High Flyer

Now that we’ve sold our house, we’re ready to share our FSBO tips and experiences.  Let’s start with marketing a home.  When you hire a listing agent, you have an advantage.  Your agent handles marketing for you.  In the interest of saving ourselves several thousand dollars, we decided to try our hand at selling our house ourselves.  Really, who is better suited to sell our house than us?  We’ve been working and lived in the house for the past 8 years and know every last detail.

That’s great, but if we don’t get people in the door, who are we going to share this information with?  So, I researched MLS listings and found a few flat fee service providers, MLS My Home and FSBO.com.  These sites are legit and do get your home on the MLS and Realtor.com.

We used MLS My Home because their rates were cheaper.  To save a little more money, we opted for the 2 month listing for $99.  Then we realized our listing included only four photos.  Sure we could upgrade our service, but why not start at rock bottom and adjust as we figure out what works?  And we couldn’t rely on the internet alone to sell our house.  The internet is simply a tool to get buyer to walk through the door.  A few teaser photos were enough to whet their appetite.

We included this exterior summer shot:

Because this current shot didn’t show the house to its full potential:

Then we chose a few interior shots.  To maximize your photos, take vertically oriented shots and put similar spaces side by side, like these:

You instantly got 7 photos for the price of four.  Take photos in the middle of the day, open all curtains, and adjust camera settings to make photos are bright as possible.  Only vampires like a dark, dreary houses.

Don’t skimp on pictures on your fliers, either.  That is my biggest pet peeve when I see house fliers.  Here’s a modified version of our design:

As you can see, I changed the address, price, and contact number, but the pictures and layout are the same.  I planned to have fliers printed at FedEx Office (to save my time and ink).  At 59 cents each side, I decided to fill the front with pictures and save the easy to print at home text for the back:

I printed 100 fliers, which was about 50 too many.  I’d suggest starting small because you can always print more.

Now you need a place to put these fliers.  Home Depot (and I’m sure other home improvement stores) sell ‘For Sale’ signs and flyer holders.

The MLS and Realtor.com will help dramatically, but you have a few more free or cheap advertising options available.  Craigslist (which we used but got little interest from), newspapers (we didn’t take that step), and open houses can all drive traffic to your home.  We planned to host an open house.  The first weekend on the market, we finished up a few small projects.  If we hadn’t received and accepted an offer, we would have held an open house this past Sunday.  I’d say we lucked out.

Here’s our marketing breakdown:

MLS/Realtor.com listing:  $99.00

100 Color fliers:  $59.00

Yard sign and flier holder:  $24.00

Craigslist ad:  Free

Total advertising cost:  $182.00

Compare that price to a 3% agent commission and we just saved ourselves thousands of dollars.

Any marketing tools or sites I left out?  I’ve got a few more home selling posts, including a selling schedule, general tips, and profit, so this is just the beginning.