FSBO (For Sale By Owner) is becoming a popular way of selling homes. Many people that choose this means to sell their home are wanting to avoid real estate commissions. Others have tried realtors and have decided that they can better sell their home or property.
If you have decided that you want to sell your home FSBO, you have to realize that you are going to have to market your home as a realtor would. This means that you have to use the same real estate marketing methods that a realtor would. This means that you will have to commit time and effort to the endeavor.
You’ve come to the conclusion that FSBO is the way to go. Your’re ready to put your home or property on the market ‘for sale by owner’. You’ve priced your home competitively and appropriately for your local market. How are you now going to market it so that you get the exposure to attract potential buyers and make the sale?
You will need to go through the same steps and marketing techiques that any real estate agent would use. Here’s the techniques I would recommend:
For Sale By Owner Signs
House signs are the first place to start. Signs can be made locally or often bought at hardware stores. I would spend the money to have your own personal sign made. It will pay off if done right.
While realtors place signs with the name of the agency and the phone number of the listing agent to contact. FSBO signs should read like the headline of a good advertisement. “Your Dream Home is Now For Sale” or “The View from Your Future Home is Spectacular”. You should catch the immediate attention of drivers-by and make them interested in seeing your home for themselves. This sign should play on the emotions of the potential buyer.
The phone number on the sign should be prominent and large enough for visitors to read from the road. It should be prefixed with a statement like: “For more information on this wonderful home, call 555-5555”. Set up a phone number that is separate from your normal phone number and specific for the purpose of selling your home.
Buy an answering machine that has caller id so that you can capture the name and phone number of potential buyers. The message should tell the caller to leave their contact information so that you can get back to them at the earliest possible moment with complete details on the property. If you have your home on the internet, you may also give them the URL while their awaiting your return call. This website can also be listed on your FSBO sign.
A classified ad in your local newspaper for your FSBO property is a good investment. These are generally inexpensive and have a high return on investment for gaining leads to potential buyers. A short ad, also reading like a good headline, and run a number of times will serve you best. The same information that is on your house sign, phone number and website listing should accompany the ad.
Magazines and Community Publications
Many communities have ‘For Sale by Owner’ magazines which are placed in shopping malls, gas stations, and outside of grocery stores. These are similar to the homes magazines that real estate agencies advertise listings in.
These ‘For Sale by Owner’ publications will cost more than a classified ad but have the advantage of having photos of your home and a more detailed listing description. I would advise that your ad be different and unique from the normal listing if possible. Some publishers have set rules on what they allow.
Use these ads to emphasize the benefits of the home and not just the features of the house like the number of bedrooms and baths. Answer the question of what’s in it for the buyer. Give your special phone number so that you can collect contact information on the prospect.
Brochures or one-page flyers are one of the best means the sale by owner has at their disposal to advertise their property. These can be put in a bruchure holder on your FSBO yard sign, on bulletin boards in local neighborhood shops and restaurants, and given to parties that espress an interest in buying your home.
Brochures are your ticket to market your home the way no real estate agent will. Don’t make your FSBO brochure look like the typical listing advertisements. Here again, think outside the box and make it more of a personal sales letter.
Emphasize the benefits of the home. The view, the convenience to shopping, schools, and workplace. Note the special features that place your home apart from others in the neighborhood. When describing the rooms, draw attention to the details like the solid oak floor or the woodwork. Write to the prospect like you are writing to a good friend.
Keep your brochure holder filled at all times. don’t get annoyed when nosey neighbors pick up your brochures. Mor often than not, your neighbors know friends that they wouldn’t mind living next door or close-by. And their friends will usually be able to afford a house in your neighborhood. Be sure to step out and tell them to pass the brochure on to someone they know.
Pass out the brochure freely to prospects that look at your house. This will insure that they will remember the home. After all, they are most likely looking at more than just your property. Color photos will aid in this.
And, don’t forget your co-workers. Give them your brochures too. After all, you find it convenient to live in your home and they know it. You work with them and you can afford to live there. Most likely, they have friends that would find a similar living arrangement pleasant. Ask them to pass on the brochure if they know someone looking for a great home.
You can’t ignore the internet when you’re selling your own home FSBO. The internet has become an important search option for potential home buyers.
There are several internet websites that will allow you to post your FSBO listing. These will vary in price and options for your listing advertisement. Some will allow you to post photos and update information on your personal ‘open house’. You’ll find that prices range from $25 per month and up. Be sure to research your options carefully.
You can also put up your own listing website to refer prospects too. Just like with your brochure, make this website more of a personal sales letter and include a form to capture contact information for further follow-up.
Be sure to pay for your website to be hosted. For some reason, free websites don’t gain the attention from prospects that true websites do. Hosting can vary from $3.95/mo to $19.95/mo. You don’t need much from your website so go with the cheaper package as long as it will allow you to post a contact form on your site.
If the above suggestions don’t market your home quickly and produce a sale, you still have the option of hosting your own open house. In many localities, home sales by owner are boosted by having an open house. If you are in a hot or cold market location, this can be an excellent tool for selling your home.
Of course you will have to advertise that you’re having an open house. This can be accomplished using any of the above techniques. Some local newspapers have a special section in their classified ads just for open houses. Be sure to place a large sign on your lawn the day you are having your open house. This will give notice to others of the event as well as allow people to find your home easily.
The above suggestions should make it easier to sell your home quickly. It takes time and some money to market you ‘For Sale by Owner’ home. But you will save money on realtor commissions and have more control over your transaction. Be sure to check out the laws in your area and the forms you will need to close the deal.
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by Jim Bruce