The For Sale by Owner (FSBO) method of selling a home has remained at pretty much the same level of popularity. According the NAR’s most recent survey, just 10% of sales came directly from a previous owner. Since I bet that includes a bunch of transactions between family members, it looks as if the population of local For Sale by Owner signs continues to be in something of a slump (down from the cyclical peak of 18% back in 1997).
Still, if you are a local homeowner who wants to buck the trend and head down the FSBO route, you will need to do more than just stick a For Sale by Owner sign in the lawn. Of key importance is the newspaper and Internet advertising you will need to create. Here are some ‘how to’ elements that can help in that effort:
1. Research approaches
Before you begin writing your For Sale by Owner ad for the local market, read how the real estate brokerages are currently going about it. Check out ads on Realtors’ websites as well as on sites that other area For Sale by Owner sellers use. It will give you an idea of the approaches others have found to be effective.
2. Write to-the-point copy
Your ad copy should be comprehensive enough to ensure potential local buyers have enough information to qualify your offering — but without being overly verbose. It may be tempting to gush about your home, but what you write needs to come across as professional. Amateurish or overly personal ad copy can create a less than businesslike aura, fostering distrust among potential buyers.
3. Take care with photos
Any real estate agent will tell you that photographs can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to convincing buyers to visit your home. Ensure all of your bases are covered, and take your time to produce photos that catch your home at its best. If the afternoon light isn’t flattering for a particular view, be willing to try it later on or in the morning. If you are unsure of your own photographic talent, this is a good place to spend some marketing dollars to employ a professional – one with a top-notch DSLR camera.
Last year, the national median For Sale by Owner home sold for $150,000, while the median for agent-marketed homes was $215,000. That is one indication of why it’s a good idea to explore all options before committing to a FSBO campaign. If you would like to meet with me to go over your options, I am happy to offer complimentary consultations to local For Sale by Owner homeowners. Call me anytime!