I’ll expose 3 secret tips that I use on my houses that I fix, flip and sell. These secrets can cost you around $20 and the impact can practically be tens of thousands.  If you plan on successfully selling rehabbed houses retail, that means listing it with an agent and hoping for top dollar for the buyer an the appraiser-you must pay attention to the details.  Because there is only a select few number of buyers out there looking for houses to live in that are completely remodeled, you must stand out from all of your competition.  Buyers are sometimes cautioned from buying from us investors.   Believe it or not I’ve heard agents with my own ears telling their buyers that all investors do “hack work” and to focus on buying from a homeowner.

Think about this, would you prefer to buy a short sale from a homeowner who is running out of money and therefore definitely not doing the maintenance house requires-and certainly not updating anything.  Or would you rather buy from a professional investor like me who is forced to rebuild my rehab projects to newer, very strict building codes-then putting custom finishes like granite and brand new stainless steel appliances in after the code work is complete?

I’ll guarantee right now that if you take a home inspector through one of my rehabs and compare it to any house in the same subdivision I’ll blow the competition away, not only from a mechanical standpoint, but an aesthetic one as well.

Okay, if you’ve a made it this far you’ve proven you deserve to learn my cheap but mega-effective $20 little tricks.

1. 120 Watt Light Bulbs-it seems absolutely elementary but I promise you that if you go in 19 out of 20 rehabs they are under lit.  When your prospective buyer walks in your rehab why don’t you give them the best visual perspective possible?  Use the brightest light bulbs you can find.  This especially holds true in the basement.

Picture this…you walk through the house of your dreams, your spouse, children, and little doggy are all in love.  The last place you go is in the basement.  As you walk down the creaky steps the slight scent of a dank, moldy, scary place hits your senses.  As your family gets to the landing your standing practically in the dark, the kids and dog run back upstairs scared.  Not a pretty picture right?

Now imagine the same beginning but as you reach the landing you flip the light switch and the whole basement lights up leaving no place or monsters or mold to hide.  Boom, it’s a done deal and you buy the house.  That’s exactly how your buyers will react also.

Do you have a house for sale right now?  Get out your step stool, look at your bulbs, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “why for pennies am I showing a dim house?”

2.  Flats of Flowers-depending on how many you want to add this may blow your whole $20 budget.  So forgive me if we go over a few bucks.  Assuming that the properties you’re flipping are houses or condos that you are allowed to do some type of landscaping, why aren’t you?  I’m no flower expert or claim to know anything out of the ordinary about landscaping.  What I do know is how to sell houses as fast as possible to make the most profit for myself and private lender while delivering a top-notch product.  Here’s the simplest way to make people smile as they approach your remodel.  Go out and buy a few flats of cheap annuals.  Now decide where they’ll have the most impact OUTSIDE of the beds that are up against your house.  What I like to do is frame out the walkway up to the front door on either side.  Your buyers will feel like they’re at the garden at the Bellagio.  Do you think the last couple short sales and hacked up investor flips they looked at delivered this kind of warmth before they even stepped through the front door-doubtful.  The next spot that can use a little flowerbed is right around your mailbox post.  As we move to the next and final tip you’ll see why I believe it’s so important to make a super great impression before they even pull in the driveway.

3.  Knockout Front Door Color-depending on the color scheme of the house and neighborhood, I’ll go as wild as possible while still keeping it classy.  This little trick may cost you $20 upfront by itself for the paint, but you’ll be able to easily paint 8-10 front doors with one gallon of quality paint-that’s about two bucks a house.  How much do you spend on coffee at Starbucks?

More about the significance of having a beautiful, eye catching front door…on my projects I always spend a little extra on the front door for a few reasons;

Number one, when people drive up or see your listing on sites like Listingbook.com, Realtor.com, etc a different front door will stick out right away.

Secondly, and this plays into the flowers from above also, what kind of feeling do you want your buyers to have as they finally arrive in person at the house that either they’ve been viewing online or their agent has been boasting about?  You want them to lose a little bit of there breath as they take it all in-and that’s before they see your granite, hardwoods, and custom finishes on the inside!  Your front door is usually the first part of the house they touch also.  Make it special.  Even if you didn’t upgrade or there was already a really nice door, put some color on it.

Lastly, I believe that subconsciously that front door color will indelibly burn itself into your buyer’s mind and they’ll slowly obsess over the house with the special front door.  They think “when my friends and family come over they’ll be so impressed, and maybe even jealous”.  Or “when neighbors drive by and I have the most beautiful door in the subdivision everyone will know my house is special”.  Remember, most home purchases are 90% emotional and only 10% logical, so learn how to get your prospective buyers emotionally involved.

When you are a member at the REIA of Macomb you’re not just going to come to a half-way boring meeting every month where some dude is on stage telling you about new tenant-landlord laws, or how you need 700 LLC’s and a 3 million dollar insurance policy before you can start investing in houses.  What you will be a part of is a community of real investors and vendors who are all involved day to day in the real estate investment world, not pretenders.  Members of The REIA of Macomb continually make more profits and much better decisions on there investment properties.  You’ll be very surprised at how willing other members are to share there knowledge and how it becomes a collective genius over the whole club.  Some folks out there are what’s called lone wolves-their afraid to tell anyone any of there secrets or they don’t want any other investors to know what their doing-for fear that we may steal their business.

To that I say PHOOEY!

It’s their choice as Americans, I just disagree with it.  Everything important about  real estate deal is a matter of public record and 99% of investors are listing their houses on the MLS so we can all look at what they’re doing, who they’re buying from, and who they’re selling to anyway.  Uh-oh, I can hear a few of them howling as they read this.  My point is this, if you want to make money in Michigan real estate, have fun at a real estate investing seminar/club, and you’re not scared people will steal the ingredients to your special sauce-You should be an active member of the REIA of Macomb.  Just because we host our Main Event in Macomb county don’t let that throw you off.  We have active members from as far north as Westbranch, as far west as Brighton and Howell, and as far east as Pennsylvania, literally.  Let’s make sure that you’re on of them.

Back to watering my flowers,

Dylan Tanaka-Founder