What is Rent-To-Sell? A Primer Illustrated by “Ugly Kid’s” Prom Saga

What is Rent-To-Sell? A Primer Illustrated by “You think ‘Rent-To-Sell’ is the best way to sell in this economy? Why is it better than just listing my home for sale?” (Skeptical Charlotte Home Seller)

“My son will have a date to that darn prom if it is the last thing I do…” (Rueful rallying cry from the father of “Ugly Kid”)

A father had a problem. Rather it was his son’s problem, but he couldn’t stomach the thought that his offspring was so unappealing to the opposite sex. So now the problem was his. The high school junior prom was only three short weeks away and his son was still unable to secure a date. “Pathetic,” the father thought as he trolled his retired black book to see if any of his prior flings had a daughter his son’s age. How could this be happening?

It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. Not only had his son asked out every girl in his class, but he had followed it up with invitations to every girl in his grade, then every girl in his high school, and every girl in his nascent Facebook account. No go. The real world and cyberspace were proving equally as cruel. Apparently, when one has earned the moniker of “Ugly Kid”, the deck is stacked against you. However, the father was undeterred and began his campaign to get his son a prom date.

It started with accessing message boards from high schools around the country and posting ads. “Attention High School Girls: Great Guy Needs Prom Date, Awesome Personality, No Pictures Available (hard drive crashed), Will Pay Airfare, Room, & Board to NC.” He alerted radio station disc jockeys to his son’s dilemma. He submitted thousands of entries into the “Win a Date with Britney Spears” contest. He put profiles on Match. com and HighSchoolGirlzHere. com. And then, he waited…

Something happened. His e-mail began to fill up and his phone started to ring off the hook. Nationally, high school girls were requesting more information (and pictures) concerning his posts. Disc jockeys were putting him on their shows and having intrigued girls call in. Activity was booming and the excitement was palpable. And then one week before prom, his son got a call from a Carolina girl from Charlotte who said the sweet words he had been yearning to hear, “Yes, I will go to the prom with you.” And Dad’s work paid off; “Ugly Kid” was going to the dance.

This is the essence of “Rent-To-Sell”. The traditional buyers who go get a loan and purchase your home outright are scarce! You need to remember the oldest selling axiom out there (“Sales is a numbers game”) and have it work for you. Instead of just listing your home like you did in the past, you need to open your home up to the greatest number of potential buyers out there; this includes rent-to-own tenants (building their credit), tenant-buyers (renters with good credit who don’t want to buy right now – usually just moved to the area), and investors looking to buy a home with a paying tenant already in place. The American dream of homeownership isn’t dead; it is just is going to be played out differently until the credit markets firm up. Change your game plan accordingly!

Your home and “Ugly Kid” are in the same boat. Enlarge your target buyer audience and that call will come!