Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real Estate Specialist


This Realtor is now a believer with 2 buyers calls in two days with the right advertising!

I participated in a brain storming meeting held at our office last week where we all met to discuss our strategy for attracting buyers in our real estate market.

Many ideas were shared about how to attract buyers and here was my two cents.

Many of us blame the press for fueling the weak real estate market in many parts of the country but look at what many of us do with our own advertising.  We advertise things like:

  • Price slashed!
  • Owner anxious!
  • Price reduced!
  • Owner motivated!
  • Will look at any offers!
  • $20,000 price reduction!

And on and on and on.  In my opinion this kind of advertising just reminds everyone how bad the real estate market is in many parts of the country and helps fuel the negativity.

I went on to share with our group that instead of this kind of advertising try to "Offer Opportunities".  For instance, if the current mortgage rate is 6% then get your seller to buy down the rate to 5 ½ or 5 1/4 % and promote the payment and the features of the home.  Write these kinds of ads and advertise them in your local newspaper or on Craig's List:

"Only $750/month, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home, over 2,500 square feet, walking distance to all schools, 3 car garage.  Call now!"

Don't believe me?  One of our agents told me he had been posting listings on Craig's List for more that 6 months and not one call.  He asked me to help him write a good Craig's List ad with a link back to his site as I suggested.  I showed him how and he posted several listings last Friday afternoon.

To his amazement he had two phone calls and two showings directly from his Craig's List Ads that weekend!

So let's stop advertising how distressed sellers are and start advertising buyer opportunities.  The sooner we start doing this the sooner many real estate markets can get on their way to recovering.

One caveat:  I spoke to the finance department of the state of Idaho and to the HUD regional office early last year about regulation Z and disclosure.  I was told that if no interest rate was quoted I did not have to disclose an APR (annual percentage rate).  However, if I did quote an interest rate I MUST disclose an APR.  Check with the finance department and the HUD office of your area for the regulations you need to follow.

 Posted By: George Tallabas - Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent - Associate Broker 
with RE/MAX Advantage, Canyon Counties #1 Brokerage in sales and listings
specializing in Boise Idaho Real Estate and Southwest Idaho Real Estate.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 69 commentsGeorge Tallabas • December 04 2007 11:31AM


I like it George!  Congrats on the two buyers!!!
Posted by Ana Connell, Burbank Real Estate Agent (G & C Properties) over 11 years ago
I've never used craig's list for a listing but plan to soon! Thanks for the notes. It is about the right verbage!!! It doesn't matter if the price dropped $25k if someone still can't afford the payments...
Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) over 11 years ago
George, the usual....great stuff. Implementation on the way. You always come up with great ideas!
Posted by Jeanean Gendron, Specializing in Selling Unique Properties (The Address Realty) over 11 years ago

Ana - Thank you my friend.

Lindsey - Try this and link the ad back to your site and watch your world change!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Hi George.  Great advice.  I totally agree about adding fuel to the "media created" fire.  Congrats on your successful advice.  Keep it coming. 
Posted by Venice Harris, Real Estate Agent - Conyers, GA (EXP Realty) over 11 years ago
Jeanean - Thank you and good luck to you
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Venice - Gracias!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that you can get into trouble under Truth in Lending laws for mentioning a monthly payment or interest rate in advertising without identifying the APR rate. Just sayin' . . . Be careful.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) over 11 years ago
We've been getting 5-10 leads a day from Craigslist ads.  That was down from a high 9 months ago of 25-30 a day.  If you are not getting responses there you are doing something wrong.
Posted by Chris Pollinger, Consulting for Luxury Teams and Brokerages (Berman & Pollinger, LLC.) over 11 years ago
Great suff! I love the positve spin. Keep the great advice coming.
Posted by Christina DeFalco-Hoff (Tarbell Realtors) over 11 years ago

I was thinking the same thing as Elizabeth.

I've tried adding a back link to my website, the only way I could do it was to do (sorry I'm not trying to add my link here). Is that correct? I know it's better to have keywords instead of showing the, so I didn't know if I was missing something.

Posted by Pam Graham, Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties (All Real Estate Options) over 11 years ago
Hi George~ I completely agree with you! In fact one agent I know is now advertising the price ranges of her buyers, and is getting calls left and right! Advertise that there are buyers out there who are buying, and it will catch on!
Posted by Laura Monroe, Dir. of Industry Engagement & Social Media (Inman News ) over 11 years ago
Great post George.  Accentuate the positive as it applies to prospective buyer needs.
Posted by Larry Wright (nwRealty.Com) over 11 years ago

I agree! I posted on Craigslist, just trying it out and to my surprise I sold a house from Craigslist! It IS all about the verbiage!

