Our only regret is that we didn’t use it sooner
Norma and Ed Badow
New York, NY
After 4 ½ years of trying, we finally sold our home in Oct 2018 using George Cappony’s method, and our only regret is that we didn’t use it sooner.
We bought our home in 2008. The seller used the book “How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days by Bill Effros”, which we thought was great. It was an unusual property zoned residential/commercial on a major road which made it undesirable for many, and perfect for a few, like us. It was the peak of the market, just before the crash, so unfortunately we unknowingly paid more than what it was worth ($190,000). Both of these facts were issues when it came time to sell.
We first marketed the house in 2014, and for the next 4 ½ years we tried almost every sales method before using this one. We tried the traditional methods first as we didn’t have the confidence to use the book by Bill Effros without someone to consult us about it. We also felt that some of the methods and advice in the book were outdated and would not be effective in today’s market, and we didn’t know about George Capponey’s more current and comprehensive method geared for today’s market. Our trials and error cost us a tremendous amount in both time and money, plus emotionally and physically. Looking back we can see how much of our precious life was wasted on this process. Hopefully, what we have to share will allow you to avoid the same mistakes.
ALWAYS TRY THIS METHOD FIRST, BEFORE ALL OTHERS
Here’s what happened and what we learned:
What We Did First
We first tried selling by owner for about 6 months while packing and preparing the house because we didn’t want to “waste time” not having it on the market for a few months. Bill Effros and George’s Method emphasizes having everything ready before selling. We lost the freshness of a new listing and got offers we felt were too low and turned down. Selling by owner conventionally is like listing with a realtor-it takes time and buyers have no sense of urgency. (See the section on various selling methods). When selling conventionally, what looks like saving time, is actually costing time and money in the end.
IF We Had Used This Method First: We would not have been ignorant of the reality of our situation, and one of 2 things would have happened:
- We would have gotten a much higher price because it was fresh on the market, we would have taken the time first to make sure the property was in peak condition, we would have advertised most effectively, and the bidding process works to get the highest price. We truly believe this would have happened.
- We would have gotten only low bids and with that information we would have realized that the market was not what we thought and would have made an informed decision to either wait for the market to change or cut our losses immediately.
If this happened, we might have tried waiting and so the Lease Purchase we tried next might have been what we did next anyway.
What We Did Next
We tried a lease purchase for 6 months which dragged on for 2 ½ years. We made the mistake of not sufficiently qualifying the buyers which ended in eviction followed by 6 months of repairing damages and restoring the house to salable condition. During that time we had it for sale by owner again before the house was in peak condition. The logic was that if we could sell it while working on it, we would not need to list it with a realtor, which was what we planned to do next. We got more low offers which we turned down. Most people cannot visualize a place in some future condition, and if there is something “wrong”, that’s what sticks in their mind. We again lost the opportunity for a fairly fresh listing -it was old news, and some of the potential buyers were already turned off by the pre-listing condition.
IF We Had Used This Method Instead: We would have waited for the house to be in perfect condition and again one of 2 things (‘a’ or ‘b’) would have happened. We truly believe that ‘a’ would have happened, because when the house was in perfect condition and we listed it, the feedback on the house itself was fantastic and only the location was an issue. With George’s method the urgency to buy works to get the highest price. If ‘b’ happened, at that point we probably would have cut our losses and wouldn’t have wasted another year.
Last Ditch Effort: We listed with a realtor. Before the house was ready, the realtor said to list around $175,000 at which point we talked about doing a combined by owner and realtor negotiation and pay ½ commission, but I would have had to stay in NY separated from my family until it sold. When the house was ready the realtor said to list at $198,500. At this price we could afford the full commission and I could go home so we listed for 6 months at 5%. My husband had surgery and we couldn’t go back to NY at the 6 month mark. We extended the listing 3 months and then 1 month before we could get back to NY and finally use George Cappony’s method.
Why It Backfired: It was a small town and by the time we used George Cappony’s method, everyone knew it had been on the market for a year or knew the whole 4 ½ year history. They assumed we were desperate and that the house wasn’t worth much. This attracted a lot of people who either couldn’t afford to, or weren’t willing to pay much. As a result, the bidding started at $99,500 and went up it $500 increments for 3 days, which we feel reinforced the thinking that it wasn’t worth much even though the house 2 doors down sold for over $200,000 within the past 6 months. IF We Had Used This Method Instead Of Listing: We would not have spent another year paying about $1600 per month to keep an empty house, not to mention the stress and anxiety of no certainty about a buyer. We are most certain that we would have gotten a significantly higher final bid had we not listed for a year. Again, the feedback on the house itself while listed was fantastic, and only the location was an issue. With George’s method the urgency to buy works to get the highest price. All the people who bid really loved the house but now had the mind set it wasn’t worth much. In fact there were several local investors who came by after it sold, and couldn’t believe we sold it for so little and were sorry they didn’t get in on the bidding; some even asked us to sell it to them instead for more.
The End Result Of George’s Method
We found George Cappony’s website online and saw that his method was significantly different than the original book in ways that would be more effective in today’s market. It took us about a month to prepare for the actual sale and then we had our buyer in a few days and closed 7 days after that.
What happened next was miraculous. The house sold “AS IS” to a cash buyer for $146,000 NET. Neither of us used an attorney, and we bypassed the title company by filing all the papers and paying off the loans ourselves. The buyer accepted our inspection report and deposited the money directly into our checking account the next day, and additionally paid all filing, conveyance, and other fees. It would have closed in one day except our bank put a 7 day hold on the deposit, so the buyer also paid our prorated mortgage, taxes and utilities for that week, netting us $146,000. Not only did we save attorney, and all fees, we did not have to wait 30-90 days to close saving another $1,600-$4,800.
When you use George Cappony’s method with integrity, you build trust with the potential buyers, without which we could not have done the closing the way we did which saved us a lot of time and money. In addition we actually became friends with the buyer and got to know a lot of people in the neighborhood.
With all things considered, if the realtor brought an offer on that same day, it would have needed to be over $15,000 higher to net the same amount (around $161,000). We avoided the stress of negotiating contract terms, the uncertainty of contingencies like loan, inspections, an demands of repairs, etc.