Summary: The majority of prospective home buyers look online before they tour a home in person, so having a website for your FSBO listing is imperative when considering how to sell your own home. There are many free “home for sale” websites where a FSBO can post their home for sale. Some allow you to post real estate listings for free, while some charge a fee. Having your own website also helps to better showcase photos of your property and virtual tours, as well as give all the pertinent information a buyer would need.
Best House Selling Website You Can Create Easily
Creating a website from scratch might seem like it requires a high level of skill and technical knowledge. And it does. But luckily, there are many companies who have made the process easy and free (or almost free) so that no matter your technical expertise, you too can create a website for your home in minutes.
Step #1: Choose Your Website Name, aka the “URL”
A website’s URL is also called its domain name, website name and website address interchangeably (i.e. the http://www.[name].com you type into your browser). And as tempting as it might be to get creative in naming your website, almost any professional real estate agent will tell you to use your home’s address (or a version of it if it is long). It looks more professional to use your address than something like “PatsHouse.com” and it makes it easy for buyers to remember which home they’re looking at and where it’s located.
After you’ve decided on the website name, run a quick search on GoDaddy.com to see if it’s available.
Tip 1: If your full address isn’t available as a URL, try adjusting the name by abbreviating directional words like West, or removing or adding Street, Drive, Avenue, etc. If these website names are still not available, consider using a template from a company that will also host your website. These companies will add their name behind your address (e.g. http://www.1234Harrison.blogspot.com).
Step #2: Choose the Template
Unless you’re well-acquainted with writing computer code, you’ll need to use an already-built template to create your site. Several companies have made this cheap and easy and will even host your website for a small fee. Here are some of the options:
Blogger: Blogger is the website creation service from Google. If you have a Gmail account, all you have to do is go to Blogger.com and activate your Blogger account. If you don’t have a Gmail account, you’ll need to sign up for one of these first before you can access Blogger. Blogger has free customizable templates you can use to design your website and it will automatically create a website address for you based on the name you provide (i.e. http://www.1234Harrison.blogspot.com). For $10, Google will also register your website name as a straight http://www.blogname.com and hosting are included.
WordPress: WordPress offers hundreds of free templates and offers a tutorial video on how to customize them. What WordPress doesn’t do is host your website so you’ll have to use a service like GoDaddy to make it available on the internet.
Jimdo: Jimdo.com offers a free, basic website option that gives you a blogname.jimdo.com website address, a customizable template as well as enough storage for a handful of high-resolution photos. For $7.50 a month you can get enough storage for 100 high-resolution photos and a video tour as well as tech support and a free registered domain name (i.e. http://www.blogname.com for a year).
Weebly: This is another free general purpose website creator with professional-looking templates. Weebly is a little more expensive than the others, charging about $20 a year to register your domain name and host your website.
Step #3 Design Your Website Using the Best Design Principles
Each page has a purpose. For example, you could have the basic home information on your homepage, a separate page dedicated to photos, another for your video tour and a fourth for neighborhood information. When each page has a purpose, it helps you to organize the information in a reader-friendly way.
Easy and obvious navigation. The first principle dovetails into the second. Most templates will allow you to name pages, and then these names will show up as tabs in the navigation bar of the website. If each page has a purpose, then it’s easy to name the page with said purpose.
Clear communication. Once you start writing, opt for short sentences and bullet points over long-winded sentences and dense paragraphs. Even if you’re conveying the same amount of information, the shorter format is easier for the eye and mind to digest.
Easy to read fonts. Believe it or not, reading typed words on a screen is different than reading them on a piece of paper and as such, so you have to be careful of the type of font you use. In general, Sans Serif fonts like Arial and Verdana are both modern and easy to read on a screen.
Simple, complementary colors. Simple doesn’t have to be boring, but you want to stick to a maximum of three colors. One color can be bright as long as you complement it with a neutral color like grey, and then white. If you can, keep the majority of the page white and use your bright and neutral colors as accents.
Quality images. Your website will be the prospective buyer’s first introduction to your home so you want them to see the absolute best photos of your house.
Tip 2: If you don’t own a quality camera and aren’t planning to hire a professional photographer, you should consider investing in a point-and-shoot camera that has at least five megapixels. These are relatively affordable and will give you the best chance at creating quality images of your home. If you need more guidance on taking photos, check out our article on how to take the best photos of your home.
Create an “F” patterned layout. Eye tracking studies show that when people read screens, they scan them in an “F” pattern. Most of what they see or read is in the upper left corner of the screen and the right side is rarely seen at all. So when choosing layouts, including a great photo of your home to populate a square in the left-hand column and then keep the main body of text on the left side of the screen as well. You can put less important information in boxes to the right of the main text box.
This might seem complicated to you and if it does, watch a tutorial on any of the above-referenced companies’ websites. They’ll give you a step-by-step guide to getting started and if you ever get stuck, they have technical support to help you. If you need even more help, many real estate brokerage firms offer one-off services and can create a FSBO website for you for a small fee.
Thanks for reading this article! Now you have a blueprint for FSBO success. Visit Fizber.com for more great information.