I also received several listings because of how I advertised a Seller buy-down on another property in the paper, they just wanted someone to do the same for them.

It's more always been and going to be important to set yourself and your listings apart from others!

Posted by Bobbi Slagle, Associate Broker, Property Manager (RE/MAX HORIZONS) over 11 years ago

Hi George,
Bob here, I've always posted on Craigs list any listings we get. Haven't sold any from there but do get resposes. Good positive spin also.


Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 11 years ago

Thoughtful post. Thanks for the timely information.

Posted by Doug Lindstrom (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
Hi George, as usual, GREAT job with the post.  Very valuable information, thank you for sharing!
Posted by Denise Shockey, Cocoa Beach, Brevard County Florida Real Estate (RE/MAX Aerospace Realty) over 11 years ago
Very good ideas. Thanks for sharing. We all have to work together to combat the negative media reports, and this is one great way to do it.
Posted by Karl Burger, Pensacola Real Estate News (ERA Beach Ball Realty) over 11 years ago
Hi George.. Great thought.. I made a note of it, so I'll use it for future reference.. Thanks
Posted by Donna P over 11 years ago
Great point George, we all need to focus on the positive, and point out the great things about this market!!
Posted by Diane Testa over 11 years ago
I've sold off of Craig's list I always put my listings there. The newspapers are getting nervous because people are not buying classified AD's check out this Article on the Front Page of The Business Section in Today's Denver Post.
Posted by Jane Wallace, CRS | SRES, Denver Real Estate (HomeSmart Cherry Creek) over 11 years ago

The advertising opportunity instead of misfortune is a great angle and should reap more results for you.  I like your example and will share it with our agent members.


Rebecca D. Levinson-Connect2Agent 

Posted by Rebecca Levinson over 11 years ago


That is a great concept.  One of my favorite lines.... "Change the way you see things and the things you see will change".  By changing the way you are representing the housing market, we can actually change the housing market..... one ad at a time.

Posted by M A over 11 years ago
George, I must be doing something wrong with ads on Craigslist. I have NEVER had a call on one of my listings! HELP!
Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) over 11 years ago
Great post and great points you cover here! Thanks!
Posted by Melissa Wagner (Leo Parker Real Estate & Auction) over 11 years ago

George, I agree that we shouldn't be feeding the news media with more negatives.  I do agree with Elizabeth, that you do need to include the facts as they are based on  the APR, number of years, and that  Taxes and insurance are not included and will affect the final payment, and cover yourself.  I for one would like to give it a try myself.

Posted by Tom and Stephanie Hansson, Hansson and Hansson Real Estate Team (Cortiers Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Excellent point, George!!  We always say to focus on the positive, but I never realized how much we don't do that in our advertising.  Thanks!
Posted by Jim & Maria Hart, Charleston, SC Real Estate (Brand Name Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Awesome Article!  I agree wholeheartedly!
Posted by Joshua Jarvis, Moving Families Forward. (Virtual Properties - Atlanta Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Do you have any disclaimers about the financing? I am just curious with Reg Z and all.  Do you work with a lender or figure the payments on your own?


Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 11 years ago

One of the things I really like with Craigslist is that I can see the result of changes pretty fast.. especially with Google Analytics on my sites. 

Great strategy.   

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 11 years ago
Thanks for the great post! Back when I was in advertising, I often suggested that agents use the monthly payment because it is something that even unsophisticated, first time buyers can relate to. And the comment about the rest of the financial information being included is exactly right. Must include the term, and APR as well as the payment to be legal.
Posted by Joeann Fossland, Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents (Advantage Solutions Group) over 11 years ago
Thanks so much everyone.  I just added a note at the bottom of my blog regarding regulation Z which I forgot to do earlier.  Thanks so much for the great response and if anyone needs assistance regarding Craig's List and added your URL link please send me an email to  Have a great day!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
That is a great idea and good rfemeinder about how we fuel the impressions with our listing advertisements.
Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago

Excellent!  Simply excellent!  Thank you, my friend!

While some of us want to know all the details (i.e. rate, terms, concessions, tax increases, etc) there are many, many more that purchase homes, cars, TVs, etc based on how much the payment is.  The details are not important to them.

Perhaps I shall re-vamp some of my ads and see what happens! 

