HBS – from Preparation to Selling: Live, with Fresh Updates

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  • Today’s Update & Lesson:


    I lost my phone, and also the only copy of the postcard I had designed and prepared for printing on my phone. So I had to begin again from scratch. It is a better version, but I lost time & energy , not really helpful when I am already exhausted from the Hideaway trips on 2 consecutive days.

    Here is the postcard that is being printed & mailed out today in my Dropbox account:

    It may not be a masterpiece, but I hope it conveys the message. FYI: “Trish” on the Contact Info on the back of the card is Patti.

    Today I hired the cleaning people to take away the furniture and clean-out the house, and the backyard. They’ll begin work on Monday after the repair people are done. The inspection Report pointed out a few things that do need immediate attention. Lay people get scared by the visuals, when there is nothing to be scared of. The AHU closet DOES need to be addressed.

    Here are some backup strategies for your (or anybody’s) business-critical smartphone:





    As always, THANK YOU. My phone’s hardware crashed last weekend, so I went out and bought a new one, only to lose it because of exhaustion. I found the new phone sitting in the recesses of the trunk of my car. I must have thrown it in when I was putting away the photographic equipment, 500′ measuring tape, clip board, messenger bag, and other phones!

    I changed the postcard a little bit again before sending it to Patti in Houston to get it printed, and mailed.

    Now I rest, till the next round. In the meantime I cater to the myriad “needs” of my Airbnb guests, and of course, the never-ending emails to Airbnb, and the prospective guests.

    HI Ayesha

    I hope there is a HUGE profit potential for YOU in the Hideaway deal to make all this travel and work worth your time!!

    For me, unless I could make at least $20,000 (minimum) I would not take on a HBS that was away from where I lived. The further away, the more profit I expected to make.

    It is better to just focus on doing deals in your own back yard. They are less exhausting. My guess is the Hideway deal is at least a 2 hour drive for you ONE WAY. That’s half a day that you are not focused on doing deals in your own town. So the profit potential needs to be much higher to compensate for the time lost in working deals in your own market.

    Many years ago, I remember getting a call about a 4plex deal that was 2 hours away from my house. Two hours one way, four hours round trip. During the time I was gone, I missed the opportunity for a great deal that was 15 minutes from my house because I could not get to the house fast enough.

    If an opportunity was outside my home market, I would only do luxury houses. Luxury houses have a much higher profit potential so it made it worth my time and energy to go to other areas. Luxury houses are more likely to have a $50,000+++ profit potential.

    Everyone needs to think twice before doing an HBS that is 2 hours away from your home. There will be multiple trips to the property as Ayesha is experiencing. The multiple trips adds to your expenses too.


    I hope the profit is more balanced in my favour, as I have put in 95% of the work. The tail end will be done by the other party.

    This is the point I want to bring up for everyone. The work should be well-defined, and delineated from the outset, like one does with the “scope of work” for any project. If someone brings in a lead ONLY, and you do the analyses, property evaluation, Seller evaluation to understand the “person” you’ll be dealing with, go meet up with the Seller, bring the Seller to feel comfortable enough to start trusting you, then negotiate a deal as a by-product of the rapport created., plan out the marketing activities, prepare all the marketing material, negotiate with and oversee the work of any sub-contractors, and other experts you have to outsource to, while at the same time do hand-holding of the Seller. Then get the title work started, help resolve conflicts, keep in top of paperwork, and EVERYTHING. in between, YOU have to be compensated at a much higher percentage of the profit, or just pay for the lead. In a % situation, work should be given to play to the strengths of the participants. If you do not do this, there will be an expectation of fairness from the other party, or a resentment build up for not getting monetarily rewarded for the work input. This IS business.

    You are right, taking on projects at a greater distance away should have enough profit margin built in to pay for he time and effort. The multiple trips add to the stress, and exhaustion level too; and that is something that is unquantifiable, so I would assign a 1.5x value to the normal expectation of profit on top of the distance based one. It takes me 2-1/2 hours each way to get to Hideaway, and back, because of traffic and highway construction/accidents along the way. So I am going to stay at the vacant house from Wednesday through Sunday, to be on-site, and do marketing that requires on-site presence. That takes me away from my kids, another unquantifiable expense.

    When you’re doing a Highest Bidder Sale on a house that needs work, it is better to NOT do any repairs on the property. You’ll make a lot more money. Buyers prefer to do do their own repairs and their own additions to the property.

    The only thing you should do is clean up the front yard to make a good first impression.

    I’ve tried it both ways – fixing up stuff and not fixing up stuff – I always make more money when I don’t fix up anything when doing a Highest Bidder Sale.


    I just looked at your craigslist ad. You left out a lot of stuff!!!! Delete this ad ASAP, run a new ad. You MUST create a sense of urgency to get people to the property. the lower the starting bid, the more people will come to the property.

    You need to say

    Home to be Sold to the Highest Bidder! April 23rd!

    Worth $225,000
    Open House April 22 – 23rd from 1-5
    ADDRESS of the house!!!! (YOU LEFT OUT THE ADDRESS)

    Come Steal My House!

