Selling your home without using a real estate agent is not difficult but as many buyers as possible need to know that your property is for sale if the process is to be a success. The key to getting the message out to buyers is an effective advertising campaign.
Homeowners who chose to go down the private sale (FSBO) path should consider the advertising tools that traditional real estate agents use and think which ones would work best for their property. Sellers should also remember how much they are saving in commission and commit to investing part of this in advertising, a rule of thumb is to allow 1% of the property value for promoting the property. Scrimping on advertising is a false economy, if buyers don’t know that the property is for sale the property wont be sold and you may end up having to pay far more in commission to a real estate agent.
The following methods are often used by homeowners looking to sell their homes and by professional real estate agents:
The internet has revolutionised how we buy real estate. Buyers are able to view thousands of potentially suitable properties from the comfort of their own home 24 hours a day. In today’s real estate market an internet listing is an essential part of marketing a property for sale. Good FSBO websites will let you write a detailed description and post pictures of your property.
Internet research enables buyers to make a short-list of potentially suitable properties, which they will follow up with a visit. If a property is not listed on the web it may not even make it onto a buyer’s short-list.
For Sale sign
Although the internet has made a huge impact on the real estate market one of the most effective tools used to advertise a property for sale is one of the oldest. A simple but well-designed sign in the front yard lets buyers know that the homeowner is looking to sell.
More than one third of properties are sold to buyers who learnt that the property was for sale through a for sale sign. Many buyers drive around a neighbourhood that they are interested in, getting to know the area and looking at for sale signs. If your home is for sale and you don’t have a sign you’ve already excluded one third of potential buyers.
Newspaper Classified Adverts
Despite the rise of the internet newspaper classified ads are still a popular way of advertising a property for sale.
Classified ads work well with an internet listing as only the basic details of the property need be included in the ad with buyers referred to the internet listing for more details and photos. As charges for classified ads are usually based on the number of characters or words, referring buyers to the online advertisement can save the seller money.
Many buyers come from the local area with most moving less than 7km away from their previous home. These buyers can be reached by distributing well-designed flyers that help spread the word about the property for sale.
A letterbox drop in the streets surrounding the property helps spread the word. Posting flyers in letterboxes of smaller properties targets buyers looking to upgrade to a bigger property. Posting flyers in letterboxes of larger properties targets empty nesters looking to move to a smaller property. This also creates great word of mouth advertising and may attract buyers looking to move closer to family or friends.
Sellers should think about where their target market goes and make sure that a flyer is displayed prominently. Local stores, cafes or libraries often have notice boards where flyers can be pinned up. Local businesses sometimes have staff looking to buy so sellers should find out if their local hospital, school or large company has an accommodation officer or notice board to display flyers.
Word of mouth/networks
An often overlooked but very powerful method of advertising a home is to use existing networks. Sellers should make sure that all their friends and relatives know that their home is for sale and get them to pass the details onto their friends.
Here again an internet listing can aid the selling process. Some buyers may feel uncomfortable about approaching a close friend or relative to find out the asking price or may not want to risk offending them if they visit the property to find it is not to their taste. By viewing the property on the web buyers need only proceed if there is a good chance that the property will be of interest.
Landlords should tell their tenants that they are looking to sell and ask them if they might want to buy, after all they must like the property as they are paying rent to live there. It’s amazing how many landlords prepare their property for sale by giving the tenants notice to leave when they may have been interested in buying all along.
Any homeowner who is serious about selling their property would be well advised to use all of the advertising techniques described above. By spreading the word to as many buyers as possible a seller is more likely to achieve a quick sale at a good price.