Marketing your home yourself

tomatofreakAugust 27, 2014

So often, people list with a realtor and wait, and wait, and wait. Too often, the realtor does little to no marketing other than an open house or two. Has anyone undertaken the option of marketing your for-sale house yourself? I am seriously considering doing this when we are ready. (Still a lot of work to do.) Whether we go the fsbo route or list, I think a good marketing campaign might hasten a sale. Would like to hear your thoughts or experiences.

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klem1

I agree that realtors rarly earn their fee. As you point out,they work hard to get the listing then sit back waiting for the house to sell. Unfortunatly most owners are poor sales people and/or knowledgable of the process. Interaction with buyers should be as if you are selling a neighbor's house. The title company will make certain documents are properly processed. Make sighnage tastful,provide hand outs, create a website and list it on both. Depending on who and how existing phone #s are answered,you might add a new cell to your service. Have you considered listing with an agency and reserving your right to sell it?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 5:51PM
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tad0422

We just did FSBO (currently closing on Sept. 30) and marketed the home our self. Some of these wont apply as we sold our home in a hip/young area. Here is what we did:

1) Got a nice For Sale sign. We got ours with the frame for $60. In big print on it we had the gmail we created for the house to handle all requests and the facebook page for the home.

1a) We got a flyer box as well but I don't think anyone every took a flyer from it unless it was the one open house we did. Just depends on the area i guess.

2) Created a facebook page to use our website to post photos and updates about the home.

2a) We used popular facebook groups in our area to post about our home and open houses. Got a lot of traffic this way.

3) Created a zillow page for the home.

4) Created a twitter handle for the home to send out updates, open houses, etc.

5) Created a professional looking flyer. You can find templates all over the internet.

6) If you have a good camera take your own photos. If you don't, either hire someone or get a friend that has a DSLR or something. PHOTOS SELL.

7) I would suggest listing on the MLS (if you can in your area) as we saw a noticeable uptick in interest once our MLS published. Cost us about $400.00

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 7:10PM
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tomatofreak

Thanks for the tips and encouragement. I think we will go the fsbo route and/or give a non-exclusive listing, reserving the right to sell ourselves.

I thought about marketing through ads in small, less expensive than major papers, community papers. There is a burgeoning Hispanic population here and I've considered enlisting someone to add Spanish-language text to photos for publication. It won't be free, but I'm pretty sure it will be less than a hefty commission fee.

TadParker, except for the first two items, every other suggestion sounds great - and I'd never have thought of them. I don't want a sign only because we have a terrible 'neighbor' who would deliberately make showing difficult.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 12:05AM
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tad0422

The biggest thing is know who your audience is going to be. For us it was young, hip professionals (East Nashville) so we made sure to use new social media tools to get the word out.

If your in an older neighborhood where people looking might be in their 40-50+ then you might want to try old media like newspapers, flyers, etc. If large ethnic population is moving into your area then target them, learn where they get their information on housing then use that.

Also I forgot to mention we used Craigslist and Nextdoor as well when marketing ours.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 9:38AM
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tad0422

Also I am unsure about not having a For Sale sign. Maybe you can patch things up with your neighbor for the time being or maybe he/she will be happy to see you gone?

We live in a hot area so people who just roam the area looking for properties on the market.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 9:41AM
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ryseryse_2004

We created a Zillow page even though we were listed with a Realtor. Also we updated on Craig's List every week and referenced our own website where we had many more pictures than the Realtor had.

We had several showings through our own efforts - none through Realtor but we owe a commission since we sold during the listing period. Granted, ours is a very unusual property in the middle of nowhere (recreational land) so we felt we needed the extra exposure.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:20AM
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louislinus

We did much the same as Tad - Facebook, Zillow, Craigslist. I did not pay to list it on the MLS. We had a buyer within 2 weeks.

I have talked about this before on here and I will mention it again - even though FSBO was the right answer for us at that moment I don't know that I'd do it the same way again. Marketing and finding a buyer on our own was easy. I realized quickly though that a REA earns many of their dollars after the sale but before closing. There are a lot of steps and deadlines. Our buyer did not have a REA either and she was a first time homebuyer. I was a nervous wreck the 8 weeks before closing. I had to hold her hand through every little step and it was very stressful and awkward much of the time. On the one hand we became very friendly and then I would have to negotiate some point with her. That distance that a REA brings between a buyer and a seller is very important. Additionally, we had an absurd amount of inspection issues and the bank appraisal was 24K under our selling price. I KNOW if we would have had a REA the appraisal would have been different. I didn't know to provide the out of town appraiser comps when he came to the house. And when he used comps that were 8 months old and 7 miles away, I provided good comps that were recent and nearby but her bank wouldn't take me seriously because I wasn't an REA. I had no clout in their eyes. If I had had a REA I would have continued showing my house even after I was under contract and could have fallen on a backup offer with a different buyer with a different bank and appraiser. But I didn't do that. I turned down multiple showings once I was under contract. It is water under the bridge now as we are in our new house and I love it and we did close and ended up still a little bit ahead financially because we didn't have a REA but it was a real nightmare and I don't think I would do it the same way again.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 7:19PM
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njannrosen

I have always used a professional realtor to buy and sell my homes. The key is to use a PROFESSIONAL realtor, not a weekend or part time, family friend or relative. Someone who has excellent credentials and works at a top broker in your area. Get some referrals from people who have used someone they really loved recently and interview them. Pick the one you feel the most comfortable with. You will not be sorry. It will save you a lot of headaches and stress as well as keep you in the best position to sell your home at the best possible price.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:43AM
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tad0422

What it comes down to is simple opportunity cost.

Are you willing to learn and research the entire real estate selling process. Spend time analyzing housing data to get your pricing then incur upfront costs in signage, flyers, lock boxes, MLS fees etc. Take off time to show your home, remove animals from the home, engage in open houses, etc. Correspond with buyers/agents and basically make yourself have a small second job during your listing time.

Or do you want a Realtor to hope to give you service the lives up to the 6% plus fees you are going to pay.

It all depends on your lifestyle, income and perseverance.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 12:00PM
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tomatofreak

Thanks to all of you for responses. During this time, we've been working like crazy trying to get a reno house appraised and closed. It's a very unusual situation and essentially we are fsbo's; the buyer's agent has been in charge of getting all the papers signed. If the appraisal comes in at the sales price; he'll be a hero to us. IF.

NJAnnRose, that's exactly what we did when we purchased the reno house. She's a realtor we've known for years, though we're not friends. She's been in the business for 35 years, is a broker and has a slew of acronyms behind her name. She sold us out for a commission. Big, big reason I'm not very trusting of realtors.

TadParker, you raise some very good points. Removing the pets (there are many) is the biggest issue for us. Another problem is that we are in an old, very diverse urban neighborhood. Our house is unlike anything else nearby, so getting good comps is difficult. We have thought of paying for an inspection (although we plan to sell 'as is') and even an appraisal. Is either of those ideas viable as a starting point?

I have the time - and some experience in advertising and marketing - so I'm not hesitant about taking on the job. I rather enjoy a challenge and, believe me, this is one.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 10:00PM
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