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) over 11 years ago

George... that's great.. just keep working it and using the positive approach... and most of all, being creative as you did....   

jeff belonger
Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago
George, Excellent reminders. Accentuate the positive and create a list of benefits for the Buyer.
Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) over 11 years ago
thanks George! I emailed you, so perhaps you can give me more specifics 'off air' as they say in radio
Posted by Sean Carroll, Real Estate Speaker and "Expert" Coach (The Get Off Your A$$ Academy) over 11 years ago



It's good to hear that you're having success with promoting strategic financing.  It is still unique in my area to promote strategic financing as a seller incentive instead of another price drop. There are programs which allow for rate reduction buy down for one or two years as well as a program which allows for a payment abatement for up to 6 months which can be offered by the seller.  Its certainly a great way to uniquely market a home which I suspect would be successful for the innovative Realtor.  I've encouraged the agents that I work with to utilize these programs but have received a lukewarm response.


Posted by Dave Armstrong, Senior Loan Consultant - Grand Rapids, Michigan (VanDyk Mortgage) over 11 years ago

We are doing the same in our local offices, we have mortgage incentives where the Seller agrees to pay the buyers mortgage for up to 6 months (It could be 3, 4 or whatever).  It's very new, but we're just starting to put together these incentives and advertise them to our buyers and sellers.  The money is held in escrow at the closing and paid by the bank.   I'm sure it is going to generate some very interested buyers.

Posted by Judy Cicalese, Market Knowledge-Social Media Savvy 203-638-7812 (William Raveis Real Estate) over 11 years ago
I post my Postlets to craigslist, but I am wondering if I should be doing more than just that.  Do you have an example of your craigslist posting?  I would love to get some internet response!
Posted by Chelle Gassan, NOVA Realtor and Stager (RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA) over 11 years ago
i did a simular ad but broke it down to "own this home for $xxx per WEEK.
Posted by Trevor Ainsworth (Shoreline Homes Group at Randall Realtors of Watch Hill) over 11 years ago
Positive spin is always the best. I have yet to try out Craig's List, but need to give it a try.
Posted by Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent (Kirby Fine Homes) over 11 years ago
  Someday maybe just maybe the midwest will, catch on to Craig's list...about the same time the Milwaukee metro area gets an IDX line and we are all selling lots on the moon....glad it works for some folks !
Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 11 years ago

George - what you did on craig's list was really cool. I need to get that stroke in order too,


Posted by Gary Bolen, CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information (McCall Realty) over 11 years ago
congrats on the success.  Keep up the good work.
Posted by New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor (RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Good idea!  Yes focus on the positives and more will come, you will stand out as all are focusing on the negative at this time.
Take care!
Posted by Robert Huntsinger, Empire Realty Upland, CA - Full Service at a Discount (Empire Realty) over 11 years ago
George, you're right. Optimism starts at home. We often blame the press when we should be looking at what we and our colleagues are saying to each other, our clients and our friends.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 11 years ago
Hi George, thanks for sharing your friend's success story!  You already know I love your Craigslist ideas.  You're great!
Posted by Vickie Arcuri, South Florida Luxury Real Estate (ONE Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago

George I love your positive attitude and your drive! The comments are all great and exactly what I enjoy hearing. Having said that please do not take this as a slap on the hand because you are interested in doing the right thing but here's where a lot of agents get themselves in trouble and it's per Reg Z 226.24 (paraphrased) when you advertise a payment you must also advertise the amount of the down payment, the terms of the repayment and the annual percentage rate. (Reference c.iii and c.2.i through iii) 

And you are right, craigslist and proper draw phrases are a great combination! 

Posted by Ken Cook, Content Marketer/Creator (Content, coding, marketing, host.) over 11 years ago

AMEN!  Enough bad press on the back of the seller...Buyers need to be refocused at this time in the game! 

Congrats on the great response, I too love Craig's List, have you been using Postlets (sp?) at all?  Just getting up on that feature as it's supposed to save you from recreating the wheel every time.  Thoughts?

Posted by Heidi Marsh, Divine Doorsteps- Our Experience at Work For You (Divine Doorsteps) over 11 years ago
Good advice. Thanks for the information.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Craig's List is on my 2008 "to try" list.  Thanks for a thought provoking post.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 11 years ago

Hi George - Love your creativity.  Be aware that regardless of what your local contact person told you, according to Regulation Z there are 6 very specific triggers that require APR:

  • The amount of any downpayment
  • The percentage of any downpayment
  • The number of payments
  • The period of repayment
  • The amount of any payment
  • The amount of any finance charge

This information can be found is section 226.24 Advertising of Regulation Z

Posted by Wendy Cutrufelli, Contra Costa Realtor (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 11 years ago
Hi George,  Very well written advice on staying positive in all of our marketing.  Thanks again.
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 11 years ago
Thanks for the advice we have been using Craig's list for some time with limited success I'll try the new process. Thanks
Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) over 11 years ago

Thanks to all for stopping by and sharing.  Have a great evening.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, I agree lets all sell the positives of this market and property's. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing, George! This is a great reminder that tweaking our strategies can produce great results!

