For Sale by Owner: Top 5 Simple Ways to Market Your Home Better
Written Sep. 22, 2018 by Conor Green
Decided to sell your home yourself or still evaluating your options? Here are the top ways you can more effectively position and promote your home to the right buyers!
1. The Price Has to Be Right
The most important thing you can do to help ensure a successful sale is to properly price your property. If you price it too high, you will be misaligned with the market and receive limited or no offers. Even if you receive one, the lack of competition will reduce your leverage and force you to consider the offer regardless of its appeal. If you price it too low, you are leaving money on the table that could be used to improve your new home or to invest in another opportunity!
What are some tools I can use to help me price my home?
In order to determine a realistic price for your home, you have to research prices that people have recently paid for similar homes. In general, these comparable homes should be within 10% in square footage, similar in beds/baths, same neighborhood (when possible), similar house/property layout (when possible), and similar backyard size. You can research past home sales via sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com.
If you hired me to help you buy or sell your home, I would create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you, to help determine the correct price point. I also offer this service to those interested in FSBO for a flat $249 fee, because it truly is one thing you need to get right! Homes are most attractive during the first 30 days on market. Without proper pricing, you could squander this invaluable time frame.
A comparative market analysis is an examination of the prices at which similar properties in the same area recently sold…Since no two properties are identical, agents make adjustments for the differences between the sold properties and the one that is about to be purchased or listed to determine a fair offer or sale price. - Investopedia
2. Stage & Declutter Your Home
Now that you have your home priced correctly, it’s time to get it ready to be presented to potential buyers. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for buyers to vividly picture themselves living in your home. Most people will make a judgement on call on your home within the first 30 seconds. That is why you should temporarily hide family pictures and any particularly eccentric decorations that you think most people would not be interested in. Allow people to use their imagination! If you provide too much context for them with the house’s interior there will be no room for them to envision how they can make it their own.
Before you show your home make sure it is spotless and odor-free. This can take some time, which is why it is advisable to only show your home by appointment or open house. No need to bake cookies in the oven or have hors d’oeuvre waiting on the counter! Some light refreshments are plenty. If you have carpets, a professional or rented carpet cleaning could go a long way with first impressions depending on the condition it is in!
3. For Sale by Owner Sign with Flyers
Time to get the infamous For Sale by Owner sign and position it as close to the street as possible! Make sure to write a legible phone number on there that can be answered at all times within reason. Include some flyers in the box, composed of some basic information about the house with pictures. Purposely leave some information out that potential buyers will need to reach out to you to find out. Now that they have reached out, you know their name and number and have a lead!
4. Leverage Real Estate Platforms & Your Personal Network
After you writeup a professional value and benefit-oriented description of your home and get professional photographs taken, post your home to Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, Yahoo! Homes, and Craigslist. With millions of total visitors, it will help get your home exposure in front of prospective buyers. Your personal network can be fruitful as well. This includes neighbors, colleagues, friends, and maybe even your Facebook friends that you’re actually not that great of friends with. You never know who might have a brother, cousin, or parent moving down to your area that would be interested in buying a home like yours!
Quick Note: please be careful from a safety perspective after posting to these sites, especially Craigslist. One drawback of going the FSBO route is that it is difficult to be available to show your home at all times because most likely you have a day job. Letting your spouse show your home to a random enquirer off of Craigslist is equivalent to letting a stranger into your home with them when you are not there. Without a way to properly qualify them and verify their identity, it can be a recipe for disaster.
5. Host Professional Open Houses
You may be a FSBO, but you can still elevate your game to give off the professional vibe of an agent-run open house! Make sure you have a clean templated sign-in sheet to collect their name, email, and phone number. As I mentioned before with staging, have the home completely clean and as odorless as possible. Make sure the place feels light, open, and optimistic! Turn on the lights, open the blinds, and maybe even remove some minor furniture from cluttered areas.
Advertisement wise, create a Facebook event page for your open house and invite people from your neighborhood. Create targeted Facebook ad campaigns with an event response goal, that will promote your event to potential buyers. Target by demographics, interests, and geographic location to optimize your advertising dollars. You can also create a website landing page with information and a contact form and drive traffic to it via Google Ads. Lastly, you can compliment your digital advertising efforts with print. Send mailers or flyers to the same geographic area you are targeting with your digital ads to improve your overall ROI!
Have any questions about marketing your home yourself or any comments about the article? Leave them below, I am happy to answer them! If you liked the article or think it could be improved, I would love to hear those thoughts as well!
Buy, Sell, or Invest?
Hey, I'm Conor. I'm determined to provide an elevated real estate experience. My only question is will it be yours?