This was a problem. I wanted to return to the States, but I couldn’t leave the house vacant. That would be an open invitation to vandals and thieves, or worse: squatters. If a family with kids took up residence, the law would be on their side. I would have a long, expensive legal battle on my hands, and the best I could hope for would be to win the right to pay the squatters to leave my property!
I needed to sell, and I needed to sell fast, and after witnessing first-hand how houses were sold in Argentina, I had absolutely no faith in any Real Estate agent. So, I became a FSBO. I figured that I would need as much exposure as possible, and I didn’t have the advantage of any kind of multiple-listing service or network of Real Estate agents. So I decided to go cyber and do my own online real estate marketing. I did a Google search and found a local company that offered free websites and I got to work. I took photos of EVERYTHING: the walls, the floor, the ceiling, every room, every light and plumbing fixture, appliances, tools, furniture every small detail of the interior and its contents in high definition. Then I did the same for the exterior: the roof, the walls, the foundation, the windows and doors, even close-ups of the design of the antique, wrought iron gate. I captured the yard, the trees, the bushes, the flowers. I took pictures from the street and of the neighborhood. The property was located 6 blocks from an equestrian park and a mile from the beach. So I called my dogs and went for a walk, taking pictures all along the way. Everything went on the site. I made a separate page for each room, for the exterior, the yard, the neighborhood, the park, the beach… even my dogs! I included in-depth descriptions and details of everything.
When it was ready, I published the listing in as much detail as possible on every free classified site on the Internet I could find, and I always included a link to my single-property site. The buyers started calling immediately and after a week I had shown the property a dozen times and received several good, cash offers. But despite my circumstances, I wasn’t just looking for a quick, all-cash sale. I needed a particular type of buyer.
When I bought the property, I had intended to stay permanently. This was going to be my home and I was treating it as such. I had made friends with the neighbors and begun integrating myself into the community. I’d even bought a pair of puppies, which I had spent countless hours training, and who were now over a year old. Those dogs were like my children. We hiked and played together, we took long walks on the beach and runs in the park. They guarded my home when I was away and their loving loyalty to me never wavered, even as my own wife walked away. They were my family, and the thought of ripping them from the only home they’d known devastated me. These were not city dogs. I couldn’t bear to put them through the trauma of leaving their home and stuffing them into an apartment, or condo, or the confines of a typical yard in the U.S. They were used to running free on the huge lot, and trotting beside me – off leash, everywhere we went. Nor could I imagine the thought of giving them away or, God forbid, relinquishing them to the pound! In Argentina, that was a death sentence. It was bad enough that I would have to desert them; I could not abandon them to such a fate. I had to find a buyer who would not only adopt my dogs and allow them to continue living at their home, but who would love and care for them as much as I did. After two weeks of interviewing prospects, I got my wish.
On a sunny, Friday afternoon at the end of May, a woman rolled up on a rusty old beach-comber and glided into my front yard. She was slightly plump, middle-aged, olive skin, long, wavy dark hair, stone-washed jeans, beaded sandals, tie-dyed shirt and handmade jewelry. The dogs, my fail-safe intruder alert – normally growling or barking, suspicious and ready to defend their home - ran up to her wagging their tails and smiling. She was the first stranger ever to be received that way, and she smiled and cooed and petted them in return. After a couple minutes of this, she lifted her head and said “this has to be the place I’m looking for. I recognize your dogs from the picture.” My heart rose into my throat. Could this be my perfect buyer?
She introduced herself as Irina and told me her husband had found my house on the web. He worked on a freighter and was often at sea. She said they’d been looking for a home for months, and that the beautiful picture of my two darlings chasing each other through the waves, had hooked them from the start. After pouring over the mountains of photos and details, they were pretty much sold before they even arrived. Only an Argentine tendency towards caution in business dealings had kept them from picking up the phone and calling me right then. Since he was at sea, it had fallen to her to come by the property and see for herself if what appeared on the web was true.
They were both dog lovers, and already had two of their own. And they were thrilled about the idea of getting two more well-trained and steadfast guardians and family-members along with the home. I took her through the property as we talked, but it was obvious she was already sold. When we finished the tour she looked at me with hopeful, but worried eyes. “Is it still for sale?” she asked. “Yes,” I said, “and I want to sell it to you.”We arranged to meet with a lawyer to start the paperwork the next day, and in less than three weeks the deal was closed. I left feeling good about my dogs’ new family; they still send me photos and videos of my old home and faithful pups, happy as can be.
This is the power of a single-property site: it is your story, the story of your property, made vividly clear and real. It allows your buyers to project themselves into your home and imagine it as theirs. No classified ad or multiple-listing site can compete with such compelling detail. It’s the story that sells the home, and it’s the single-property site that allows you to tell that story.
Let me help you tell the story of your home. Contact me now at 714-603-9791 or email@example.com to get started.