Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BEST PRACTICES IN MARKETING YOUR HOME AS A FSBO



There are many easy and professional ways to get a buyer to look at your house first. If you have cleaned, decluttered, staged and created good curb appeal, then you are ready to create signage, take professional photos, and create a marketing plan, just like a real estate agent would do. 

Starting with photos, a professional real estate photographer would be the best and easiest way to go, however with today's cell phone cameras you should be able to put together a great photo presentation. Here are some picture taking suggestions: First take several photos of the same room from different angles using varying camera heights, (knee high shots aiming upwards tend to be very good) then pick out the best representative photo of what you are trying to sell about that room. In the picture below, you are selling the majestic front entry that leads right into an impressive and bright dining area. Take these photos with lights on and usually ceiling fans turning. 



Secondly, take specific area pictures, like kitchen islands, appliances as they relate to the kitchen, laundry room setups, attractive ceiling fans, etc. Third, Make sure to include pictures of the landscaping and certainly one from the curb showing your best curb appeal shot.



If you have or know someone that can use a drone to capture your view from the air, use a couple of these for sure. Fourth, be very careful not to take pictures of open mouthed toilets, open closet doors, and any area or room that is not staged or decluttered. As these will become your marketing photos, they must show exactly what you are selling in the best light. Now that you have some great photos to use, let's put them to work. You will be using them on internet sites, flyers, and signs.


Using the generic red and white For sale By owner sign that you can obtain at any hardware store is probably the worst idea for signage. A better way would be to order a proper sign that would look like a real estate brokers sign. There may be a sign maker you can use in your local area or you could create one from several reliable online sign producers. One that I have used in the past with great success is BuildASign.com, they can provide you with a single sign, one customized by you, or you can use one of their generic For Sale by Owner signs with your information on it.


Having a sign like the one on the left is ideal for a potential buyer. It shows everything that is needed in a nutshell. It shows pictures of the home, price, an area to promote the home, owner name, contact information by phone, fax and email, and the very important website to view a more complete listing about the home. I particularly like the bed, bath, and garage icons. This sign tells a buyer that you have a home worth selling. Challenge yourself to design a similar sign and stand out from the crowd of broker branded type signs. I suggest a size of 18"x24". The sign shown was not created on BuildASign.com but depicts a great marketing sign. Let your creative juices flow in creating something that is both informative and pleasant to view. By the way, since you probably are going to place the sign in your front yard, try to avoid putting a front picture of your home on the sign, they are already seeing that great curb appeal. Use indoor or backyard photos to entice them to call you or look at your website. Placing a listing price on the sign will usually weed out buyers that can't afford your house.

Creating a printed flyer and placing it next to the sign is very important. Buyers like to have something tangible to take home and review. After all, the flyer is the best way for you to get buyers interested right now as well as provide them with information they can take with them.  There are a number of websites that can provide you with printing good looking flyers at reasonable prices, even your local office supply store can help you build that flyer. They might even have the flyer boxes to place next to the sign. Search "printed real estate flyers" for a great list of vendors that can help.

Speaking of websites, you can create a free website by using Fizber.com, or Zillow.com and use that address on your signs and flyers. If you want to pay a small fee you can go to ForSaleByOwner.com and get your site or upgrade into a listing that will get you on Redfin.com and Realtor.com, the largest real estate listing site on the market. Any way you do it, you have to use the internet as your marketing tool or you will not succeed as a For Sale By Owner. 

Try to avoid sites like Craigslist, they are unsafe, and unreliable in providing a bona fide buyer. They as well do not share their listings with any other site. Do a little internet research and you should be able to find lots of sites and places to put your information on and get your home sold fast.

The only printed media you should consider is a newspaper ad, especially if your going to hold open houses. Magazine ads are a lost cause thanks to the internet. Make sure that you have that website available to put in the ad before attempting any print media. Local ads have a very small success rate as compared to flyers and signs. You can place directional signs that lead to your property only if you have permission from the locations property owner. Cities and counties often have ordinances that prevent using public lands for signage except for temporary open house signs.

Although I have referred to many different websites in this blog, they are representative of the types of available resources that you can find on the internet and are not the only or best resources to use.  No sites listed above have provided me with any form of payment for mentioning their site in my blog.

You might have noticed that in every blog posting I have used real estate agent or broker instead of Realtor©. The Realtor© name is copyrighted and can only be used by members of the National Association of Realtors who have paid their dues and members in good standing. Since I am not a member anymore I know to avoid its use. 


Here is hoping you find this blog useful and informative. If you have a question, email me at fsboanswerman@gmail.com, or leave a comment below. I will respond as quick as possible. I check my site often.

Roger,
The For Sale By Owner Answerman
( the fsboanswerman)