Hosting An Open House: Tips For Marketing Your Home

Once you’ve listed your home online and posted your yard sign, an open house can be a great way to add marketing exposure to your sale. During their home search, two out of every five buyers attend open houses at some point. In addition to advertising, an open house can help you manage showings and might even lead to a bidding war. Here’s what you need to know to attract more buyers to your showing.

1. Do The Research

Before you stage your home and create your advertising campaign, take a look at homes for sale in your area. Tour open houses if you can, paying attention to the staging and features. How do the real estate agents talk about the home, and how do buyers react? Use this information to help you prepare.

2. Stage For Success

If you haven’t cleaned, decluttered and depersonalized already, then now is the time. Be thoughtful about how you want your home to appear and what it will take to get it there. Start big by evaluating any major upgrades or repairs you’ll need to make and then work your way to cleaning and arranging furniture.

Just before the open house, consider taking your pets to a friend’s house for the day and hiding your valuables, medication and other personal items. Some sellers even set out refreshments for a cozy touch.

3. Set A Date

Open houses are typically held on weekend mornings. As you research other homes for sale in your area, find out when they’re holding open houses. Schedule yours for the same day so you can benefit from the foot traffic.

4. Advertise Your Home

There are a few ways to advertise your open house, and it starts with posting signs in your front yard and around the neighborhood. You can also advertise in your local newspaper, on public bulletin boards and even at apartment complexes. Then, move to your online advertising:

  • Advertise online: As much as 90% of buyers use the internet to find a home, so your online ads will be critical. You can create a home listing at free websites such as Craigslist, Yahoo! Classifieds, and Google Merchant Center. Remember to include your home description, photos and the date and time of your open house.
  • Use social media: Many buyers find their next home through word of mouth, so social media should be your go-to platform. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok can put your advertisement in front of thousands of potential buyers – and best of all, it’s free. A few weeks before the open house, post your home description and photos on the social media accounts you typically use. Include the date and time of the open house, and make the post shareable so your friends can help spread the word. Your social media sales kit can also give you some direction here.

5. Invite Your Friends, Neighbors And Co-workers

You can do this both online and in person. First create an open house event on Facebook and invite your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to help you spread the word. If you’re not connected through social media, then invite them in person or via email. You might even hold a special preview for them to help you prepare and give honest feedback.

6. Create A Property Summary

Make a property flyer – also called a property summary – and leave it at the entry of your home. Make sure it highlights all of the features that make your house unique and helps buyers imagine what it would be like to live in your neighborhood. Here are some ideas of what to include:

  • Property address and at least one photo of the exterior
  • Asking price
  • Your name and email address
  • A brief description of the home
  • Recent upgrades and special features
  • Property taxes
  • Square footage and number of beds/baths
  • Neighborhood amenities and school information

7. Think Outside The Box

Getting attention takes creativity, even in a seller’s market. Setting a theme that matches the style of your home’s architecture can set your open house apart from the others. Some agents have seen success renting drones to advertise for open houses. See if a local store will give you permission to set up shop with your drone and hand out listing flyers to onlookers.

8. Be Professional

Homebuyers know they’ll work directly with you as a FSBO seller, so make yourself available at the open house. But it’s important to emotionally disconnect from the home and treat it as an asset you’re selling. Make your visitors feel comfortable by allowing them to explore the house, ask questions and provide feedback at their leisure.

9. Follow Up

Create a sign-in sheet that visitors will fill out when they arrive. Ask them to leave their name, email address and phone number. Not everyone will leave their information – but those who do are more interested in buying. Follow up with your visitors a few days after the open house, and offer to answer any questions they have.

What tips would you share with other home sellers to make their open house a success?


5 Simple Steps To Market Your Home For Sale By Owner

Whether we’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, if you’re trying to sell your home, you want it to stand out from the rest.

With most potential buyers scouring online real estate postings, there are a few ways you can showcase your home and win buyers over through a few marketing strategies. Selling your home without an agent might be a little more work but if you put in the effort, you’ll see the results.

Price Your Home

Pricing your home right isn’t necessarily pricing your home below market value. It’s important to look at what similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for. Try to remember this is a business transaction; compare your home to those like yours in your neighborhood, not bigger homes or those with more improvements or space.