    The objective for all advertising for a Highest Bidder Sale is to create a sense of urgency to get people to the house – a lot of people.

    You should not do ads like a real estate agent would do.

    Corrected ad.


    I was going to add information from today, if you can recall. I was not going to give out everything from the get go. As the days draw nearer, I shall add “Come steal my home”

    The house is not in dire need of repair, there are water marks from a leak that happened last year because of a leaky roof that ; the Seller replaced the roof last year but did not take care of the water marks.

    The value of the house as is: $277,000

    A starting bid of $190,000 is way too high. You will not get many people to the property. Unless you get a LOT of people to the property, the price will not go up up up.

    I suggest a $137,000 starting bid – definitely needs to be under $150,000

    People from Dallas need a good reason to drive 2+ hours to see his house. Give them a reason and a sense of urgency!

    Dropped it down to $149,000, and that is at $53.69/sq.ft, at 53% of its value of $277,000, for a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 2770 sq.ft Brick House in a gated , lake & golf course community. The most run down house in Hideaway is selling for $80/sq.ft. I do not want to mar the price history of the house. The Seller owes $150k, and worst come to worst, if I end up having to place the house as a flat rate listing on the MLS, this low price will show up WITH NO EXPLANATION, but just as a number. What will be the information provided then on the MLS after no visible MAJOR improvements to the house? I am sorry, but I have a duty to the Seller too above everything else. “Anything goes”, does NOT hold true here.

    Also, NO realtor is allowed to do Open Houses, or place yard signs in Hideaway.

    I was NOT proposing major repairs at all. The roof was replaced last year after roof failure. The owner got the roof replaced, but did not take care of the water marks in the ceilings. To a lay person, explaining will not allay his or her fears of a leaking roof.

    These are the things I want to be taken care of by a handyman:
    • Apply Kilz and paint over dried out moisture marked areas in the ceilings wherever they appear in the house.
    • AC AHU area water damage repair,
    • Re-attach the large cabinet door in the kitchen,
    • Replace the crumbling drywall strip under the kitchen/dining room step down ledge with a wooden plank,
    • Master bathroom middle drawer is off the slide,
    • Clean out the shrubbery in the back,
    • Replace the fused bulbs,
    • General clean up,

    As to the CL ads, earlier I put up the address in some, and not in others to do a split test, but I still did not get a single inquiry. Now I am providing all the pertinent information. Here is one of the ads with the starting bid of $149,000.

    Flyer looks great. Pictures look great! But in one place on the flyer it says the house is worth $277k. In the craigslist ad, it says it is worth $280k. Needs to be consistent.

    You’d need to paint the whole ceiling, not just where the water marks are.

    Do as little work as possible.

    Today the lakefront.com ad goes live in the next couple of hours, and the press release gets distributed.

    HI Ayesha

    Do you mean http://www.LakeHouse.com? That’s the best place to advertise a property in a lake community.

    I see that another house just got listed on the site on the same street – Pineview – but it was built in 2001 so it is NOT a comparable to your house that was built in 1979. That other Pineview house was just listed for $255k on April 12th and has already had 50 views!!!
    But the sales price of that house will make your house look even more attractive!!!!!

    Add a lot of pictures to your ad that will help it get a lot of attention. And be sure to say MUST SELL! Sold to the Highest Bidder on Sunday

    We’d love to see the press release.


    Typo on my part, it is http://www.lakehouse.com

    The other house for sale is one house over from the HBS property. It is being sold at $121/sq.ft, whereas the HBS property is being offered at $49.68/sq.ft as the starting bid.
    Secondly, the HBS house may have the original build date of 1979, but it was GUT-REHABBED, AND ADDED TO, in 2012, making the effective date to be much later, so a better prospect for anyone looking to buy.

    Lakehouse.com offers an ad with 10 photographs for $69, and 30 photographs for $89 for 6 months. I was just going over the ad copy that I had prepared earlier, and shall be posting the ad soon. Lakehouse.com is based out of Arlington, TX- what a small world.

    About the press release, I am taking a big chunk out of it where the writer had emphasized on commissions for the realtors, such a waste of space in a press release.

    Investors keep sending me requests to do a rent to own at 137k, clearly without reading the ad and using some software to auto reply to CL ads.

    I’ll send a link to the Press Release too.

    Ayesha, I tried both (lakehouse.com and golfhomes.com) of your links and received “does not exist” error messages. I even tried with a different browser just in case. I received the same error messages that way as well. Oops!!



    The direct link to the Lakehouse ad is: http://www.lakehouse.com/page-497926.html

    The direct link to the Golfhomes ad is: http://www.golfhomes.com/page-497926.html

    Please try again.

    I see both ads.

    GREAT job!!!! The headline will get people to the open house!

    The date the house was built needs to be changed to 1979 vs 7912

    You did a great job of saying just enough to get people to the house!

    Here’s a great video of the Hideaway community. Who would not want to live here!!!!

    YouTube video

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