Advertising Your Home

By ForSaleByOwner Staff

Older woman browsing on a silver laptop.The Internet is the leading medium for selling real estate. The National Association of Realtors reports that more than 93% of all home buyers go online to search for a home (up from just 2% in 1997). The Internet is a fast and cost effective way to reach millions of buyers, and that’s why your house must be marketed online.

Your house needs to be online where it will be found. There: that’s the big secret. It needs to be on the sites where people intuitively gravitate for real estate listings. It needs to pop up when people search using basic descriptors, such as, “house for sale, three bedrooms, YourTown.”

ForSaleByOwner.com is North America’s leading “for sale by owner” website, based on monthly traffic to the website, and through the recent ups and downs of the market, continues to attract more visitors than most residential brokerage companies. When you list your home for sale with ForSaleByOwner.com your home will also be added to the real estate listing sections of Yahoo, Google Base, USAToday.com, Facebook Marketplace, and many other partner sites. Listing your house for sale on ForSaleByOwner.com ensures that your home gets maximum exposure. Plus ForSaleByOwner.com offers a wide array of free services and tools  to help you through the home selling process.

Getting attention is not daunting. Finding the right buyer can be. But, it’s a numbers game: you have to get plenty of attention to draw the eye of the one person who is looking for your house.

One of the easiest things to do when selling your own home is to place a “for sale by owner” sign in the front of your property. This will let everyone in the area know that your home is for sale. Make sure your sign can be easily seen from a distance (after all, you want those drivers to be able to write down your phone number and ForSaleByOwner.com listing number from the car). If you want to kill two birds with one stone you can list your property on ForSaleByOwner.com and choose a package that includes professional yard signs. One of the advantages of using ForSaleByOwner.com yard signs is that potential homebuyers will realize they can visit ForSaleByOwner.com to see photos and an in-depth description of your home- and they can contact you through the site.  It’s also important to leave an effective  voice mail message for when you are not around. This message should include the fact that your home is for sale, whether or not it is still available, your asking price, and the size. You may also include any additional information you see fit, but be sure not to overwhelm the listener, we recommend giving your listing ID # for your online ad so even when you’re not home, buyers are getting the information they want. Obviously, your tone should remain cordial and friendly to entice people to come and view the home.

Another good marketing tool is a “Highlights Sheet” outlining the various selling points of your home. Iinclude features such as square footage, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and any amenities such as a pool, deck, spa, etc. Always include several color photos. Your ForSaleByOwner.com services include a template that converts your online ad into a flyer so you can easily print out fliers when you need them. Also, make sure to have a brochure box by your sign so you can leave some copies in front of the house. Don’t forget tp replenish them as needed. This way, when potential buyers see your sign, they can take an information sheet with them. After seeing a number of homes, yours will stand out! Make a point of keeping these sheets with you at all times, since you never know when you might encounter a buyer.

Holding an Open House when selling your own home is another excellent way to showcase your property. It provides a friendly setting in which buyers can see if your home fits their needs. Try to have a sign-in sheet to keep track of everyone who passes through. This way, you have the option to follow up with any potential buyers at a later date. Best of all, this type of advertising is completely free! Nice touches include offering tours of the home rather than a simple walk through or even preparing some baked goods or hors d’oeuvres for people to snack on. Be sure to keep your leaflets handy so prospective buyers will have something to refer to when considering your home. You might even want to obtain mortgage qualification forms as you may encounter interested buyers eager to start the process. If you need pre-qualification forms or guidance in the mortgage process you can visit www.forsalebyowner.com/mortgage.

It’s a good idea to think about all the people you come in contact with over the course of a week – the bank teller, the checkout girl at the grocery store, your dentist, to name a few. By spreading the word that your house is up for sale, you automatically expand your potential buying base. Each of these people knows other people and may bring you one step closer to finding the right buyer.

Local publications can be worthwhile, especially if your house has a unique look or is in a highly desireable neighborhood. The most obvious example is placing a classified ad in your local newspaper. Other options include specialty real estate magazines or direct mail circulars. The downside to this option is that it can be prohibitively expensive. However, it does provide widespread exposure. Your ad should include the fact that you are selling For Sale By Owner, your asking price, the location, size (number of bedrooms/bathrooms), and phone number. Depending on the size of your ad and how much you are willing to spend, you can also include special features such as a pool or incentives such as “Motivated Seller.” Be sure to capitalize on the most positive feature of your home. For example, if the location is ideal (within walking distance to stores and/or situated in a prestigious neighborhood), your ad should highlight that fact.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!
4BR, 2 ½ Bath, located in the lovely Alpharetta area. Convenient to all, asking only $235,000.
Contact John at (555) 555-1212.

A word of caution: Make sure to have a number of different ads run in rotation. If a buyer sees the same ad for a prolonged period of time, they get the impression that there must be some reason why your home is not selling. You want to consistently maintain and generate interest in your home and keep it “fresh.”