A difficult task that gets FSBO sellers into a deep bind and sometimes even causes them to turn to a real estate agent is writing a successful classified ad. Fortunately, with a few little tweaks, your ad can snag a home buyer right as soon as they take a look at your ad. Here are some tips and tricks to get your ad noticed, and to get those potential home buyers in the door.
The first thing you want to do is put yourself in the shoes of the potential buyer. What are they looking for in a new home? What are some of the first things that stand out to them when they look at a potential home? When searching the classifieds for a home, potential home buyers look for three things right away: price, location, and number of bedrooms. These three things help them widdle down the ads in the paper, and construct a list that they can work off of.
This is where being direct and to the point in your classified ad gives you an advantage. If you tell them everything they want to hear, and nothing that they don't want to hear, they can't automatically cross you off the list. If you put something in your ad like "needs TLC" or "fixer-upper", it's highly unlikely that you'll be high on most home buyer's lists. Besides, most home buyers usually buy a house that differs from what they originally had in mind once they see what's out there.
Working out the financials of the transaction early in the ad, if you want to offer this as an option, can help you land on more buyer's hot lists. Using words like "Financing Available" or "Excellent Financing" can heighten interest to your ad and make people want to work with you if they know that you're willing to help them through a difficult part of the process.
If you have a lender working with you, it also helps you direct potential buyers who are interested in low down payment options. Even though it might deter some home buyers into working with you, it will allow you to work with serious buyers who qualify for these kinds of financing options and would be ready to purchase your home. But the financing options do not have to be in your ad if you're not offering any of these options. You can still build a strong ad regardless if you stick to simplicity and knowing what potential buyers want to see.
When writing out your ad, the first two things you want to show are the home price and the location, because these are the first two things that home buyers want to see. When home buyers skim the classified ads, it gives them an easier way to spot your ad right away and mark it down as a possibility. That's why it's also important to be accurate in your ad, but not be extremely specific about the area, unless your area is one of the most desirable. Being general makes sure that they don't automatically pass your ad. Make sure to get them to check the house and the neighborhood themselves.
Now that the meat of the ad is written, it's time to get into the potatoes of it. You have to figure out what exact descriptive qualities if your house will get the buyers in to check it out. Make sure to state just how many bedrooms there are, because that's what allows the buyers to picture their family in your house. After that, you should list if you have a garage, a fence, a backyard, or on a quiet street. Also, if you have recently renovated or remodeled something major in the house, definitely include that. Remodeled kitchens or bathrooms interest home buyers because those are the two biggest expenses on the house that would be out of the way, if they like what you did with it.
In this part of the ad, you must make sure that you are describing what others want to see, and not what you think is great about your place. Saying something like "close to shopping" or "right off the Interstate" may be great amenities to you, but for others who want peace and quiet, you've already made up their minds through your ad that they don't want any part of your house. The ad is so you can get them to make an appointment and get them to your house, and you've failed if you don't even get them to circle your house.
Just remember to keep your ad short, somewhat descriptive but not too overbearing and wordy, and to the point. Here's an example of a strong ad that will make people give you a call:
$175,000 PEMBROKE, financing available, gorgeous 3 bedroom home, garage, remodeled kitchen and windows, sale by owner. Call 555-1234 or see listing number XXXX at www.fsbosellbuy.com
$350,000 PATERSON, large 4 bedroom house, quiet street, new bathroom, fireplace, privacy fenced backyard. Call 555-1234 or see listing number XXXX at www.fsbosellbuy.com.
Making sure your ad is direct and to the point, giving the buyer the price, location and the number of bedrooms, including the location of the house, and making sure that you describe the key aspects of your house that are most appealing to the home buyers will insure that your home will be seen by enough people that you will be able to complete your sale efficiently.