Sign in yard while under construction?

10 Replies

We are about to start our first flip and were thinking of putting a sign in the yard or hanging a banner on the porch rails with sales information...

Having a hard time coming up with the main message...  Coming soon?  Under construction?  Renovation in process?  Anyone have any suggestions?

Do you soft-market your rehabs while in progress?  What's your plan of attack? 

We used to put "Coming Soon" signs in our yards, but the problem is that when people call and want to see it, you need to tell them that you won't show it until it's complete (you don't want to doing showing before the house is 100% complete).  Sometimes that's a tough conversation and people can be very pushy.  So, if you're going to put out a sign, make sure you can say no to showings before the house is complete.  

We have been rehabbing for 5 years now doing 8 to 10 deals a year.Through the years we have placed signs out front, had an open house two weeks before the property was completed and had our listing agent place a coming soon sign in the front yard.What we found was the guy next door wanted to come over and the see the property, people called the number on the sign wanting to mow the lawn for $, and phone calls about trash not in dumpster.

The idea was great and we thought that a jump start would get people thinking about the property.What we have landed on now is the just focus hard or providing a great product and go through the steps that need to done to sell the property.

On our rental side, we have marketed the rental before it was rehabbed and was able to get a renter before it was completed.

I've experimented with this and found it a challenge to avoid what @Dave Gallogly  spoke of above.  Curious neighbors and bottom feeders were more common callers than getting any real buyers.  It seems like there would be a way to find people that would appreciate having input on the finishes of the home, but I've not found out how to locate buyers prior to project completion.  Would like to know if someone has an approach that works here though!

Experimented with this recently and I will not do it again. When the house is ready to show, I will advertise in online ONLY! Depending on the market in your area, you could be inundated with calls night an day from mostly people who are not qualified. Even when I put tons of information on the online listing, unqualified people still call. They all want to meet you out there even if they can't afford the house. Prescreen on the phone and make sure it's worth your time. Showing houses is the single biggest pain the the *** I have ever experienced. People dont show up, when they do they can't afford it and want to negotiate. There's a podcast with a lady who has a list of prescreening questions and she is clearly the master of this approach. She has all of her questions in the supporting podcast docs. See if you can find it. Probably in the 70's as far as podcast #. 

Also, putting out a sign indicates that nobody is living there and you are opening yourself to break-ins. 

The other thing is that people all want to know when it will be ready and some rehabs just can't be predicted. Bad contractor, unforeseen damages, weather, theft, vandalism, etc. all can delay your reno. Put out the sign when it's 95% complete.

Originally posted by Sam & Heather Jones:

We are about to start our first flip and were thinking of putting a sign in the yard or hanging a banner on the porch rails with sales information...

Having a hard time coming up with the main message...  Coming soon?  Under construction?  Renovation in process?  Anyone have any suggestions?

Do you soft-market your rehabs while in progress?  What's your plan of attack? 

 I use pre mls marketing as my secret weapon to save me at least 1.5 months in my flips. 

I don't know of anyone else using this system that I am doing for making this work. It's something I developed over time by default. 

You have to be prepared if you want to go this route. It's not just as easy as hanging a banner. @J Scott Maybe I can change your mind about this if if you look at the benefits for a fix and flipper that is doing the work themselves. 

I use a sign that reads "For Sale" Under Renovation"

I offer buyers a chance to buy the house FSBO while under renovation and I target to finish the house as the closing is approaching. Basically racing the clock in a systematic way. This way I can offer the house at the 6% discount which can help secure a deal quickly. I know I'm not going to see the commission anyways, why not give it to the buyer and sell on my timeline.

First you will need all of your disclosures on hand and attorney info on hand if a buyer does come in the door. You need to prepare them with all of the info they will need to go to their attorney and write an offer. 

I do computer renderings of my rehabs before I even start the work. This way the buyers can see what the finished product will look like. The program allows me to input actual pictures of the appliances, vanities, etc. This helps the buyers see the final product. See pictures below to see what this looks like. The sale is contingent on all of the work being completed and I provide a spec sheet on the work to be completed and sign off on it with the buyer. 

I also stage samples in the house. Which means I keep samples of all of the tile, flooring, cabinets, cabinet hardware, countertops. I keep them somewhere in the rehab and pull them out when a prospective buyer is coming over. I also pre purchase almost everything for the house like vanities, faucets, fixtures, mirrors, etc and keep them somewhere in the rehab, in the shed, garage, etc. I show the buyers these items so they can see exactly what is going into the house. I give them no options, it will slow down the process. I design the house with trends that they are naturally going to like. 

If they choose to write an offer I just do my part and stay on task and get the house done as promised. I allow the buyer to check in and see the work as it is being completed. I have also found that I can schedule bank appraisal before the house is completely finished. You have to have a clean work space and everything on hand to pull this off or the bank might want to schedule another visit later when it is 100% done. 

You will also want to be on top of all of your inspections and have final C of O before you let the buyer do their engineer inspection. You need to keep a plan of removing all deferred maintenance, then you will not be held up when the engineer inspection happens. 

This system is not for everyone and adds an additional element of challenge, but a way to save that 30 to 60 days it takes for most buyers to close. 

Sam & Heather Jones We have always pre marketed properties, from SFR, Office buildings, etc. for sale and for lease. I get signs made with a rendering on it, phone number, website address, etc. Depending on the project I may do a website for the specific property. I've sold a house off nothing more than a rendering on a Postlets, with not even having closed escrow on the land!

I do get calls from subs, maintenance people, etc., but I'm not the type bothered by people trying to hustle a job and earn a living, nor by look e loos. Many times the neighbors know people that may want to move into the neighborhood, or may be wanting to sell their own house, etc. too. 

Today I had an agent call on the house we are building in San Clemente, wanting information on the new development that will be going in nearby. I gave her the person to contact, told her what I knew about it, and helped as best I could. She thanked me for being so friendly. Who knows, she may end up with a buyer looking for specifically what we are selling. 

@Josh D.  that is very interesting program you have there, great details!  Would you mind sharing what program that is?  And more importantly do you have to have an IT degree to use it?

@Bobby Sommers  

The program I use is HGTV Home and Lands.

My wife does the drawings and has an arhitectural/ engineering background. They are similar to CAD drawings. You don't need a degree in CAD to do these, just willingness to watch the tutorials and learn the programming. These programs have become more user friendly over the years.

Originally posted by @Josh D. :

@Bobby Sommers 

The program I use is HGTV Home and Lands.

My wife does the drawings and has an arhitectural/ engineering background. They are similar to CAD drawings. You don't need a degree in CAD to do these, just willingness to watch the tutorials and learn the programming. These programs have become more user friendly over the years.

I have one of  HGTV's design programs, found it pretty difficult to use without have CAD experience.  I guess one day I will check on the tutorials like you mentioned and see how it goes.  I'm pretty good with technology but the program I have isn't something I could self teach.  Thanks for the info.

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