Marketing Your Property
Good realtors (no, that is not an oxymoron) have many secrets to successfully marketing real estate, and we're going to share some of them here.
Sell Your Property Without a Realtor
We'll begin by assuming that you have prepared your property to show well and that you have priced it appropriately. Those are jobs one and two in the process. Each is very important. Be sure you've taken care to get them right before you spend time and money on marketing.
A note to the wise here. Once you have all your marketing tools in place (see below), if you are not getting calls and indications of interest, it is time to revisit the price issue.
A good place to begin marketing is by putting up a FOR SALE BY OWNER sign (or signs). Historically, realtors have garnered about 10% of their sales from signs. In "hot" markets, it's sometimes the only thing that's needed. In most markets, it takes more effort. In slow markets, it takes a lot more effort.
"Lead-in" signs are a good idea, too. Put up signs that indicate there's a home for sale by owner with an arrow showing which way to turn starting from a busy street and leading to your property. Don't skimp on these directional signs. Put one at every turn and at any place a person might wonder whether to turn or not.
Lowe's and Home Depot both have generic FOR SALE BY OWNER and LEAD-IN signs at relatively low prices. They also carry brochure boxes.
Be sure to get a brochure holder. Place it where passersby can easily access it. Keep it stocked with brochures that have photos of your property and your contact info for making appointments to view the interior. A simple brochure can be made by simply printing your Internet listing. If you are handy with a computer, you can do your own "magazine style" brochure. Think of a lay-out in House & Garden and present your home that way.
Make sure your home shows well.
Showing Your Home - Be Safe
Critical to your marketing success...
1. Be sure you can include lots of photos. Buyers love them. Inside photos. Outside photos. Photos of fireplaces, skylights, pretty staircases, decks, fish pools, and anything else that looks great need to be included. It's also a plus if you can describe each photo with a caption that you devise. (To get good photos, take lots of them. Then choose the most appealing ones.) EXAMPLE LISTING
2. Be sure there is enough flexibility to include "editorial content" in your listing. Of course a buyer wants to know how many bedrooms and baths the property has, but he's also apt to be pleased to hear that it's beautifully landscaped, near great shopping and art galleries, or near hiking trails, or whatever made the property attractive to you in the first place. Be sure you can add that kind of input to your listing.
3. Be sure the listings are kept current. Buyers hate to make several calls about listings that look good only to be told each time that the property has already been sold. Buyers don't come back to sites with "stale" listings time and time again. A site that buyers come back to will do you a lot more good in your marketing effort.
4. Be sure your listing has its own web address. You can use this to great advantage in other advertising.
That would be www.fsboamerica.org/xxxxxx where the x's are replaced with your mls ID number assigned when you list.
You can use your local newspaper to advertise your property. Classified ads are relatively cheap. If your community is a commuting area, consider also advertising in the area to which your neighbors commute. Be sure to use your unique web address for your listing with us. Be sure to include the web address above.
If you are the recipient of a newsletter that interests you, might it also interest someone who is a logical buyer for your property? The chances are you can place inexpensive ads in such a publication. Again, be sure to use your unique web address for your listing with us.
BULLETIN BOARD ADVERTISEMENTS
Are there schools, places of worship, drug stores, grocery stores, book stores and the like that you and your neighbors frequent in your neighborhood? Can you place a poster style ad there? Always use your unique web address for your listing with us. That would be www.fsboamerica.org/xxxxxx where the x's are replaced with your mls ID number assigned when you list.
ANSWERING MACHINE MESSAGE
Change the message on your answering machine to include "IF YOU CALLED ABOUT THE HOUSE FOR SALE" instructions/suggestions. You can view our listing at www.fsboamerica.org/xxxxxx where the x's are replaced with your mls ID number assigned when you list.
INTEGRATE & REPEAT MULTI MEDIA PRESENTATIONS
This is a mouthful, but it"s simple and important. Realtors are good at this, and it will pay you to pay attention.
Each place you advertise should relate to other places you advertise. Many buyers need to see things more that once before they take action, so continue to advertise in the same places over and over. You want potential buyers to be able to come back and find you again.
Ok. The repeat part is easy. Now for the integrate part. Sounds weird, but it's easy, too.
Your sign should have your phone number and your property's web address on it.
Classified ads, newsletter ads, bulletin board ads and the like need your phone number and a phrase like "Photos @ fsboamerica.org/00000000" (fill in your property's web address - on fsboamerica, this would simply mean replacing the zeros with your property's MLS #).
Your brochures need to have phone number and web address.
Your answering machine message needs to include the fact that "Photos can be seen @ fsboa.org/00000000." It also needs wording about how to make an appointment to view the property in person. This needs to be as easy and quick as possible.
It all boils down to the fact that buyers seek information in different places, but virtually all of them want to see pictures. If they like what they see, they'll probably want to make an appointment. Make it simple for them. And keep your property's information available until it comes to the attention of the buyer for whom it's "perfect."
If you are interested in receiving contract offers from real estate agents, read on. (If not, skip to the next paragraph.) We have some ideas to help you get the attention of buyer agents. You will have to pay the buyer's agent, usually half of the normal total listing fee, but you don't have to pay a listing agent (not even a flat fee agent) to put your property listing in the mls. Find Buyer Agents
If your home doesn't show well, or function as it should, you might also have need for tradesmen like plumbers, electricians, painters, home inspectors, septic & well services, handymen, etc. There is a small membership fee, but you can find Thousands of unbiased ratings and reviews by following this link.
Need a handyman? Find local unbiased reviews on the best handymen. Try Angie's List.
It often helps if sellers will offer a home warranty policy as a buyer's incentive. After all, a buyer who has just stretched the budget to buy a home might feel that the possibility of a major appliance or household system going out during the first year would make life very uncomfortable. If you could put the buyer's mind at ease by agreeing to provide a home warranty policy, that would tend to make your property more attractive. Home Warranty
If you encounter a buyer who says he or she wants to buy your property, but doesn't know how to get a written contract offer prepared, you can help him or her get to the necessary forms for your state. It's always a good idea to get it in writing while you are both agreed on what you want to do and the ideas are still fresh in both your minds. Forms appropriate to each state are available at Real Estate Forms By State
If you think you want to sell your property yourself, but are unsure how to proceed (or even if that's really the approach you want to take), you can find out a great deal more by reading one or more authors' ideas on the subject. FSBO Books
In order to bring buyers and sellers to our site, we at fsboamerica hired an internet marketing firm, MarketingTitan.com, in August of 2005. They have done a marvelous job for us. Our number of visitors and page hits continues to climb. (Email us if you'd like to know the current numbers.)
If you have a property to sell that warrants special Internet marketing of it's own, you might want the help of MarketingTitan, too. You might also want to use them if you have some other Internet project that could use some help getting visitors. Internet Marketing
Title, Settlement & Escrow Companies (coming soon) - These are the folks who, in addition to lawyers, can handle your settlement. In the meantime you can find them (and real estate lawyers, too) by looking in your phone book's yellow pages. You can also ask for recommendations from anyone you know who has recently had a good experience selling a property.
We send out a FREE Real Estate Newsletter about twice each month. It covers things we see currently happening in the market, creative and useful things we see people doing, and ideas that have worked for sellers and buyers. You can receive them if you like. Sign Up for Newsletter
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FSBO - Homes For Sale By Owner
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New Bern, North Carolina, 28560