Jun
09

Welcome to House Raffle Tips!

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Hello all you rafflers out there!

I created this site to help anyone that is interested in a house raffle, whether it’s a homeowner, Realtor, or a lender tying to get a property sold, or the development director of a nonprofit looking for a fundraiser for their cause.  The neat thing about a house raffle is that it can be an excellent tool to get a home sold in a slow market, and a great way for an organization to raise funds—plus the organization running the raffle gets great exposure and an increase to its database of donors.

Like many homes in this down market, my home wasn’t selling—so I relied on my marketing background and sold my house in a raffle by partnering with a “no-kill” animal shelter. I was fostering three dogs that otherwise would have been euthanized by the city shelter so this was a perfect fit. I got my asking price for the house, and more dogs and cats benefited from the services of this nonprofit.

During the raffle of my home people had so many questions about how to put together a house raffle that I decided to outline the process in a step-by-step method for a win-win solution for everyone—home sellers get their asking price, the charity raises funds for their cause, and the winner gets a great house!

So if you’ve always wanted to be rich enough to help your favorite charity in a big way—this is it—you could help raise over $100,000 for a worthy cause and get your house SOLD!

To your success!

Diane Giraudo-McDermott

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Jul
02

Pricing the Home in a House Raffle

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Hello All,

I hope everyone has some fun family plans for July 4th. I recall some really fun times in the Sandia Mountains with my big Italian family every year.

Most recently, I was asked a number of unusual house raffle questions: Can we set our own price for the home? Can we set our own price for the tickets? Can we continue to live in the house once it is raffled off? Can we include in the raffle our antique furniture that is in the house?

So let me start by saying that a house raffle is an opportunity for a homeowner to sell their home to a nonprofit that is going to use the home as a grand prize in their raffle. This is a sale of real-estate, and everything is negotiable. So, “yes” you can set the price of the home, but just like any sale of real estate, if you price it to high, you may not find a buyer.

Regarding the price of the ticket, it’s the nonprofit that is running the raffle, not the homeowner, and the price of the ticket must be carefully calculated. And if you want to live in the home after it is raffled, then you really don’t want to sell your home in a raffle. If you sell your home in a raffle, it is no longer yours. However, you could try to rent it back from the new owners, but that seems a bit convoluted.

Lastly, about that antique furniture, sure you can “negotiate” with the non-profit to include the furniture as part of the raffle–just remember that the nonprofit needs to have a GRAND PRIZ that is very appealing, and if the furniture increases the value and the appeal of the GRAND PRIZE, then that’s a good thing–if not, it’s a bad thing.

Okay, that’s it on those unusual questions.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Nov
07

Can You Profit From a House Raffle?

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Hello All,

Brrr, winter is creeping into our sunny city here in Albuquerque. I hope you are staying warm wherever you are.

This evening I received an email from Christine with a question: “When selling your house in a raffle can you receive more in ticket sales then your owe on your mortgage? For instance, can the homeowner make a profit and also raise money for charity?” The answer is YES. When you sell your home in a raffle you get your asking price which should be based on a fair market value, or an appraisal. Some states require that the charity/nonprofit not pay more than the appraised value. In a house raffle, your buyer is the charity/nonprofit instead of an individual.

That’s the great thing about a house raffle, you get to sell your home and even make a profit if you have equity in your home. i.e. your mortgage is less than the current value of your home. If your home is under water, i.e. the mortgage is more than the value of the home, then you will not be able to sell that home for more than the mortgage because that mortgage will have to be paid at closing of the sale.  However, you can connect with a Realtor and ask for help in setting up a SHORT SALE with your lender. A SHORT SALE is when the lender agrees to take less than the mortgage amount.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Jun
14

Can You Raffle a Time-Share?

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Hello All,

We finally got some rain yesterday, and it came down in buckets and within 7 minutes, it was over. However, we are grateful for every drop. I hope you are enjoying good weather.

This week I received an email with a question from the owner of a time-share in Palm Springs, California. The writer wanted to know if she could raffle a time-share as opposed to a single family home and what were the pros and cons. ANSWER: A time-share in a good location would make for a fabulous grand prize in a raffle. People are still purchasing time-shares, so why would they not like to win one? Now, everyone would not want to win a time-share because there are fees that go along with it, but there are fees that go along with owning a home. That’s why you always offer a cash prize option in all house raffles. Offer a cash alternative and the ticket buyers who aren’t interested in owning a time share will still buy tickets.

In my book, I SOLD MY HOUSE IN A RAFFLE, chapter 9 explains what happens to the prize home when the winner takes the cash. My raffles are set-up so that everyone comes out a winner–the winner, the charity, and the homeowner too.

 

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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Jun
09

House Raffle Investigated

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Hello All,

We’re roasting here in New Mexico, and last week there were tornados — quite unusual.  I hope you’re enjoying some nice summer weather.

