As you are researching and preparing to sell your home without an agent, remember that marketing your home is perhaps the most important part of the sales process. Even a well-priced home isn’t going to move if buyers don’t know it exists. The good news is that you don’t need to hire an agent to market your home like one. We’ve outlined a few tips below to help you get started.
ForSaleByOwner.com reports that more than 90% of all home buyers use the Internet to find homes for sale. Most buyers start online to find a property they want to visit. For simplicity, check out www.forsalebyowner.com to post once and reach popular destinations like Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, and more. Posting on Craigslist and Facebook are no cost ways to generate exposure. And do consider posting on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – which reaches millions of home buyers. More than half of US home sales involve the MLS.
Now that you have buyers ready to find your listing, entice them to click on it and review your property. Creating an effective posting is extremely important.
The headline should be catchy (“Like-New Condition,” “Priced to Sell”, “Area’s Best Schools”). Keep your copy to-the-point, avoid overdone narrations filled with emotionally driven descriptions. Do remember to include all pertinent facts – number of rooms, square footage, and selling features.
A great tip = Find ads that appeal to you and think what about them drew you in. Then have friends read your listing and give their honest opinions.
Buyers will overlook listings without photos. Take a lot of photographs, both inside and outside, and take them professionally. You should have no less than 6 photographs to include at least the front of the house, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, family room and other bedrooms/baths.
Make sure your photos are aesthetically pleasing – de-clutter your space, make sure countertops are clean and the floor is freshly vacuumed, and remove any outside debris.
Do not underestimate this step. Get a professionally made yard/ lawn sign to draw attention to your home and attract prospective customers. It will send the right signal to anyone passing by and also to the people who live in your community. The greater visibility you get, the more potential buyers you will attract.
An Open House may not be the best use of your time. For most Realtors, an open house is a tool to recruit new customers. Don’t believe me? Ask the National Association of Realtors®, which reported that, in 2014, only 9% of buyers found the home they eventually purchased at an open house. That’s down from 16% in 2004—and the number of buyers who even visited open houses has dropped accordingly, from 51% in 2004 to 44% last year.
There is a potential exception. If you live in a hot market or high traveled area, holding an open house might make sense.
Both you and your house need to look welcoming. There is no shame in staging your house – arrange the furniture in the sitting room to make it look more spacious, get rid of that old futon in your bedroom, and shine up the kitchen and bathroom fittings.
Do not forget to tend to the outside of your house as well – make sure your curb appeal is inviting neat and presentable for all visitors.
Good luck on your selling journey! Check out our other articles to help owners selling without an agent.