When out for a walk the other day, I noticed that a rehabbed house in my Glendale Heights neighborhood had yet another “For Sale” sign out front. I was surprised to see the house wasn’t flying off the market–especially around here. So when I ran into the owner, I asked what was going on. He said that he planned to handle the marketing himself this go-around. But in doing so, he realized, he’d wasted more than just time.
Marketing an investment property in Chicago doesn’t seem like it’d be difficult to take on, and it isn’t necessarily–if you know what you’re doing. In terms of where to advertise your property, you’ve got plenty of options. Because most of us have direct access to at least some of them, many of new real estate investors think it’s just as well to go it alone. If you’re in this camp, I’d like to share some marketing strategies you don’t want to miss, as well as a few you should avoid, to improve the chances of getting your Chicago investment property sold.
Marketing Your Chicago Investment Property
The question of where to market your investment property is easy to answer. Most home buyers start their search online so getting an advertisement on popular websites is a priority. These days you might even see localized Facebook ads and YouTube house tours in addition to those good old-fashioned “For Sale” lawn signs. Of course, classifieds in local papers like the Daily Herald or the Chicago Tribune can also be beneficial. Basically, you should market your property everywhere.
But, more important than choosing where to advertise your property, is the “how” and “when.” Naturally, there are things you should and shouldn’t do.
- Do buy at the right price. Regardless of market conditions, getting your rehabbed house sold shouldn’t be a big hurdle if you don’t overspend up front.
- Do find a real estate agent. While some investors can get lucky advertising on Craigslist and other online channels, it’s still true that an MLS listing garners the broadest audience of buyers.
- Do understand your target market. Do you have a cute starter home that would be perfect for Millennials? Or is it a suburban ranch style with a granny cottage in the back that would draw ‘sandwich generation’ families? You should stage your investment property to appeal to those who are more likely to buy it.
- Do get an inspection. When home buyers have peace of mind that the work done on a rehabbed house resulted in a safe, livable home–not just a pretty one–they are less hesitant to buy. So, before putting your property on the market, get the inspection and make the report available upfront. You’ll likely see more offers as a result.
- Don’t buy a property for more than it’s worth or overspend on the renovation. In order to protect your potential return on investment, you’ve got to correctly evaluate area comps, estimate a realistic cost of repairs, and stick to your budget. If you miscalculate costs from the outset, you’ll end up missing out on potential returns.
- Don’t market a property until the renovation is complete. I’ve seen some new investors put their half-finished rehab on the market when they’re running low on cash, but serious home buyers will want to see the reason for your asking price.
- Don’t underprice your investment house. A solid valuation tool like ValueChek™ can help you appropriately estimate the after-repair value of your investment compared to other area comps. While you want to price the property competitively, you never want to lose out on the full value of your investment.
The Best Marketing Move
When you become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, you are never alone. Of course, you’ll have access to all of the marketing tools you could ask for, including the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” brand to help you get good leads on investment opportunities. But you’ll also have a regional network of other HomeVestors® franchisees and a Development Agent that know the ins and outs of the Chicago real estate market as well as the best local resources for marketing investment properties. Having the right network of support can make all the difference for ensuring you are getting the most value for your work. The HomeVestors® team is just a phone call away.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.