Much of the content in my Blogs will be about the company I work for and what we do. I have been with HomeVestors of America for over five years and one of the biggest challenges I have encountered is overcoming the assumptions of what we do. Everyone knows that we are the "We Buy Ugly Houses" people, but beyond that there is not much that the general public or even seasoned real estate professionals understand about HomeVestors.
For example, did you know that each HomeVestors office is independently owned and operated and that we are local residents of the communities we advertise in? Some people assume that HomeVestors is an out-of-state corporate entity that gobbles up real estate across the country.
As the Sales and Investor Relations Manager for the local HomeVestors of Asheville office, my job is to sell or lease the properties we own. We are not a Real Estate Brokerage looking for listings. We are the owner of the properties that we sell. And when we sell one of our houses, I construct a detailed process for marketing the property to get it sold in the shortest period of time.
First, I go to my database of buyers who have expressed interest in buying one of our properties. I give those folks first shot. Then I begin doing my own marketing through our web site, Craig’s List, and several local print advertising publications.
Of course I know ActiveRain is a gathering of mostly Realtors and I am sure some of you listing agents are just screaming right now, "Why don't you just list it?" Well, eventually we will list the property with a Realtor if I can't sell it through my own devices. But our company is a company built on relationships. We connect very personally with the people we buy houses from as well as the people we sell houses to. Here’s a good example:
Recently we acquired a property in West Asheville which is a highly sought out area of town. I immediately began marketing the property for sale as a wholesale “fixer-upper”. Within hours I was contacted by a young woman who explained that she and her boyfriend are looking for a house in West Asheville but they can only afford so much. She knew the house needed work but also recognized that even after the house was fully renovated, there was going to be considerable equity left over because of how we priced it. (We always leave equity for the buyers on all of our deals!). I met her and her boyfriend at the house and they liked it!
So now I have an interested buyer who likes the location, the house, and has been approved for financing. The only problem now is… who is going to replace the roof? How is the sub flooring in the bathroom going to get repaired? What are they going to do about the electrical panel that needs to be upgraded?
For us, the answer is a simple one. Through our preferred mortgage broker, Best Mortgage, we are going to help implement and facilitate a 203K-S Loan (often called the “Streamline K”). The 203K Streamline is a simple loan that does not require much of the documentation and steps that are required with the full 203K. Simply put the FHA 203K Streamline allows a Borrower to borrow up to $35,000 for repairs.
Since we have the experience in renovating homes, we are referring one of our battle tested general contractors to perform the renovations and manage to scope of work for this couple. The GC will take care of the big stuff and the couple will do some of the work themselves.
Some people might ask “why doesn’t your company just do the work and then sell the house?” We could. But in this case, I was marketing the house specifically to investors and ended up with an end user. They didn’t want us to do the work, they wanted to oversee and do some of the work themselves. This is an exciting endeavor for this couple. They are very excited about picking out their own cabinets, paints colors, bathroom fixtures, appliances, etc. This project is exactly what they wanted and we are glad to help.
This is just one example of how we sell houses. We are not interested in becoming a house selling mill; turning one deal over after another. Our success is built on the relationships we develop by working directly with people to help solve their needs whether we are buying the house, or selling it. Nothing is more rewarding!