Friday, March 21, 2008

How Honest Harry Gets the Job Done !

How I Sold It
Honest Harry Gets the Job Done

With little to showcase, sales associate Harry Ackley decided to tell the brutal truth about his unmarketable listing in Plymouth, Mich., and his peers liked the approach.


Location: Plymouth, Mich.
Square footage: 704 square feet
Lot size: 7,695 square feet
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Year built: 1941
Extras: “Not much to speak of.”

THE CHALLENGE: When Harry Ackley, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Schweitzer-Bake Real Estate in Plymouth, Mich., secured a listing from a former client in March 2004, he was worried how he was even going to get people to view the property. “The house was a complete disaster,” Ackley recalls. “Just saying, ‘fixer-upper’ or ‘handyman special’ was not going to get it done. I needed to do something drastic to sell this one.”

How did you overcome the challenge?

ACKLEY: There was no point trying to cover up anything, so I didn’t try. In the listing’s public remarks section, I wrote: “The bottom of the barrel! I have avoided listing this one as long as possible, since it will take a miracle to sell. Sure, it has two bedrooms, one bathroom, and an oversized lot in a desirable Plymouth neighborhood. But beyond this, there’s nothing else that’s positive.”

I asked and received permission from the seller before I wrote the remarks, mind you, but I just went with the brutal truth. It sounds crazy, I know, but I received so many calls from real estate professionals, far and wide, who said they wished they could be as honest in their remarks as I was.
Many of them took the listing to their weekly marketing meetings and brought it to their colleagues’ attention. Someone in my office even framed the remarks. It’s hanging on my office wall.

What was the selling price?

ACKLEY: The property listed for $119,900 in March 2004 and sold for $112,500 in April 2004. It was only on the market for 17 days. We closed May 4, 2004.

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