For Sale by Owner

Planning and Preparing Your Home for Sale – Without a Realtor!

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How to Advertise Your Home

Don’t worry. You’ve already done the hard work. Your research has been conducted, your home has been cleaned and prepared and you have all the vital information necessary to offer prospective buyers. Now you need to get the word out!
Get a Sign

You are going to need a professional looking sign to post in front of your home. Although you will be finding prospective buyers from other avenues, you can’t forget the valuable ‘drive-by’. This also allows you to benefit from the buyers visiting other homes for sale in your area.

This is not the time to post a handmade sign (unless of course you are very talented in the field). Home buyers are not yard-sale shopping. Put some money into it and have a clean, professional sign to represent your offer. Find a sign shop in the phone book or by recommendation and order or rent a ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign.

You will need to post your phone number on the sign and it would be a good idea to have a contact name as well to make callers more comfortable. Details about the house are not a necessity as prospects have seen the home and can ask you about any other details on the phone, but do include a key feature if it doesn’t clutter up the sign.

Some realtors leave printed information that can be taken home by passers-by including the price and a list of features. This is not required, but a nice touch if you wish to provide it.

Make an Ad

You will need to place an ad in the newspaper or a magazine for home buyers. However, some of the magazines are ‘trade-only’ and will only accept listings by realtors.

You don’t need to create or pay for a full page ad in the local paper to get results. Small ads can be equally effective since home buyers will read all the relevant listings in order to find the ‘perfect’ home. On the other hand, a badly worded ad can be a waste of space and a waste of time no matter how big it is or how much it costs. Where do you start?

Collect several local papers and read the ads placed there. Try to determine which ones catch your attention and which ones loose your interest. You will likely find that rambling, lengthy and detailed ads not only bore you but offer so much information you no longer need to see the home or talk to the owners. This is a critical mistake. You want to give the buyer some reason to see your home.

If a certain feature is being promoted by a large amount of advertisers, don’t use it as the focal point of your ad or it will get lost.

Professional marketer’s use a concept called USP – Unique Sales Proposition. Determine what you have that can be featured that is not being commonly addressed in other ads. This will make you stand out from the crowd.

If you see several ads that state in the headline ‘GREAT LOCATION’ you might want to stay away from basing your ad on that particular feature. Choose something else like ‘NEWLY RENOVATED’ or "SAVE MONEY – PRIVATE SALE’ to stand out from the crowd.

Start by writing down two or three features of your home. Select one to highlight and list the others for increased interest. Do not list every possible feature or buyers will not be inclined to call. Give them something to contact you about.

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