I came across Bill Effros’ How To Sell Your Home in 5 Days years ago at a bookstore. I read about half the book, was hooked, bought it, and have re-read it a number of times since.
It’s large print, written in a casual style and most people could read the whole thing in a couple of hours.
The book provides a simple, straightforward approach that allows anyone to sell their home themselves, for market value, in exactly 5 days.
It’s important to clarify what market value means. It doesn’t mean top dollar, it doesn’t mean what you think it’s worth, it doesn’t mean selling for what your property was worth at the market peak last year, and it doesn’t mean what your neighbor got for their place. Market value means what the current market will pay for your property.
I’ve often thought that the biggest value real estate agents provide is the ability to try to talk down delusional sellers from the inflated values they place on their properties. It’s human nature to do so, it’s called the endowment effect, but the biggest obstacle to this sales approach is that people won’t be willing to accept what their property is currently worth.
How It Works
Before you start the process, you get your property inspected, then clean and repair anything that needs it. There’s no need for expensive renovations – you won’t get your money back from them.
From Wednesday to Friday you advertise the property in as many ways as you possibly can. You don’t include the address in the ad, so the only way for someone to show up is to contact you. You only proceed if you get 25 people to contact you. It doesn’t matter if the 25 people who contact you promise to come or tell you they aren’t interested. They count either way.
If you don’t get contacted by a minimum of 25 people, you postpone the sale. Starting the next Wednesday you expand your advertising and try again.
On Saturday and Sunday, you show the property. People viewing the property can leave a bid of any amount they want – it doesn’t have to be higher than any other offer. A bid of $1 is fine. They also provide their phone number.
On Sunday night you call every person who left a bid. You tell them the current highest bid and ask if they’re willing to raise their bid to at least $500 higher than the current highest bid. If someone declines, they’re out of the running for the house and you don’t bother calling them again. This continues until only 1 person is left, and they get the house for what they bid.
But Does It Work?
It absolutely works. I’ve sold a condo using this approach, had a buyer on Sunday night and the sale went through smoothly. I would definitely use this approach again the next time I’m selling a property.
Does It Work For Everyone?
A friend of mine tried this approach and wasn’t happy with the final price and decided not to sell (the book makes it clear you can do that – no one is committed to anything until the legal papers are signed during the week after the sale).
My friend was fixated on what Realtors had told her they would list the property at. When the final price came in, she was convinced her house was worth more. List price certainly isn’t sale price, and if you sell through a Realtor you need to pay them 5% – which you don’t need to do with the 5 day sale method. Ultimately, I think she made a mistake not selling – she ended up renting out the house instead of selling.
But What About…
It’s natural that doing something so unusual would raise many questions. The book does an excellent job addressing every concern I could come up with. It also provides a very detailed, step-by-step guide for every part of the process.
You can watch the author describing the process on an old talk show. He also used to have a website with details about the process (link is to an archived version of the defunct website).
If you’re the type of person who is willing to try something a little bit different, I strongly suggest considering the 5 Day Sale approach to selling your home! It’s available from Amazon and bookstores everywhere.
I released a book on Amazon about “Getting Started As A Small Scale Landlord”. It treats this as a part-time job you can give yourself, rather than a get-rich-quick scheme. If you enjoyed this post, I think you’d dig it.
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