Auction Webinar

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