Reconsider overpricing your home. Even in a seller’s market, potential buyers have done their homework. If you put yourself in a different price bracket, like with homes with more square footage or updated appliances, you’ll place yourself lower on the totem pole. Buyers in higher price brackets are putting your home further down their list and buyers in lower price brackets will think they can’t afford your home.

Stage Your Home

With tours and open houses, potential buyers are analyzing every aspect of your home. While pictures are enticing, people want to make sure they can see themselves in your space. To do that, you’ll need to stage your home well.

A clean and detailed home isn’t required but many buyers will look at how you keep your home. Cleanliness is important. Put everything in its place and consider lighting candles or otherwise having pleasant smells around when potential buyers visit. If you have pets, this helps mask their odors, even if you don’t think they have any. If you’d like, you can hire a professional stager to make sure your home has the ultimate look as people tour it.

Home Inspection

Even though buyers interested in your home will have their own inspection, you should take this step first. A home inspection will tell you what repairs should be handled before you sell your home. Some repairs and updates can increase your selling price, meaning your repairs could be more profitable in the long run.

Use the home inspection to complete any necessary repairs, updates and renovations that have the potential to attract many buyers. Since you’ve been living in the house, you might not realize how much needs to be done simply because you haven’t given it a thorough look. A home inspection can help you identify those necessities.

Advertise Your Home

Advertising happens few different ways. Start by putting a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your lawn and creating flyers with photos and information about the home. You can also put related signs down the street from your home directing people to your newly listed real estate.

Effective advertising can take some work. While real estate agents would normally handle this step, it’s important not to skimp when you’re doing it yourself. Make sure your home is listed on all the available real estate sites. Not all potential buyers use the same sites, so it’s good to cover your bases and list your home on as many sites as possible, including Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and any multiple listing service you can find.

Share your home listing in your network as well. Even if you don’t think your friends and family are interested in buying your home, they might know someone who’s looking to buy. Expanding your potential buyer pool is important; leave yourself open to answer any questions as well.

Your listing should have as many details as possible – in the photos and in the listing itself. While many spots, like the kitchen and bathrooms, are important to showcase, consider photos of the entryway, back patio, closets and more. The description should include any recent updates, standout features, and appliances that you believe are noteworthy. For instance, if you recently upgraded the refrigerator, make note of it. Also mention notable features of your community, like strong school ratings, access to major highways, and local shopping and dining attractions.

Since you’re the only one selling your home, don’t be afraid to consider other advertising avenues, including print advertisements. Your community newspaper, magazine or other neighborhood outlets might be willing to list properties for sale. You might have luck listing your home in online advertisements or marketplaces, too, like Facebook and Craigslist.

Consider creating a virtual tour. Potential buyers want to be taken on a trip through your home before they actually step foot in it. Creating a virtual tour showcases your home without people walking in it first. It’s a great introduction to your home and can lead to private showings or an increase in demand during open houses.

Be Flexible With Home Terms

Not everyone may love your house as much as you do. If you’ve done everything you can to market your home without any major leads, don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements. Consider talking to a real estate agent about a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). You don’t have to have an agent to request this and it also gets the word out to realtors who are looking for homes for their buyers.

Remember this is a business deal and if your home isn’t selling at the price point you thought it should, you might have to drop the price. Regardless of the conditions, no one wants to have their home on the market for a long time. Be flexible and understanding when it comes to home terms.


Words That Sell: How To Create Attention-Grabbing Online Listings

In a world that’s constantly becoming more digital, online listings are a great way to sell quickly and efficiently. The customer base being larger and more accessible also means competition between sellers can be fierce. In order to succeed in the digital marketplace, it’s crucial to understand how to write a marketable, attention-grabbing listing.

When you’re listing a house, the tips below can help you make the most of your listing by using psychology-backed wording, pricing and other listing tactics.

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Visual of How to Create Effective Online Listings: Words That Sell. Make sure you Consider The Psychology behind selling, choose engaging wording, Find an Emotional Tie, present the facts, Anticipate Concerns and Needs, tailor your pricing, Highlight Price Drops, Post Listings at the Right Time, create Eye-Catching Headlines and Detailed Descriptions, Add images and video as well.

