Summary: By investing a small fraction of time and money, you’ll generate a higher volume of higher quality offers. Start by revisiting the condition of your home. Next, take the time to increase your home’s curb appeal. After creating your marketing materials, leverage your existing network to promote your listing website.
FSBO Marketing Plan for Home Sellers
The home selling journey is no small feat. Once you’ve sorted out the logistics and legal aspects of getting your home ready for sale, the next steps include marketing your home to potential buyers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to tackle your new marketing strategy. You’ll learn how to craft marketing materials, including building a website. You’ll also learn how to take advantage of seasonal market conditions to set a higher asking price.
Reevaluate Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Even if you’ve cleaned and decluttered your home, often times it’s advantageous to invest in a few upgrades to modernize your home. (After all, it’s easier to sell a more enticing product.) Before you begin any remodeling projects, first consult with a few real estate experts to learn what can be passed onto the buyer and what should be addressed today.
Consult the experts. Building codes, real estate laws, and regulations change frequently. You can spare yourself plenty of future headaches (and save money) by consulting a broker, agent, or attorney for a flat fee or by the hour. Instead of manually researching laws governing ownership, marketing, and title transfers, your real estate expert can help get you up to speed. Depending on your needs, you can get advice and assistance for pricing, listing, contract handling, and negotiating.
FSBO Marketing Tip: In addition to a licensed home inspector, consider hiring a structural engineer who can inspect your foundation with greater accuracy.
Make the necessary fixes. Your local broker knows not only how building codes have changed, they can also refer you to a home inspector who can recommend the necessary changes.
Once you’ve hired a licensed home inspector, the inspector will look at physical elements of your home including the attic, basement, foundation, all mechanical systems, electrical systems, and the health of your plumbing.
Invest in high-ROI upgrade. According to Hanley Wood Media in their 2016 Cost vs. Value report, simple projects like garage door replacements had a 115% ROI versus a major kitchen remodel at an average of $127,000 with a 70% ROI. However, in their more recent 2017 report found upgrading attic insulation to fiberglass was the only upgrade with a positive ROI at 107%.
Create The Marketing Materials
The best way to limit time on market is by making your home more appealing with more effective marketing materials. By taking advantage of lighting tricks, investing in quality photography, creating compelling copy, and building a website for your home, fewer days on market means fewer dollars you need to spend selling your home. Here are a few ways to create effective marketing materials.
Staging and lighting. The right lighting can highlight a feature or pull attention away from a small closet. The lighting gives a home warmth and makes prospective buyers feel welcomed. Updating the lighting in your home can make it look fresher, bigger and all-around more desirable. And the more desirable your home is, the more offers you’ll get.
Photographing your home. Ninety-two percent of potential buyers start their home buying search online. Your listing’s photographs are your home’s first impression to buyers. Hiring a professional photographer ensures your home is captured under the best possible conditions. Your home may be staged well, but if the photographs can’t show each living space well, you might lose a large percentage of the house-hunting population.
FSBO Marketing Tip: Make sure your property description matches your photos. Buyers will abandon your listing if your property’s photos tell a different story than your description.
Creating the listing. Your listing should include the property description with its primary features and unique selling points, information about the neighborhood, quick facts about the schools, and photos of the house and outdoor spaces. Tailor your listing to your target buyer. For example, if you’re selling a cabin near a lake, your audience is most likely vacation home buyers looking for a quaint place to relax. If you’re selling a downtown condo, your audience is most likely a young working professional.
Writing the property description. Your property description is the first thing potential buyers will read after viewing your property’s photos. It’s one of the most important aspects of your listing. Watch out for real estate cliches, understand the lingo, focus on the highlights, and write with your target buyer in mind. In a Redfin and Grammarly study, property descriptions around 50 words were more likely to sell in 90 days. In addition, shorter property descriptions were more likely to sell above asking price!
Building a real estate property website. The majority of prospective home buyers look online before they tour a home in person. Building a real estate website to showcase your listing is an excellent way to generate more buyer leads than a simple newspaper ad. Building a simple website from scratch no longer requires time and technical knowledge. There are many services that allow you to register a domain and build a real estate website from the ground up in as little as a few hours.
Additional Marketing Strategies
Marketing your home for sale is a blend of patience and creativity. However, there are a few ways to generate more leads and speed up offers. Start by marketing your real estate website on your existing social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to name a few. In addition, you can also time the market to ensure fewer days on market. Lastly, don’t be afraid to host an open house!
Market your real estate website. Once you’ve created your listing website, uploaded the property description, and added the property photos, it’s time to drive views. First, start with your local community boards like Craigslist. Post links to your website on any active social media platforms and encourages your friends and family to share your post. Optimize your real estate website for search engines (read real estate SEO tips) and if you have a few extra dollars to spend, consider paid marketing initiatives such as running pay per click ads on Google and Bing or pay to promote posts on Facebook to specific audiences to drive views to buyers in your market.
Best time of year to sell. Even the best products aren’t immune from seasonal sales cycles and real estate is no exception. According to transaction data from Zillow, houses sell in the shortest amount of time for the most money in Spring. (Your specific housing market may vary as this claim reflects national data.) Starting in mid-March and extending through mid-April, homes sell about 15% faster than at other times of the year, and for an average of 2% more in price.
FSBO Marketing Tip: Leverage your existing network to promote your property website. Ask your friends and family to share your for-sale posts with their networks.
Hosting an open house. For FSBO sellers, open houses provide a convenient way to reach as many prospective buyers as possible without taking off work or packing one-off tours in an already crammed schedule. For the open house, offer refreshments and snacks. (Brewing coffee and baking cookies also add a homely aroma.) Place your property brochures and a sign in sheet next to your snacks. Ask for people to leave their name, email and phone number so that you can follow up with them later.
The home selling journey is no small feat. Revisiting your marketing strategy can be advantageous versus abandoning your FSBO ambitions altogether. You can limit the time on market by making your home more appealing. Make the necessary upgrades, invest in quality marketing materials, and take advantage of seasonal market conditions to get higher quality offers.