The Automated Housing Referral Network (AHRN) provides a great, free way to sell or rent your home.
While looking at AHRN during my move to Hawaii, I noticed many advertisements had no pictures and short descriptions, causing me to skip right over them.
If you’re advertising like that – you’re losing money. With a lack of interest you’ll eventually need to drop your sale or rental price.
Here are three tips to make your ad stand out and sell or rent your home fast:
1. Include pictures! Lots of pictures!
Pictures sell a home faster than anything else. If you put effort into one thing – make it your pictures.
Clean up your home and get out your best digital camera (phone pics aren’t going to cut it). Take pictures of every room. Take pictures of the outside, the yard, and the garage if you have one.
AHRN hosts pictures of your home on their web site in fairly good quality. But I also recommend posting the images to Google’s Picasa Web Albums.
Picasa maintains the quality and size of your photos, allowing potential renters to browse through in great detail to get a good feel for your home. You can include a link to pictures under “External Property Link” in your AHRN listing, or reference it in your description.
2. Tell us what’s great about your home
Be specific. Make it personal.
Which of these descriptions is better?
- 3 bed/2 bath in nice neighborhood close to Offutt AFB
- This home is located in Creek Plantation, just 5 miles from Offutt AFB. It was built in 2003 and is well-maintained. The appliances are all stainless steel. We replaced all carpet a year ago. The neighborhood is popular with military families due its close proximity to excellent schools (ranked #2 of #39 on Great Schools) and convenient shopping (Target, Safeway, Barnes and Nobles). There are many kids in the neighborhood – our kids always enjoyed playing after school. The drive to Offutt is about 10 minutes and rarely involves traffic.
The second description touches on things that don’t fit into standard fields. Square feet and number of bedrooms are easy. But describing the quality of schools, available shopping, and actual commute (not calculated by Google Maps) pull the reader in and get them excited.
Descriptions like this save you time. The contacts you receive will be highly targeted and more likely to rent or buy your home. They know what they’re getting into, so they’re less likely to call and ask many questions, or come to your house then look around and leave.
3. Note your preferred contact information at the end of your description
There are several places to put your contact information on AHRN. I suggest listing contact info as a final sentence in your description.Something like: “You can reach me on my cell phone in the evenings at 555-3234, or I respond quickly to emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Doing this ensures you don’t miss calls or emails due to limited connectivity. It also puts the contact info at the most logical place – right after your pictures and description.
One Last Tip
If you use a realtor or property manager – do not assume they will do everything above! Nobody cares about selling or renting your home as much as you do. So double check the ad they post and make sure it’s done right.