Adjectives And Nouns To Sell Your Home

One of the most important and impactful online listings that you’ll ever write is the one you create to sell your home or property. With so much on the line, it’s crucial to apply the tactics laid out above to your home listing. Based on data gathered by our team, along with real estate trend patterns, we’ve gathered some of the most effective words to gain buyers’ attention and get your home sold fast.

For The Whole Property

There are some adjectives and nouns that are fit for the whole property. Try out these data-backed words to make your listing stand out:

  • remodeled
  • modern
  • classic
  • ranch-style
  • hardwood floors
  • sun-filled
  • inviting
  • upscale
  • historic
  • picturesque
  • family-friendly
  • prestigious
  • wall-to-wall carpeting
  • minimalist
  • beachfront
  • centrally located
  • walking distance
  • close to town
  • close to public transport
  • trails
  • parks
  • safe
  • schools
  • energy-efficient

Note some words to avoid:

  • fixer-upper
  • facelift
  • worn
  • investment
  • TLC

For The Kitchen

The kitchen is said to be the heart of the home. It’s also one of the most important selling points you can feature. These words are a great way to make your kitchen sound as appealing as possible:

  • custom-built
  • ultra-modern
  • stainless steel
  • chef-grade appliances
  • marble countertops
  • gas stovetop
  • gourmet
  • double oven
  • dry bar
  • island
  • granite

For The Dining Room And Living Room

The places where everyone comes together should be presented as welcoming and open – point out the best qualities of your dining room and living room using these words:

  • designed for entertaining
  • family space
  • family room
  • beamed wood ceilings
  • wet bar
  • window seat
  • vaulted ceiling
  • fireplace
  • For The Master + Bedrooms
  • Bedrooms should be presented as relaxing escapes, so use the words below to market them:
  • retreat
  • natural light
  • ensuite bathroom
  • hardwood
  • carpeting
  • terrace
  • walk-in closet
  • private
  • suite
  • fireplace

For Bathrooms

When marketing your bathroom, it’s important to point out special features like large soaking tubs, steam showers or bathrooms that are accessible for people with disabilities. Here are some great bathroom buzzwords:

  • spacious
  • spa
  • jetted tub
  • updated
  • remodeled
  • marble bath
  • guest bath
  • hideaway
  • double vanity
  • elegant fixtures

Bonus Living Spaces

Bonus spaces are always great assets to feature. Here are some ideas to convert your bonus spaces into buyer bids:

  • loft
  • in-law suite
  • granny flat
  • basement
  • game room
  • private entrance
  • secluded
  • private bathroom
  • cellar
  • kitchenette
  • ensuite

For Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living is a huge real estate trend – great outdoor spaces attract buyers who love entertaining and gardening, as well as those who have kids and pets. Make sure your home listing catches their attention with these words that sell:

  • backyard
  • X-car garage
  • low-maintenance
  • landscaping
  • split-level
  • fenced
  • skyline view
  • manicured lawn
  • deck
  • porch
  • tree-lined

Example Online Listings

Treat every listing as a very important purchase, using the care you’d put into a real estate listing. See the two examples below of what to do and what not to do when creating your own.

words to use in a listing illustration of what to do. Including, Update the listing often and point out the best qualities. Point out a recent price reduction to generate interest. Highlight location and convenience. Anticipate questions potential buyers would have. Add a detailed list of the features buyers prioritize.

words to use in a listing illustration of what not to do. Including, not enough images (have at least 20+), be honest but don't Be honest but don’t talk negatively if it can be avoided. Redundant because that info is already included above. Not specific enough, help buyers imagine their life there. Not exciting enough, entice the buyer with the best features.

While you should always showcase the positives of your property, it’s very important to market your home responsibly and truthfully. Make sure to choose words and phrases that accurately describe your space.

A great online listing is just as important as an open house or great staging. One foolproof way to get your listing in tip-top shape is to get professional assistance. ForSaleByOwner’s Partner service offers a flat-rate package that includes professional photography and marketing services for home listings as well as other great tools.

