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Marketing is not easy, nor is it necessarily cheap.  The main reason you probably have chosen the FSBO route is to save yourself a good bit of money, so you’re going to want to heavily consider your marketing strategy.

There are all kinds of tools at your disposal, from the traditional signage to information packets to internet listings.  You’ll want to set a budget for your marketing, and stick to it.

This is where a realtor really does come in handy. I think you’ll probably be quite surprised at how much time, money and effort it takes to make effective marketing happen.

Old Fashioned Newspaper Ads. Sometimes, the old tried and true methods still work, and newspaper ads do.  Most of the time, a classified ad is priced based on the number of lines or words that is being published.

There are also extra charges for photos and special lettering such as bold and italics.  That’s why you’re going to want to get to the point quickly in your ad, but also add enough insight to hook prospective buyers.  Use special lettering sparingly.

You’re going to want to include:

* Price

* Number of bedrooms and bathrooms

* Street address

* Square feet

* Special features, such as hardwood floors or a finished attic

Avoid too many abbreviations, as this can be overwhelming as well as confusing. When you get ready to place your ad, ask your newspaper personnel when most other real estate ads are heavily incorporated into the paper.

Most often, this will be on the weekends.  Shoot for that same time frame for your ad to run.  Most home buyers are going to know when the real estate ads are heavy as well, and that is when they’re going to be looking.

Keep in mind that placing this kind of ad can be tricky.  Even saying something that seems harmless like, “A nice home in a family neighborhood,” can get you into tons of trouble.

Federal fair housing laws are pretty strict about how you are allowed to market your home, and anything that could be considered discriminatory is dangerous – even if you mean nothing harmful by it.

Nothing in your ad should even allude to discrimination against potential buyers based on:

* Religion

* Race

* National origin

* Color

* Sex

* Familial status

* Handicaps

* Any number of other factors

Check out more information on this at the U.S. Depart. Of Housing and Urban Development site.


Get a High Quality Sign. You absolutely need a high quality sign for your yard.  Although many people are going to the Internet for their first-stop home shopping these days, a sign lets potential buyers know they’ve found the right place when hunting your property down.

There are also those folks who still take the time to drive around and search out homes that feel right, and they find them by the signs.

Your sign should not be scrawled on poster paper with a sharpie and stapled to a tomato stake.  Trust me, this is not the way to get a buyer who not only is willing to pay near your asking price, but also who is able to pay near your asking price.

Rather, you want your sign to lend a professional, well-groomed appearance that works well with your curb appeal.  Make sure that your phone number and other vital information are clearly able to be seen from the road.

You might also find it advantageous to add a box or tube to your sign for fliers with more information on your home.  Keep these fliers handy, because you’re likely to run out more than once.  And, of course, before you go constructing signs rivaling a billboard, check out any restrictions on signage in your community.

Using Listing Services and Internet Ads. Even if you aren’t a computer age guru, you can likely handle posting your home with any number of online listing services.  Often, you get more space for details at a cheaper price than with printed publications.

There is any number of different sites available to help you market your home for sale.  A qualified real estate agent would know precisely which ones to choose for your home and for the area in which you live.

You can go with the freebies, like Craigslist and Facebook – but beware of scammers.  There are also places like Zillow, Trulia and who will advertise your home for a fee.

Those programs that add your home to the Multiple Listing Service sometimes offer additional help with things like paperwork and pricing.  Of course, those services cost extra.

Compiling Information Packets. Although they are often overlooked, information packets can really help you out when you want potential buyers to remember your wonderful home more than anyone else’s wonderful home.

You see, most folks looking to buy a home take a peek at more than one place before settling on their favorite.  If you have graced them with a simple information packet loaded with photos and details about your property, they are very likely to look closely at it…and remember your home.

Make sure that you have your information packets available on your sign, but also hand them out whenever someone comes by for a showing.  If you decide to throw an open house, have plenty available there as well.

Your Information Packet Checklist

* Lots of high quality photos

* Your contact information.  Be thorough, and give several contact methods such as home phone, cell phone and email address.

* Home address

* Price of the property

* Number of bedrooms and sizes

* Number of bathrooms

* Point out special features, such as outbuildings and whirlpool tubs

* Square footage

* Elaborate on improvements and updates

* Size of lot

* Community details

* School district

* Information on neighborhood association, if applicable

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