An article regarding a house raffle being investigated in Florida caught my eye. The raffle was to help a nonprofit raising funds to help children with cancer. The prize home was worth 2 million, and the tickets were $80 each. A more than reasonable price for such a prize. However, the charity did not sell enough tickets, they only raised $24,000 – not enough to purchase the prize home. Ticket buyers became uneasy, didn’t know if a drawing was held although there was a winner, but the winner didn’t get the house.

Here’s my take on this dilemma: It appears that there was a huge miscommunication. Their rules state that if they did not sell enough tickets to purchase the prize home, the winner would receive half the funds raised, and that is what they did. However, when the charity realized they could not sell enough tickets, a letter should have gone out to all ticket buyers with this announcement–citing the rules. The drawing should have been a public drawing, with TV coverage so everything is in the open. Extending the drawing for 90 days, was most probably in the rules also, so no law breaking there.  Without knowing all the particulars, I don’t see that this Charity did anything illegal except that they failed to communicate.

You must always communicate with ticket buyers. Let them know up-front what will happen if not enough tickets are sold to award the grand prize home. People will still want to purchase a ticket,  as long as they have a chance to win a significant prize, and that if the drawing is called off altogether, the money paid for tickets will be returned. The house raffles I coordinated, we had to extend the drawing date, and our rules allowed us to do that, but at the end of the extended date,  we had a drawing, it was attended by hundreds of people and the person who drew the tickets was a well known TV personality in the city. We openly communicated along the way with ticket buyers.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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May
12

When a House Raffle Winner Should NOT Take the Grand Prize Home

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Hello All,

Wow, it was interesting to read the many comments and different opinions on whether the winner of the House Raffle in Illinois should take the grand prize home or the cash. Here’s my take on it: If you don’t want to live in the house or keep it as a rental, but you can sell the home quickly, and not get stuck paying high property taxes, then I would say take the house. A house that you can sell for $200,000 is better than $10o,000 cash.

You will have to pay taxes on either prize, but the more valuable prize has the potential of putting more money in your pocket.  Having said that, in a house raffle, the winners usually have to come up with the tax up front. They pay it to the nonprofit, who then pays it to the IRS. And the reason for that is that if the winner does not pay the tax, the nonprofit could be liable to pay it.

It is more difficult to come up with, say 25% of a $200,000 house, that it is to come up with $25% of $100,000 cash. If the winner takes the cash, the nonprofit simply awards the winner 75% of the cash prize, and keeps the 25% for taxes. But some banks will give house raffle winners, the tax amount as a loan against the home. Well, I’m getting into tax ramifications, but taxes should be a consideration when you choose to take the cash or the home. Many house raffles in California with 2 million dollar homes, almost always award the 1 million dollar cash prize instead of the home—you can see why.

So this was fun hearing from so many of you. Have a great rest of your week.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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May
06

Should House Raffle Winner Take the Cash?

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Hello All,

I hope you’re enjoying warm weather–wherever you are.

I just saw an article highlighting a house raffle in Illinois. The winners are contemplating whether to take the house or the cash.

Here’s the details: The couple, John and Tammy Bunner, live in Lincoln and the grand prize home is in Normal. They don’t plan to live in Normal.

John is a Logan County Sheriff’s deputy, and his wife, Tammy, works at State Farm in Bloomington.

However, the home is worth $200,000, and the cash prize is $135,000. What do you think they should do?

Send me your comments, and I’ll tell you what I think in two days.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Feb
10

How Much Work is Involved for the Homeowner in a House Raffle?

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Hello Everyone,

We’ve had some snow and freezing temperatures in the land of enchantment, and I came down with the dreaded flu. So I hope everyone is staying warm and well this winter, and don’t forget to bring the pets inside.

One question often asked of me, is how much work must the homeowner do in a house raffle. The homeowner provides the grand prize, and from that point on, the homeowner is not required to do any work. Having said that, this is a real estate transaction and everything is negotiable. The nonprofit may ask the homeowner to help sell tickets, or conduct open houses, or perform other tasks.

During the early stages, the homeowner and the nonprofit should come to an agreement as to what the homeowner will do for the house raffle, and a written contract should be signed. Large nonprofits have their own marketing/fundraising department and would most likely not need the homeowner to get involved. However, a smaller nonprofit, might need the help of the homeowner. It will also depend on the skills and background of the homeowner and the time they may have available to dedicate to the project.  For more information on this topic, read Step 8, “Home Seller’s Involvement” in my book titled, “I Sold My House in a Raffle.”

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

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Sep
27

House Raffle Preparation

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Hello All,

A quick and easy way to get a mouse out of your house that I found on the internet, and it works. We’ve had some unusually heavy rainstorms and a mouse made it’s way into my house. I took an empty toilet paper roll, creased the edge on two sides so that the inside of the roll is not an “O” shape, but a “D” shape. I smeared peanut butter on the end of the roll, and placed it on the edge of my stove with the roll hanging off the edge about 2 inches. Below the edge of the roll, I placed a tall 20″ trash can. Within 10 minutes, the mouse went for the peanut butter and tumbled into the trash can below. Take the can to an open field, or by the river, lake or creek and let the mouse go free.  This is faster and less cruel than the D-con or snap traps.