Remember, when marketing your home, look to other industries for inspiration – you could find the key to making a listing that stands out from the crowd.


ForSaleByOwner Social Media Sales Kit

Social media revolutionized the Internet and ushered in the age of Web 2.0. Home sellers can leverage the marketing potential of sites like Facebook and Twitter to help them with their sale. While knowing when to post and what content users find most engaging are essential tools in your social media sales kit, you’ll want to get creative to make your listing stand apart and reach more buyers.

Building a Foundation

You don’t need to be a social media guru to get your core community of friends and family to help build buzz about your home. Keep these essential tips at the forefront when you build your social marketing strategy.

  1. Highlight the best features of your listing – An updated kitchen, open floor plan and close proximity to great schools are all qualities you should focus on in your post. Use the same strategy to create a great post as you did to write a great listing ad.
  2. Follow a regular post schedule – Tweet about your home 1-2 times per day and post to Facebook 2-3 times per week. You’ll want to experiment to find the best day and time for engagement in your community, but start with weekdays between 1pm and 3pm. Make sure that you post on Thursday and Friday as house hunters begin planning which homes they’re going to view on the weekend on these days. You can even use a free tool like Hootsuite that makes it simple to schedule all of your posts at one time so you don’t forget.
  3. Be available – If someone shows interest in your home by sharing, commenting or messaging you, make sure that you follow up with him or her in a timely manner. They may not be your next buyer, but they may know someone who is. Following some critical customer service tips will help you handle buyer leads in the social space.
  4. Don’t spam the community – Posting too often (more than once a day) can desensitize followers and friends. Tweeting at them or including them in your posts too frequently (more than once) can agitate them.

How to Construct a Great Post

What does a great post look like? You’ll want to create content that appeals to the users on each platform and that means short, quick tweets and posts with images.

We’ve found that users on Facebook really respond to pictures, so you’ll want to make sure that your post includes a great description and an engaging picture of your home’s exterior. When sharing additional photos start with the rooms that matter most to buyers such as the kitchen, master bathroom and master bedroom, Make sure you include the location and price of your home and a link to your listing on ForSaleByOwner. An example might look something like this:

Custom-built in 2006, this 3-bed, 3-bath dream home in Minnesota offers over 5,000 square feet of living space with an inviting open floor plan that’s perfect for entertaining guests. The master suite is incredibly spacious and includes a beautiful fireplace and whirlpool tub. Top-of-the-line features incorporated during construction include granite counter tops, custom stained knotty alder cabinets, low-emissive windows and much more. Truly a must-see and priced to sell at $459,000.

Creating a Facebook album for photos of your home can also be a great way to get users engaged. You can also take advantage of Facebook Events to promote a successful Open House. Don’t forget to share your pictures, listing and event on the a href=””>ForSaleByOwner Facebook pageto reach more potential buyers. Video performs extremely well on Facebook, so make sure to post any video tours you have recorded.

Twitter requires you to work within 140 characters with photos, links and hash tags taking up valuable characters. While creating a tweet may seem difficult at first, it can help you focus your communications about your home without burning out your followers.

Start with an initial tweet announcing the sale, including a link to your listing and a photo. Photo urls can boost the number of retweets by as much as 35%, according to Twitter.

Make sure you encourage sharing by tweeting at your followers and businesses you follow that have been involved with your home sale like ForSaleByOwner. Focus on property details and features in specific rooms of the home, which may or may not include pictures. Here are a few examples:

Excited to share the news that we’re selling our home. Check out our listing on

Please RT our listing

Just added new appliances, check out our listing on

The Finishing Touches

Create a Page for Your Home
Making a page that is dedicated to your home can be a great way to advertise without bombarding your friends and family with statuses about your sale. More importantly, it can create a rich ecosystem that shows off everything that makes your home so great. An easy marketing method that can help you structure your week is to create Destination Days or days of the week that are dedicated to a specific topic. Here are four examples to help get you started:

  1. Interior Features- Dedicate one day a week to posts that focus on one room in your home. Create a photo album on Facebook or a board on Pinterest and fill it up with photos of the room.
  2. Neighborhood- Focus your posts and tweets on photos of the great features your community has to offer. Share or retweet news articles about the great events in your city, even show visitors what the weather is like near your home.
  3. Reviews- Did you go out to a new restaurant that just opened near you or go see a great community production of Shakespeare in the park? Sharing a brief paragraph-long review can help buyers get a taste of the community from someone who really knows.
  4. Real Estate News and Education- Help educate house hunters by sharing current mortgage rates, educating them on how to get pre-approved and submitting an offer or tools they can use throughout the buying process.

