The big news at the world wide headquarters of OttawaStart is that we're selling our house -- and we're selling it through Grape Vine.
Here's our listing - 60 Dunoon Place, Kanata. Three bedrooms plus bonus room, quiet cul-de-sac, and a big backyard. (End of sales pitch.)
Grape Vine lists "private sale" homes. In other words, homeowners selling without the help of a real estate agent. You've probably seen a sign in your neighbourhood. They are a force on the Ottawa real estate scene.
Crunching some numbers: On the Grape Vine web site (see screen grab above), it says that Grape Vine clients have sold 368 resale homes since July 1. That's a huge number, when you consider that about 2,000-2,500 homes sell in the Ottawa region in a typical summer month. So Grape Vine sales could account for as many as 5-10% of all resale homes this summer.
Our house has been listed for one week. No buyers yet, but we've had steady traffic with people viewing the house just about every day. Our Grape Vine listing has had over 3,000 pageviews, which tells us that the web site has a lot of reach and generates a significant amount of traffic.
I've always wondered by Grape Vine was so successful compared to other private sale web directories. I think there are four keys to their success:
- It works, so it generates great word of mouth. I know of at least 6 co-workers who've sucessfully sold through Grape Vine, and at least 4 more close friends who've also had success. And everybody who's used the service raves about the process and the money that they saved.
- Nice, clean web interface. It's easy to navigate and search the site, the pages are uncluttered, and you can even subscribe to new listing alerts via email or RSS. (Why doesn't MLS.ca offer an RSS feed?) Behind the scenes, uploading our photos and entering our property description was quick and painless.
- Customer service. Our email questions have been answered within minutes, and our phone call was answered within 2 rings by a real person. The front lawn sign arrived on time too!
- Price. $225 for the most basic listing (internet only, no signs), $795 for the full listing that includes professional photos & write-up.
Related: Ottawa Real Estate Guide
(Updated at 9:50pm - fixed typo - changed "Grapevine" to "Grape Vine".)