Marketing your For Sale by Owner
As a For Sale by Owner you will need to take on the role of the marketing department. Many for Sale by Owners rely on placing the home on FREE websites or the MLS and wait for the calls. Depending on the market we are in, this can work in your favor, but remember your home is now amongst hundreds if not thousands in your market, all trying to do the same thing – GET IT SOLD.
As a Realtor myself, one of the main things we do is market the property. This is where a majority of our time and expenses come in – from neighborhood mailers (yes they are still a thing in the time of all digital – all the time) to online advertising to email blasts to digital marketing on all the social media platforms. I will throw in Open Houses as part of the marketing as well.
So, the question about marketing is where to start. You should start by deciding what budget you have and would like to use toward selling your home. There is no magic number when it comes to budgeting and selling your home. Lets start simple and work our way through some marketing options and you can start to decide in your head what you feel is appropriate to spend on the sale of your For Sale by Owner home.
MLS Only Listing – this gets your home on the MLS of your local area through a Broker but sell it For Sale by Owner. MLS Only listings are a common and inexpensive way in which to get seen by the Realtors in your area, yet not pay a listing fee. You generally pay a small fee or flat fee, and the Broker will list your home on the MLS. There are many companies that offer this service which ranges between $149 and $199 for the basic service. Check out www.FSBOMadeEasy.com and click on the services by state to help locate an MLS Only Listing service in your area.
MLS Only listings should have your name, number, and e-mail as the contact information (some MLS systems have different rules, but you should have at least your number). You should also be set up with a showing application that will help you receive and reject REALTORS who have clients to see your home. These showing applications are used only with licensed Realtor/agents.
Social Media – You just post it on your Facebook and its sold….well not really, unless you are very lucky or have many real estate professionals as friends who have buyers waiting. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others draw people to them every day for personal and professional reasons. They are a good platform to be seen by people you know and people you do not know. Posting on your personal feed will get people to know you are selling, but it will take expanding your network to get your For Sale by Owner home noticed. To do this, you can boost an ad or create an ad. When you boost or create an ad, it will ask you where you want it seen. It will have you choose a city and how far out. Choose your city and PLUS 25 miles. Your ads will show up on the social media you are using for people who are registered within that 25 miles. You can narrow down some demographics more, but usually a general radius is best.
Social media allows you to set a daily or total budget for the ad. As you move up and down it will show you an estimated number of daily and total people you could reach.
Open Houses – As a Realtor myself I am torn as to whether an open house is worth the time and effort. Many real estate professionals use open houses to collect names, numbers and email of people who are buyers looking, but may not be interested in that specific home they are doing an open house for. Open Houses bring more curiosity from neighbors and window shoppers than actual buyers.
When your house first hits the market, it is not a bad idea to try an open house. If anything, you can ask for feedback from those who come on price and the home itself. Feedback itself can be valuable.
Mailers and Flyers – This can be old school in the world of digital marketing, but it can get the word out. By letting your neighbors know your home is for sale, you could run into someone who loves the neighborhood so much they would pass along the information to friends and family.
Flyers are also good to put up around town at places people gather. Please ask for permission before placing on bulletin boards and other public spaces. You do not want to spend money printing to have it thrown out.
Website – making a website specific for the home is useful when it comes to showing people more than what they can find on the MLS, social media, and flyers. With a For Sale by Owner website, you can add as many pictures as you would like, videos, more descriptions, and it does not fall within the rules of the MLS.
You can get a domain from Godaddy or another web domain seller. These companies usually have easy to build website templates. Basically, they are drag and drop websites and very inexpensive. You can also get help building one by contacting myself at firstname.lastname@example.org – we can make a website for you and you just provide the photos, video links and text for $199.
E-mail Blasts – For Sale by Owners typically do not have the database that is dedicated to real estate professionals and others who may be in the market for a home (if you do, then you are way ahead of the game). You should still email your flyers out to family, friends and business associates and encourage them to pass it along. You never know.
For real estate professionals, e-mail blasts can sometimes be the biggest part of the budget.
Word of Mouth – tell everyone you are selling. Word of mouth self-marketing is a tool that will always be useful. You never know who is looking to buy. From your dentist to your dog groomer to your hair stylist. They speak to people all day and are a wealth of information and connected to a whole different network of people. They can be your boots on the ground marketing team.
If you have any questions about real estate or would like to buy or sell a home, Investment property, or commercial property in Michigan (Ohio and Florida by 2021), please e-mail us at email@example.com or call 248-294-7850.
Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Mitten Realty Group, LLC
Mitten Realty Group is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.