“Outside my window today: Doggies! Walk to the plaza with Fido for great window shopping and takeaway coffee. Fresh air and fun.” So read a recent tweet from “106 Montclair Avenue,” aka Montclair resident and home seller Amrita Sawhney.
Sawhney is selling her house without a real estate broker – which is nothing new. What is innovative is the strategy she has devised to market the house. It combines skillful use of social media with an old-fashioned knack for leveraging social networks.
With the toughest market in decades, do-it-yourself sellers have had to get creative. It is no longer enough to host a few open houses and put up a For Sale sign in the front yard.
When Sawhney decided to sell her home, she knew she wanted to go a different route. “I love challenging myself,” she said. “I’m also a pretty savvy marketer and have a good understanding of how to use technology.” She designed the house’s website, and opened up its Facebook account and Twitter feed.
The website was a DIY job with the help of Go Daddy’s WebSite Tonight® program. As for the tweets, Sawhney said she wanted to give potential buyers a sense of “what it is like to live on this street.”
She has also used some more traditional avenues, including placing ads in The New York Times, as well as on Zillow and Craigslist. Sawhney admits that marketing your own home in this way is not for the faint of heart (or short of time). “You have to know your own skill sets, and it is a time commitment,” she said.
This weekend’s open house (2/12 and 2/13 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) will be the first real test of how many potential buyers her grassroots campaign has reached so far. Sawhney is making sure the house is ready for its close-up – she’s even having local artist Donna Grande stop by on Sunday to show some of her paintings.
What do you think of Sawhney’s strategy? Will it give her the edge in a bleak and sluggish housing market?