You don’t have to be a real estate agent to take advantage of the same tools and tricks of the trade to sell your own home. Often times, the best return on investments for real estate marketing are more simple than you think. Best of all, the tools are already at your fingertips. Read how to get started with a few marketing tips for FSBO sellers.
FSBO Marketing Tips
How to paint a picture with words. In a Redfin and Grammarly study, property descriptions around 50 words were more likely to sell in 90 days. Although shorter property descriptions were more likely to sell above asking price, containing everything your home has to offer in three or fewer paragraphs can be challenging.
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.
Focus on selling the living experience for your target buyer persona as well as your neighborhood. For example, young families are drawn to homes which provide community features (close proximity to schools, parks, etc) as well as commute options. If you have newer appliances, make sure to mention both their brand and their style (e.g., stainless steel, subzero). For more information, read How to Write Real Estate Property Descriptions.
DIY vs professional photography. Your property photos are the first things potential home buyers will see. Hiring a professional photographer could be a worthy investment, but there is plenty of room for DIY photography if you have the right equipment. An entry-level DSLR in the right hands can outweigh the cost of hiring a professional. Search local listings like Craigslist or Angie’s list and compare quotes before making a decision. (See also 5 FSBO Real Estate Property Photography Tips.)
Indoor lighting is one of the largest factors when shooting real estate photography. Consider brushing up on photography basics with resources like Phlearn.
In addition, consider the condition of your home: A professional photographer can only do so much with a property in poor condition. Before taking pictures, make sure your home is decluttered, thoroughly cleaned, and staged if possible. (You should read The Home Seller’s Guide to Decluttering Your House.)
Invest time in a property website. Building a real estate website is one of the best ways to market your home for sale. After all, you’ll need something to share with your audience besides the MLS listing. Once you’ve prepared your home, taken photos, and written a description, consider spending an afternoon building a website for your home.
Real estate brokers in your area may offer “a la carte” marketing services for FSBO sellers, including website creation for a flat fee.
Building a simple website from scratch no longer requires time and technical knowledge. Services like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly allow you to register a domain name, pay for hosting, and build a fully customizable, drag-and-drop website in a matter of hours. Having an online presence is important for real estate agents, so why not borrow best practices from the experts? (For a more in-depth discussion, read How To Create A Website For Your FSBO Listing.)
Marketing 101 on social media. One of the best ways real estate agents find new clients is through referrals on social media. Post links to your website on any active social media platforms and encourages your friends and family to share your post. Consider creating multiple types of content to share, too. For example, video walk-throughs and property tours can create a much greater impact than a photo album. (You may want to read Accelerating Your Home Sale with Social Media
Open houses provide a convenient way to reach as many prospective buyers as possible. Set an amazing impression by offering snacks, refreshments, and brochures. (You may also want to read The FSBO Guide To Hosting An Open House.)
If you have a few extra dollars to spend, consider paid marketing initiatives as well. For as little as $5 a day, you can promote posts on Facebook to specific audiences to drive views to buyers in your market. You can monitor the status of your paid campaigns to track success metrics like the number of impressions, post views, and even click-throughs to your property website.
Moving on with email marketing. Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for real estate agents, but it’s also one of the most abused. If you’ve shopped around on Zillow and entered in your email address, you may already know!
According to transaction data from Zillow, houses sell in the shortest amount of time for the most money in spring. 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.
However, there are a few email marketing best practices you can learn from agents. MailChimp is an email marketing platform that lets you build fun and colorful drag-and-drop templates and send them to your lists. You may feel apprehensive building an email list, but your organic list is much larger than you think. Start with your current and former co-workers, and just like you do on social media, ask for referrals for potential buyers in your cold emails.
Importance of referral marketing. Real estate agents generate a majority of their buyer and seller leads from their “sphere of influence.” The most successful agents leverage the people they know, including past clients, friends, family, people at their gym, and even their own neighbors to generate referrals. Just like with your social and email marketing efforts, consider asking for referrals for people who are considering buying from people you already know.
You might not be a marketing professional, but there are plenty of ways to spread the word about your home for sale to a wide digital audience with little effort. Best of all, the tools to start marketing are already at your fingertips.