Uncle Bill Can Sell Houses In A Down Market

I have an Uncle Bill who sold his home and real estate investments in southern California about 25 years ago. He moved to to northwestern Arkansas and reinvested.

Of course, with the difference in prices he was able to buy a LOT of houses.  I always joke that he bought up half the town.  Maintaining and managing those homes has been a full time job ever since, but they provided him a good living.

He is about the most productive person I have ever known.  I rode with him for a day on a maintenance run of some of his properties.  He could get more done in less time than anyone I ever met.  I had a hard time keeping up with him even though I was only holding the ends of the boards.

So now he has decided it’s time to sell most of his houses.  And he is selling them one by one and doing it easily.  He knows it’s a slow market so here is how he does it.

  • He makes sure the home is vacant.  These are rental properties and it is always harder to sell a property with a tenant in it than if it is vacant.  This is not necessarily true of owner occupied homes. 
  • He catches up on all the maintenance.  Nothing is left half-way done.  If it needs to be fixed, he fixes it.  If it needs to be replaced, he replaces it.  He does a good job on everything and then repaints.
  • He makes sure the lawns are mowed.  He and his grandson make the rounds regularly to make sure the houses look good from the outside.
  • He prices them to sell.  He doesn’t have an inflated opinion of value.  He looks at all the competition and then prices his house about $10,000 below the lowest competitor. 

So his homes are in better shape, are easier to view, and are priced better than the competition. 

And guess what?  They sell…quickly.  It is rare for him to have a home on the market more than a couple weeks  Buyers look at the competition and the choice is obvious.

We could all learn a thing or two from Uncle Bill.