Tips for Attracting First Time Retail Homebuyers for My Rehab Projects

Any tips anyone would like to recommend to attract first time homebuyers? Bandit signs, Craigslist ads? If you can provide samples that would be appreciated as well. Thanks in advance.


The absolute BEST thing you can do to attract buyers and sell these homes FAST is to UPGRADE the kitchens!!

At the first time home buyers price point NOTHING comes with Granite counter tops and Stainless Steel appliances. Sure they’ll cost you a little more, but not as much as you would think.

During the boom years EVERYONE got into granite. These guy’s are STARVING now. The other benefit to the granite counter top in the first time home buyer property is… it’s usually only about 12 feet of counter top. I use it in EVERY house I rehab now. It runs about $45/sq. ft. installed. Which in a typical ranch house with a 12 foot counter cost me $1000 (That’s what I pay, take it or leave it, THEY TAKE IT) Do yourself a favor, give your counter top guy a under mount sink to install when he comes to make the templates. It costs dirt, but adds a HUGE finishing touch. Also buy a decent faucet, it’s the DETAILS that will get them to BUY YOUR HOME!!! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, forget that. I know for a FACT that at least one house I sold this year went because of a KITCHEN FAUCET!!! Buyers can be PICKY now. SO BE SURE TO PUT SOME LIPSTICK ON THAT OLE GIRL!!!

The same thing happened with appliances. EVERY company that makes frigs and stoves now offer stainless. Yea it costs a bit more but these items will sell your house FAST and at top dollar!!

I install my own kitchen cabinets. I usually buy Maple because it’s light in color and helps make a small kitchen look big. Finish it all off with some new tile on the floor. I can usually finish out an entire kitchen remodel for around $6000 including appliances. (keep your eye on craigslist, I’ve bought LIKE NEW stainless applainces for DIRT there) I then refinsh all the hardwood floors, paint the walls a neutral tan, and all the trim gets bright gloss white paint. DONE.
I RARELY have to go above $15,000 all tolled.

The last house I did sold in 6 DAYS and I had 3 other people who wanted it. I redirected 2 of them to other similar homes I was in the process of finishing.

My wife was talking to one of the buyers (a single mother) She asked her what she liked about the home??? Her answer…I could move in and I didn’t have to do ANYTHING, not even painting a single wall!!!
With the number of foreclosures out there the market is saturated with homes that need work. We LOVE that stuff but the average home buyer doesn’t want any part of it.

If you do your rehabs right the buyers will find YOU, not the other way around. Don’t think so??? Look at your MLS listings for first time home buyer properties and see how many have the items I just described.

You won’t find many. FILL THAT NICHE and you’ll grow rich!!!

I like your reasoning fdjake. Where are you at and at what price range are you selling your rehabs?

I’m in Southern New England.

The market here is still falling every month (TON’S OF FORECLOSURES)

I Buy 'em for around $90K to $110K, putting $15K into them and they’re selling for $190,000+.

Most of these rehabs are complete in about 30 days. Finding them is the entire business. The banks are STILL asking too much for the properties I’m interested in. It’s a numbers game, having CASH to buy these homes with is a HUGE advantage. I get most of my homes because there is NO FINANCING and I can close in 5 days!!

I like to offer my retail buyers a free 47" wall-mounted, flat screen television. Granted you are spending an extra $1000, but it sets you apart from all the other houses on the market. In my area all the houses are so similar that this can sometimes be a selling point to a perspective buyer.

fdjake is right. I am still using black instead of stainless but granite is the thing and new appliances. You may be tempted to use used appliances but I put new appliances in and leave the paper on them. The wife wants to pull the paper off of her new appliance so bad she is almost blinded to anything else in the house including the price.

I usually deck mine out with all the works just as has been mentioned here but so do most investors in my immediate area. I still need to find ways to make my property more attractive. One trick that I like to use is to offer a 1 year warranty on my flips. It gives the buyers confidence in my work and gives them a sense of comfort. Another thing I like to do is build a custom entertainment center and structured wiring with wired speakers and volume controls. They are coming down some in price as well. Happy Selling.

I like fdjake’s slogan: