The Internet

The Internet is one of your best resources for selling your home. In fact, real estate experts estimate that approximately 77% of interested buyers begin their search by looking online. By listing your information online, interested buyers can quickly and easily look up information at any time of the day or night. Of course, if you do not use this resource properly, you might actually turn off potential buyers. To get the most out of your Internet posting, keep the following tips in mind:

  •   Develop a catchy heading that will capture the interest of potential buyers, such as "Priced to Sell," "Area's Best Schools," or "Handyman Special."
  •   Keep your description informative and to the point with pertinent details, such as the square footage, the number of rooms and special features.
  •   Highlight features that add value to the home, such as areas that have been recently remodeled or updated.
  •   Include the most flattering pictures that show the areas buyers are most likely to be interested in seeing, such as an exterior photo, a photo of the kitchen, a photo of the master suite and any special features the house may have.

Be sure to keep your Internet posting fresh and current with information about your house and neighborhood. This way, you will be more likely to attract a potential buyer quickly.

Holding an Open House

Holding an open house is another great way to help generate interest in your house while also showing it off to many potential buyers. One disadvantage to having an open house when you are selling the home on your own is that some buyers are uncomfortable with looking at a house when the current owner is present. On the other hand, others may be more comfortable looking at the house at an open house event as opposed to a one-on-one appointment. To have a successful open house, keep the following tips in mind:

  •   Use the suggestions discussed in the "Staging" and "Preparing Your Home for Sale" sections of this ebook prior to hosting the event.
  •   Schedule the open house on a weekend in the early afternoon.
  •   If there is another open house in your area, schedule yours for the same day.
  •   Advertise your open house by announcing it on your online listing and by placing signs along highways and other areas where people are likely to see them.
  •   Invite your neighbors.
  •   Include a sign-in sheet so you can easily follow-up with those who attend your event. Be sure to ask for basic contact information on the sheet.
  •   Keep your marketing materials handy to give to your visitors as they walk through the house.
  •   Consider baking some snacks or having other finger foods prepared for your visitors.

During your open house, be sure to give visitors plenty of time to explore your home at their own pace. While an open house provides a great opportunity to make personal connections with potential buyers, you should also limit your conversation to a simple welcome when guests arrive. As your guests are leaving, ask them if they have any questions. Hovering around them as they look through the house will make them feel uncomfortable and rushed. Therefore, it is best to simply remain by the door throughout the event. This way, you can properly greet your guests while remaining easy to find if anyone has any questions.

When hosting an open house, you also need to keep your safety and privacy in mind. Some general safety tips include:

  •   Put away jewelry and other valuables.
  •   Do not allow strangers to roam throughout your home unattended.
  •   Get someone to help you host the event. If you are married, make sure your spouse is around. Otherwise, enlist in a neighbor to help out for a few hours. If one of you is showing the upstairs or backyard, the other one can still be available to greet new visitors.

In "hot" markets where few homes are available and buyers are abundant, you may become overwhelmed with visitors. If this happens, stagger the visitors by bringing them through in groups.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth can go a long way toward helping you get your home sold, which is why it is important for you to invite your neighbors to your open house. After all, your neighbors have a vested interest in helping you find a buyer. The more they know about your house, the more they can share information with people who might be interested in moving in. Even if you don't have an open house, consider talking to your neighbors and asking them to help spread the word about your house being up for sale.

You can also spread the word by handing out your materials to the people you come in contact with over the course of your day-to-day activities. These include people such as your bank teller, the checkout person at the grocery store, your doctor, your child's coaches, your co-workers and anyone else you deal with throughout the day. The more people who know about your house being for sale, the more likely you are to quickly find a buyer.

Local Publications

Local publications are another good resource for spreading the word about your home. When considering local publications, however, keep in mind that the Internet has grown in popularity. As a result, fewer buyers are using print publications to help them find a home. If you choose to use local publications, it is best to use them in addition to the Internet and not instead of the Internet.

When using traditional print publications, consider placing a classified ad in your local newspaper or in real estate magazines. You might also consider sending out ads through direct mail circulars, though this can become quite costly. In the next chapter, we will discuss how to write an effective ad in order to get the best results.