Brett Furman, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Classic in Wayne, Pennsylvania, was well aware of the potential challenges when he agreed to list a 10,490-square-foot Federal-style mansion that was once home to an Italian consulate. Furman took a strategic approach to cover every marketing angle that might result in finding the right buyer at the best price. The result? The property, Philadelphia’s historic Samuel House, sold in less than 48 hours for $3.35 million – more than $100,000 over asking.
Here are the fundamental and effective steps Furman followed, which can serve as a guide for anyone handling a distinctive property.
1. Do your homework.
Furman hired an intern to research and confirm details of the home’s historical background, which unearthed more details and unique selling points for the listing.
He also initiated an architectural review to evaluate feasibility options for the property, including further subdividing the home into condos or apartments, or converting it back into a single-family residence.
After several months of study, he reviewed all of the options with the seller and recommended that the marketing campaign focus on converting the property back to a single-family home – which his research showed was likely to yield the highest price.
2. Reach out to a broad base but target a specific audience.
Furman initiated a multi-faceted public relations campaign that resulted in coverage in local and regional newspapers and magazines – and online. He also reached out to local developers, investors and brokers.
“All this helped produce multiple calls and showings,” Furman says.
3. Invest in the listing to showcase unique selling points.
Furman enhanced the listing presentation with aerial mapping to showcase the property’s central location, and he created a custom absorption analysis that details how long it will likely take the market to absorb or sell homes in a specific price range, geographic area and timeframe. He also engaged a professional photographer to create a visual tour highlighting the homes flow, size and many unique features.
“All listings, especially one-of-a-kind homes, should have a visual tour,” Furman says. “Also be sure to engage the media before and after the sale to promote the property and your role.”
4. Leverage your professional knowledge and experience.
Initially, the seller of the mansion stipulated there should be no “for sale” signs. But, given the property’s high-profile location, Furman felt this would be a mistake. So he backed up his recommendation with a NAR statistic from the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, which reports that 9 percent of buyers found the home they purchased from signs. The seller agreed.
“Persuading the seller to allow two ‘for sale’ signs and two subsequent ‘sold’ signs on this property helped me generate several showings and one seller call,” Furman says.