Personify Your Property
Creating a Twitter account or Facebook page for your home can be a good way to engage with the community in a creative way. In March, the Chicago Tribune reported on how a Twitter account helped a man in Mount Prospect, Illinois sell his home. After four years and three real estate agents, the owner took matters into his own hands and created a Twitter handle for his home.

Rich Burghgraef personified his home, naming the account Bob the House, and shared everything from tweets about how great it would be to watch the Chicago Bears in the basement to retweeting local news stories, weather and more. The home was under contract within roughly three months after a final price reduction.

With a listing on ForSaleByOwner, sharing on social media is simple. “I loved that there were easy ways to share with Facebook,” says successful seller Coli Huffty from Henderson, Texas. “By using these tools I feel that our house got the exposure it needed. We were able to sell our house in just 60 days.”

What social marketing tips will you use to sell your home?


Most Popular Homes For Sale By Owner in February

By owner sellers attracted more house hunters in February by marketing their home like an agent and continuing to update their listings with new photos and property descriptions.

While the homes that drew the most attention were located throughout the nation, from Arkansas to Connecticut to Montana, each seller used social media to help increase traffic to their listing.

What else about these homes drew in thousands of curious buyers? Take a look and see what made these homes so popular.

1. 5 Kimberly Drive, Monroe, CT 06468
Price: $425,000
Highlights: This 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home offers the best of both worlds with a private backyard in a natural that still allows you to enjoy living in a family neighborhood on a double cul-de-sac. Upgrades include elegant trim package, built in cabinets, tile and marble baths, stereo system, and newer insulated windows. Two sets of french doors lead to separate decks where you can enjoy the beautiful yard or you can sit back and relax in the screened in three-season porch. Beautiful and mature plantings along with many flowering trees adorn the acre of property and three custom built stone walls frame this home elegantly.

2. 1715 Pennan Place, St Johns, FL 32259
Price: $364,900
Highlights: This one of a kind 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom lakefront home was built in 2008 and includes many upgrades. The unique eat-in kitchen has 42″ cabinets throughout with stainless steel appliances, full bull-nose granite countertops and tile/glass backsplash, upgraded single basin sink and faucets, and roll out shelving for cookware. The large master bedroom includes bay window, master bath with dual sinks separated by garden tub and walk-in California closet. An additional guest suite includes a private bath and a tandem 3 car garage features a workbench, 64″ fan and loads of shelving.

3. 136 Roundup Mesa Rd, Roundup, MT 59072
Price: $169,000
Highlights: House hunters looking for a rural getaway found much to love in this Montana property designed for raising and sheltering horses. These 20 acres of fenced-in pasture are less than an hour away from Billings, while the home itself was built in 2007 to include 2-bedrooms, cedar siding, and a cozy loft with an amazing view.

4. 10164A State Route 503, Camden, OH 45311
Price: $199,900
Highlights: This 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom resides on more than 2 acres about 30 miles west of Dayton. A beautiful and quiet pond is included on the property as well as a full walkout basement that has been partially finished. The living room, dining room and kitchen offer a spacious open floor plan and the family room features a propane fireplace that was newly installed in 2013. The back yard provides a pool, deck and kids play area. Plenty to love about this spectacular single-family home.

5. 2350 Mountain Park Rd, Conway, AR 72034
Price: $299,000
Highlights: 4 acres surround this peaceful and quiet 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home. The large, open dining room and living room features beautiful crown molding and a natural wood fireplace while the large master bedroom includes a full walk-in closet and private bath. A jetted tub, separate shower and double sink are included in the remaining full baths. Mature hardwood trees, a 24-foot above ground pool and shed adorn the property. More than three dozen photos illustrate how much this listing has to offer.


Never Keep a Potential Home Buyer Waiting

So you want to sell your home on your own. You better be sure that you’re motivated to do so. While there may be occasional success stories about sellers who took a blasé approach to selling their homes on their own, the majority of by-owner sellers will tell you they’ve had a steady focus on selling their property since day one.

Or, as in the case of Brianna Walker, some people are ready to sell before day one. By the time the 36-year-old insurance analyst told her then-husband she wanted to sell their two-bedroom condo in Omaha, Nebraska, she already had it placed on her local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

“I knew he wouldn’t mind – okay, I hoped he wouldn’t mind – but I knew we were both very ready to sell our condo and move into a house,” says Walker. “And I knew I would do everything I could to make it happen sooner than later.”

Walker says she decided to sell the condo on her own after talking to a few friends who were working with real estate agents. “I don’t know if it was just the agents they were working with, but it seemed like no one was really motivated to help my friends sell,” says Walker. “I didn’t have time to go back and forth with someone who might not have been all that interested in selling my house at the price I wanted, so I decided to sell it myself.”

Still, Walker knew enough about the home-selling process to realize that she needed her home on the MLS database in order to make a sale, so she called several agents until she found one who was willing to post her home on the MLS for a small, negotiated fee. Within a few days, Walker began to hear from prospective buyers.

“I followed up on every phone call and every email within minutes,” she says. “People would send me a question about the condo, and within 10 minutes, I’d have that question answered.”

For Walker, the entire by-owner process boiled down to one thing: Ownership. “My house, my sale,” she says. “I don’t know how you could trust someone who will sell you out for $10,000 or more on your end so they can make an extra $100 on their end. Seems kind of sad.”

Walker says she sold her condo within three months for the exact price she wanted. “It’s some work to sell it on your own. If you really want to be successful, you have to be involved; you can’t sit back and avoid phone calls or not answer emails. You have to be in constant contact with people because you never know which phone call or email is from the person who’s going to buy your house,” Walker says “And that’s the way it should be. I’m the owner and I have no problem selling what belongs to me.”

Are you ready to sell your home? Check out our deciding checklist.


14 Ways to Heat Up Interest in Property Listings Now

Featured home: 201 Seminary Dr., Dyer, IN 46311
Listing ID 23963174

Have you noticed sales in your area have started to slow down? You’re not alone. As mortgage interest rates increased, pending home sales dipped slightly in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the dip is not something to be worried about. “The modest decline in sales is not yet concerning, and contract activity remains elevated with the South and Midwest showing no measurable slowdown. However, higher mortgage interest rates and rising home prices are impacting monthly contract activity in the high-cost regions of the Northeast and the West.”

Keep in mind, mortgage rates are still lower than they’ve been in years and buyers are eager to make a move before they jump again. These attention grabbers are guaranteed to boost buyer interest in your home now.

1. Give them a sign. Since house hunters tend to scout out neighborhoods before looking at specific homes, and 80% of all homes on the market use yard signs, professional yard signs are one of the most important tools any seller can use. It pays to invest in a professional yard sign to get noticed.

2. Let buyers take your home home with them. A great property flyer will sell buyers on your home before they step in the front door; it can also sell them after the open house. Here are 10 ways to help your sales flyer make a lasting impression.

3. Don’t skimp on photos! The first introduction buyers have to your home will probably be through the photos on your listing. Follow a few practical photo-taking tips to make them look their best. We’ve also found that sellers get more email inquiries when they have 6+ photos.

4. Look at your home in a different light. Pretend you are a potential buyer walking up to your door for the first time. What do you notice? Do you need to wash the windows? Repair small cracks in the sidewalk? Don’t forget: Curb appeal doesn’t end when the sun goes down.

5. Put your social network to work. Have you posted photos of your home to your Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest pages? Even if your friends aren’t looking to buy, chances are they know someone who is. Try these five quick tips on how to use social media to sell your home.

Keeping reading: 9 tips for a successful showing (and a printable checklist)

What tactics have you used to attract more buyers?


The Best Day to List Your Home for Sale by Owner

We get asked this question all the time: When should I list my home? sees the most traffic from interested buyers on Sundays and Mondays. This means that you need to refresh your listing before the weekend, especially if you’re reducing your asking price, so that everyone who sees it gets the best listing information. Getting smart about your marketing strategy is a must if you want to get your home sold this summer. Here are four ways to market your home and get it under contract fast.

1. Know your market. Start by looking at comparable homes in your area. Even if you’ve done this before, it’s important to revisit this step every few months to stay current on the latest prices and sales. Are prices going up or down—and by how much? Do you see any new trends? How many days are homes staying on the market? Organize your research with this DIY comparative market analysis sheet.

2. Recalculate your perfect price. If you’ve had your home on the market for 30 days or more and haven’t received the right offer yet, think about adjusting your asking price. Use your comparative analysis to review what comparable homes in your area are selling for; our Pricing Guide for Sellers can help you calculate your perfect price.

3. Simplify with storage solutions. Staging pros agree: It’s best to rid your home of personal items and create as much open space as possible. One way to do this is to place extra furniture in storage while you’re showing your home so it’s out of the way, but still close at hand and ready for when you move. Get started with these 10 tips for protecting and storing extra furniture.

4. Advertise without spending a penny. Social media networks are quickly becoming some of the by-owner seller’s best marketing tools: They’re easy-to-use, fast-to-set-up and, best of all, they’re free. Whether people like it, pin it or tweet it, you’ll get a lot more eyes on your listing using our social media quick tips.

Print this Marketing Checklist »

Tell us: Do you have any tips for marketing a home?


For Sale By Owner Tips: 4 Ways to Boost Exposure and Get Noticed By Buyers

When it comes to advertising your home for sale, there’s no such thing as too much exposure: You want your listing to show up every place that a buyer might look. While 93 percent of today’s house hunters start their search online, don’t underestimate the power of traditional marketing techniques. Here are four for sale by owner tips to boost your listing’s exposure and get your home noticed by buyers.

1. Get more eyes on it. Put your listing in front of as many people as possible by posting it to Craigslist and your social networks (specifically: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). Ask your friends to share your listing on their social profiles, too. This is one of the simplest ways to increase your listing’s exposure (and as a bonus: it’s free!).

2. Invest in a high-quality yard sign. You’d be surprised at how many people buy houses they discover while taking a drive or a walk. A visible yard sign is essential for capturing the interest of casual passers-by. Make sure the sign includes at least two ways buyers can get more information: your phone number, email address or listing number on

3. Make your listing sheet shine. Refresh your marketing materials, particularly your online and paper listings, every few months to highlight the season or the most recent changes you’ve made. Emphasize the best features of your house, and use photos that are well lit to showcase rooms that are spacious and uncluttered.

4. Enlist help. Hold an Open House for your friends, family and neighbors so they can boast about your home to people they know. To entice your circle to spread the word, consider offering a finder’s fee to anyone who brings you the person who buys your property. It doesn’t have to be much, but a finder’s fee of few hundred dollars can be very motivating.

What are your tips for attracting buyer attention?


Don’t Miss Open House Weekend on April 20-21

Here’s your chance to be a part of something big this month: Join realtors across the country as they participate in the 2013 Nationwide Open House Weekend on April 20-21. This event couldn’t come at a better time. Now that tax season is over, buyers will be exploring your neighborhood with their tax refunds in their pockets. Take advantage of this house-hunting momentum, and invite them in!

“By owner” open houses will benefit from traffic—online and on foot—generated by this nationwide campaign. The National Association of Realtors 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports that 45 percent of all buyers use open houses as a source in their home-search process. And 46 percent of buyers who went to open houses found them during internet searches.

This weekend full of open houses offers buyers a stress-free way to tour homes for sale; for sellers, the weekend provides extra visibility with little effort. And there’s still time for you to take part in this open house event that brings buyers and sellers together.

Three Ways to Advertise Your Open House Next Week

  • Advertise your open house on your listing
  • Promote your open house using flyers, email and word of mouth—ask your neighbors to help spread the word
  • Use social media to create buzz before and during your open house

Open houses open doors to home sales. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more open house tips all week long.

Will there be snacks and beverages at your open house? Share your favorite tips below.