Barbara Volkov Uses Creative for Sale by Owner Marketing Tactics to Sell Waterfront Resort Home

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Do It Yourself Home Owners Discover Secrets to Selling a House without Hiring a Realtor

Bellingham Homes for Sale

Bellingham Homes for Sale

Making use of all the available tools has helped us generate a lot of interest in our Bellingham luxury waterfront home."

When Bellingham homeowners Sergei and Barbara Volkov placed a for sale sign in front of their luxury waterfront resort home in late April 2013, they chose to travel the path of listing the property as for sale by owner.

Since the U.S. real estate market is currently a buyer's market, dozens of homeowners in the Bellingham region are following the Volkovs lead and becoming their own real estate agent. Their aim is to save money on realtor commissions to offset the decline of property values caused by the market crash.

Recent studies reveal that between 8 and 12 percent of Washington state homeowners are converting to "do it yourself" realtors. The majority have become educated through various FSBO websites such as and, as well as local seminars.

"We have been private real estate investors for decades and have acquired considerable knowledge about offering our home for sale by owner," states Barbara Volkov. "However, it has become considerably easier to list waterfront homes thanks to the many tools provided via the Internet."

The Volkovs created a website to market their home and communicate with prospective buyers. It includes photographs of each room, along with the property, and the 180 degree scenic views available from each floor of the three-story home.

"We wanted to showcase not only our lake home, but also the lifestyle on Lake Whatcom and all that it provides," states Volkov. "Bellingham offers a bounty of outdoor recreational activities and caters to active, yet laid-back lifestyles."

As part of their marketing strategy, the Volkovs began listing their Sudden Valley home at various for sale by owner websites. They realized the competition was stiff and to attract buyers would require extra attention to every detail.

Along with sprucing up the waterfront resort home they also began researching the best ways to reach buyers. Realizing there are fewer buyers interested in Bellingham luxury homes they knew they would need to get creative.

According to the National Association of Realtors website, nearly 80 percent of home buyers look for houses for sale via the Internet. The couple decided to capitalize on the statistics by producing a video of their luxury waterfront home and published it on YouTube.

"Once our video went live, we scheduled more showings than our neighbors who had hired realtors," states Volkov. "Being able to showcase the property and the glorious surroundings helped us attract buyers who want live in the private community of Sudden Valley."

Property owners who list their real estate as FSBO can be competitive with pricing, yet still net profit at closing. By passing along the savings of realtor commissions to buyers, sellers can beat out competition and quickly close the deal.

"Selling a home on your own, especially one in a niche environment such as Bellingham, is not for everyone," states Volkov. "It does require the ability to market the property, as well as schedule showings, and prepare closing documents."

Taking the FSBO path gives homeowners the opportunity to offer enticing incentives to buyers. These might include paying closing costs or points on home loans to reduce interest rates or providing allowances for decorating or renovation.

"Making use of all the available tools has helped us generate a lot of interest in our luxury waterfront home," states Volkov. "We believe we'll find the perfect buyer because FSBO lets us offer a more attractive asking price than if we were using an agent."

About Barbara Volkov
Barbara Volkov is a freelance writer who specializes in Bellingham luxury homes for sale. Barbara resides in private waterfront community of Sudden Valley, which is adjacent to Bellingham WA. If you want to discuss ways to get a great deal on Bellingham homes for sale by owner, contact Barbara today.

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