Brian Wilson, 

Posted by Brian Wilson over 11 years ago
Thanks for sharing this great idea. I will take a shot and see how it works!
Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) over 11 years ago
George,  That is a great ad if it worked, but part of yhe wording may be troublesome "walk" to all schools - that may be offensive to handicapped students - I usually say, "Approximately 5 minutes to elementary school", repeating it for all of the other schools and their times,  Karen Kruschka
Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 11 years ago

George, You're an out of the box thinker. This is a great way to advertise a listing. I'm still confused  about disclosure. I operated on the premise that if I state a monthly payment, I must state the specific terms. Some of the comments here seem to indicate that that's not necessary. That would be great news.


Posted by Sandy Nelson, your Olympia area Realtor (Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.) over 11 years ago

Thanks for Sharing George!  Great post as usual! I was most interested in your comments on how most in our industry pitch a product.  It really sounds negative.

"Many of us blame the press for fueling the weak real estate market in many parts of the country but look at what many of us do with our own advertising.  We advertise things like:

  • Price slashed!
  • Owner anxious!
  • Price reduced!
  • Owner motivated!
  • Will look at any offers!
  • $20,000 price reduction"

I have tried different entries even into our MLS, an advertising.  I try to have a more positive spin!  I know it is a lot more effective!

  • Immaculate, Clean and Ready for the Holidays!
  • Great Opportunity for the Savvy Buyer
  • Neutral Clean and Incredibly Priced!
  • Upgrades Galore - Too Many Extras to List!
Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) over 11 years ago
Thanks again everyone and those that are worried about disclosure know that I have been advertising for years and always clear everything with the finance department and HUD regional office and have never had a problem.  Just like I said in my post, check your states requirement and "Go for it".  If we fail to act because of fear we will never see results.  All my best.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
try something different in your ads 

GRANT PROGRAM...use it as a tool to sell more house or list more houses

Liberty Grant

use the grant as a tool to list more houses...all your buyers will have a down payment grant to use to buy your listing

put a sign on the front of the house.."down payment assistance program

With our exclusive Liberty Grant and the use of Government Insured financing guidelines, you can buy a home with little or no cash out of pocket!

Lend America is the exclusive lender chosen by the not-for-profit, community development organization, Nehemiah Corporation of America, to offer the Liberty Grant. This homeownership grant provides gift funds for those who need additional money in the pursuit of homeownership.


We are proud to be a part of this amazing opportunity because the Nehemiah Corporation has helped over 600000 individuals and families get into the home of their dreams with down payment and closing cost assistance as well as homeowner counseling to advise them on what to expect and to cut out the red tape of buying a home.

The Liberty Grant is not limited to first-time homebuyers. Anyone can qualify.

If you qualify for an FHA loan you automatically qualify for the Liberty Grant!

The Liberty Grant offers a gift of up to 2.25% of the home purchase price toward your closing.

There are no credit or income qualifications for the grant.

The Liberty Grant is a true gift with no repayment of gift funds.

Everyone is included - even if you have the money for a down payment you still have access to use the grant funds. However, we prefer that you keep most of it for reserves.


judith boggio 631 813 1444use this to advertise
Posted by judith boggio (Free America Realty) over 11 years ago
Great Idea for positive advertising!
Posted by Tina Maraj, Top Agent in Fullerton 2016-2018 714-403-7901 (RE/MAX Cornerstone) about 11 years ago

Good idea, and I certainly agree with your thoughts.  In New Jersey I would have to also pay for a number of lines of advertising to explain how I arrived at the "Only $750".  It is amazing how different the laws and rules are from state to state. 

Good luck and keep sharing.

Posted by Jo Ann Norton, Ocean County NJ Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty) about 11 years ago

Tina - Thank you once again. Take good care.

Jo Ann - Thank you and good luck to you as well.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago
It's funny the old office I used to work at said to use the advertising you said not to use!  Many people are not advertising properly.  What a great idea about Craig's list.  I wonder if you would receive calls from people who were looking to rent and not qualified to buy though?
Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) about 11 years ago
Patricia - No, I have not recieved those kind of calls.  This advertising has made me sales my friend.  Every area is different but this surely works in my area.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago