Posting your property online is a great opportunity to get your listing in front of millions of people. Most FSBO websites allow you to write your own property description and upload photos, so you have plenty of space to market your home. However, it’s important to make your property description and photos as effective as possible. Here are valuable tips.
- Headline should be catchy to gain interest (“Like-New Condition,” “Priced to Sell Quickly,” “Area’s Best Schools,” etc.)
- Keep your copy to-the-point, avoiding overdone narrations filled with emotionally driven descriptions.
- Stick to the pertinent details such as number of rooms, square footage and tangible features.
- Highlight remodeled or updated areas that add to the value of the home.
- For outside shots, be aware of the weather and daylight and try photographing your home at different times of day to see what light flatters it most.
- Remove exterior distractions such as cars in the driveway or children’s toys strewn about the lawn.
- Re-stage interior by removing unnecessary furniture, knickknacks and personal items.
- Clear up counter space in the kitchen and remove any items you store on top of your refrigerator.
- Make sure all other rooms are neat and uncluttered.
Directing Prospective Buyers to Your Home
You’ll want to draw people to your home – if even for a quick drive-by look – by posting directional signs at main intersections near your home. You’ll also want to place a detailed For Sale sign on your lawn. Buyers interested in a particular area will often make frequent visits to see what might be for sale, realizing that not all properties are widely listed. Signage is also important if you elect to have an open house.
Tips for creating a For Sale By Owner lawn sign:
- For Sale By Owner should be included on sign.
- Make sure your text is large enough to read from the street.
- Include your phone number.
- If possible, include flyer so potential buyers can have a takeaway.
Keep Your Home Ready
Since motivated buyers can move on to other properties quite quickly, it’s imperative that you make your home available for viewing as soon as possible when someone calls to schedule an appointment. This means you need to keep the home “staged” for showing pretty much around the clock. The ability to show it in optimal condition to as many interested parties as possible will certainly increase your chances of a successful sale. The goal is to keep your home as clean as can be, indicating that the buyer could move in quickly and easily.
- Sweep front walkway and remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
- Trim back the shrubs.
- Clean windows and window coverings throughout.
- Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
- Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
- Keep pet areas clean.
- Clean the kitchen and bathroom.
- Vacuum regularly to keep carpets clean.
- Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
- Put dishes away, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
- Make all beds and put all clothes away.
- Open the drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
- Keep pet areas clean and odor-free.
- Minimize clutter throughout the home by putting away dishes, toys and family photographs (if you normally display a lot).
- Enhance the spaciousness of each room – remove some furniture if necessary.
- Put all jewelry and valuables in a safe place, especially if you hold an open house (see below)
Having an Open House
For agents, open houses are an ideal venue to market all homes they have on the market to a targeted audience of buyers ripe for the picking. But when you’re acting as your own agent, this scenario doesn’t apply. Additionally, some buyers have been known to shy away from open houses when the seller is present because it’s uncomfortable to freely walk through and comment on a home owned and, in many cases, lived in by the person present.
While open houses can amount to a lot of prep work and even more sitting around awaiting visitors, there is a possibility you can connect with a prospective buyer or two. If you choose to hold an open house, here are some tips to make it as successful as possible.
- Schedule an open house in the early afternoon on weekend days.
- Schedule an open house at the same time there are other open houses in the area.
- Strategically place signs leading people to your open house.
- Give visitors a chance to move through the home at their own pace
- Limit conversation to the welcome greeting and request for any questions to be answered before the prospective buyers leave.
Enlist Help of Neighbors
Enlisting the help of neighbors to “Close the Deal.”
If a major part of your home’s charm is a fantastic neighborhood, you might consider asking your neighbors to pitch in to vouch for the positive qualities of your street, local schools and general lifestyle perks. It might make sense to casually introduce some of your more personable neighbors to interested buyers, especially if they seem to have similar interests. For families with children, important considerations may be whether there are potential playmates close by, what the schools are like and what community events are particularly enjoyable. A few convincing neighbors can make the claims you present in your ad seem more real, as well as add a positive emotional element to interested buyers that may affect their decision on whether to buy and what to spend.