Marketing Your Investment Property Online & Preparing it For Sale

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Online Marketing Options

Whether you offer your investment property as a long rental or for short term and vacation stays there are many opportunities for you to reach potential renters online. Here is a list of a few of the sites and approaches to explore:

List it on Craigslist.org – Post an ad for free on this extremely popular online classified site. Ads are shown in the order they were posted with the newest appearing first, so you will want to repost periodically particularly for vacation rentals. You will need to delete your original post before the system will allow you to repost. Also check out these free classified sites: oodle.com, backpage.com, and pennysaverusa.com

[Related: Shop for Rental Properties on Craigslist]

Create a website  – Show potential renters pictures, a description of the property, information on the area, links to local resources and event calendars, and even a walking tour with a website just for your rental property. You don’t need to be a web designer or invest lots of money to make it happen – build a site for free with services such as weebly.com, sites.google.com, or yola.com.

Advertise The Property On Listing Sites – Most will charge a monthly or annual fee, but rental listing websites can be a great way to reach your target customers where they are already searching. Try one or more out and see whether they pay for themselves. A few to look into include: vrbo.com, vacationrentals411.com, masterpiecerentals.com, and homeaway.com. You may want to start by searching for terms that you think your customers might search for (i.e. Wilmington, NC homes for rent). Then reach out to the various web sites that rank for those terms for advertising pricing information.

Before You Put The For-Sale Sign Out

Selling a rental property can be a time consuming and labor intensive experience. One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether it is in your best interest to try selling the property yourself or work with a real estate agent. If you own a multi-family home, you already likely know what a headache coordinating one plumbing appointment can be. Think amount having to organize 50 showings with 4 tenants. Yikes. If your property is a single family home or a duplex, the time requirement will obviously be less of a deterrent. Sure, a real estate agent’s commission may eat away at the equity you have built in your home but it still might be worth while.

Once you have decided whether to go the fsbo route or list with an agent, it’s time to do a little window dressing. You only have one shot to make a first impression. Make sure that the photos you or your agent take of the property look awesome. There is nothing dumber than posting terrible photos of your home in the MLS. If necessary, pay a couple of hundred bucks to have a professional photographer take photos.

You will also want to get out the rake and your paint brush and start cleaning up the yard and painting the trim along the front of the home. Also, hit your local garden center for a few bags of mulch and some fresh flowers. This may end of being the best hundred dollars you spend.

If there are tenants in the home, you may be limited on the amount of work that can be done inside the property. You still may be able to work on common areas of the home such as the entrance way which the buyers will walk through multiple times during a showing.

If the home has a security system, you’ll want to speak with a professional to ensure that it is in working order. You can search for a local security professional online. If the current system is out-of-date you may need to upgrade or make adjustments to your asking price accordingly.

With the current real estate market in many parts of the country still reeling, more and more sellers are turning to home stagers to make their properties stand apart from the competition. Many of these professionals can work with the furniture you already have. They may be able to help you give the property a face lift simply by rearranging the items in your home.

Best of luck selling your property and feel free to post your tips in the comments section.

Anna Platz is an Editor at ForTheBestRate.com, a leading mortgage rate research website, as well as the Lead Contributor to GoodCentsSavings.com, a blog about budgeting and personal finance. Anna is immersed in the world of real estate, mortgage, and home financing and is here to provide valuable resources for homeowners and soon-to-be-homeowners on buying and selling real estate, researching a mortgage broker or lender, and securing a home loan. Check back often for news, updates, and remember that you can find today's current mortgage rates at ForTheBestRate.com. My Google Profile+

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