Recently, I met with a nonprofit looking to do a house raffle in New Mexico, and another nonprofit in Louisiana. They’re in the preparation stage, and I recommended that they set aside 90 to 120 days for preparation before the start of ticket sales. If the nonprofit does not need to find sponsorship money for advertising, then 90 days may be enough time to find a prize home and secondary prizes,  create the website, set up ticket sale locations, apply with the gaming board, and create a marketing plan. Check out my Nonprofit Checklist on this site–it’s free!

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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Sep
12

Bad Publicity for a House Raffle

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Hello All,

Well, the Land of Enchantment is dripping wet! Our usual dry weather has been blessed with lots of rain, and we’re loving it. It feels like Oregon these days.

Yesterday I noticed an article on the internet about a hosue raffle run by a highschool raising funds for needed renovations. This is a great cause, and the local community will certainly support this type of raffle. However, the article contained information that could hurt ticket sales, and for that reason I’m not mentioning the name of the raffle or even the state where the raffle is taking place.  The writer stated that approximately 3,000 tickets had been sold, and if 6,000 tickets are not sold by X date, then the raffle will need to be cancelled. Yikes!! That’s a big negative for ticket buyers. That statement will not incentivise people to buy, it will incentivise people to wait and see.

I caution everyone out there working on a house raffle to be careful what you say to the media. Publicity is king and good publicity is the best way to get tickets sold, but statements like the above, will make buyers hold. Sure, most house raffles have a minimum number of tickets that they must sell in order to hold their drawing, but don’t emphasize this. Put it in the raffle rules which ticket buyers should recieve a copy of, and let it rest. 

I imagine the writer of the article, and the person being interviewed thought by making that stataement, it would create a push for people to buy so the raffle would not get cancelled, but that isn’t the way human nature works. People buy a raffle ticket primarily to win, then their second motivation is to help the cause, but they don’t want the bother of  buying a ticket, the raffle is cancelled, and now they have to wait and trust that they will get their money back.

If you are asked: How many tickets do you need to sell in order to hold a drawing? In this case, the answer is: “We need to sell 6,000 and we’re confident that we will get them all sold. However, anything you can do to pass the word would be appreicated.” You are confient, even if you’re ticket sales are trailing, the marketing plan you have in place should include additional pushes to get tickets sold, and you must be incorporating them all the way to the end. Does the jockey on a horse that is trailing in a race give up? No, because the race is not over, and the horse could still win.  Come out of the gate running, and run to the finish line.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

 

 

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Aug
29

House Raffle to Help Animal Rescue

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Hello Everyone,

I took my annual break from electronics this last month, and now I’m back in action. I hope you too will carve out some time to get away from cell phones, emails, tweets  and such — it really is a great feeling.

Recently, I’ve had calls from nonprofits that are working to help animals–some are rescuing dogs and cats in cities hit by hurricanes. This is such a wonderful cause as these animals are helpless, and blameless as well. In my opinion, helping animals ranks in the top 5 of good causes to promote ticket sales in a house raffle.

Before a nonprofit embarks on a house raffle, the cause they are raising funds for should be seriously considered. Will this cause appeal to the general public? Are there any negative issues that may arise in connection with this cause? You want all lights on “go” to move ticket sales.

To your success!

Diane Giraudo McDermott

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What Others Are Saying:

“The book really does take you through the entire process. I feel like Diane holds your hand from beginning to end from qualifying the grand prize home to what happens after the drawing. I’m a homeowner and I’ve had difficulty selling my beautiful home. Now I know what it takes to sell my home in a raffle. I know exactly what type of nonprofit I need to partner with on my house raffle and what to expect. I’m excited to get started.”

-Karen L. Furguson, Homeowner in Tucson, Arizona

"Consulting with Diane by phone has been invaluable. Her knowledge on the subject of house raffles is enormous, and she has really given us a better understanding of the process as we move forward with our house raffle. She has been more than willing to take the time needed in answering all of our questions. After consulting with Diane, we feel we have a much better chance of putting together a successful house raffle and are excited about making it happen."

Chip Thompson, homeowner in Rehoboth, Delaware

"'I Sold My House in a Raffle' is an excellent example of creative marketing. The best marketers think "out of the box" and Diane shows that you can really sell your house in a raffle!"

-Ali Pervex, International Best Selling Author, 'Get Your Black Belt in Marketing', www.blackbeltinmarketing.com

“What a great marketing tool! This is a hot new method to get a property sold. My clients love this idea—I already have my first raffle house lined up. I’ll use Diane’s process to get and sell more listings.”

Jack C. Rosemary – California Real Estate Broker, 26 years experience

“I attended Diane’s workshop on February 27th, and she’s got it all together. Not only does she know how to pull off a house raffle but you can tell that she was a teacher because she knows how to convey the information. She broke the process into bite-size pieces and gave us exercises to complete so we were involved. Before anyone attempts a house raffle, they should attend Diane’s workshop–there’s more to it than one could imagine.”

-Ron Thomas, Real Estate Investor for 20 years, Albuquerque, New Mexico