How to For Sale By Owner: 6 Steps to FSBO Success, Step 3 Write It Up

Thinking of selling your home without using a real estate agent? You've found a great resource. I am a real estate attorney, as well as a licensed real estate broker, and I've helped hundreds of successful home buyers and sellers.

Craig provides the following insight for informational purposes only, and without any warranty or guarantee whatsoever. This blog does not create an attorney/client relationship, and Craig is not your attorney unless you have a signed fee agreement with him. Now with that disclaimer out of the way...

The place looks great, you've decided on a sale price - now it's time to get the creative juices flowing. Time to write up the listing.

Step 3: Write It Up

Here is another step that is part of a real estate broker's job. If doing this yourself is simply too daunting, remember there may be real estate brokers who can help, at a price you can afford (like Added Equity Real Estate in Seattle). 

STEP THREE GOAL: Create a listing that attracts buyers.

There are two parts to a high quality and compelling listing:

  1. Pictures - seriously consider professional, high definition pictures
  2. Written description (known as "copy" in the advertising world).

 Each part is essential to a successful listing.

Pictures of the home

The old adage holds true, one picture of the home is really worth a thousand words. But don't stop at one! You should have a dozen or more pictures of the home, inside and out, showing different rooms, exteriors, views, etc. Needless to say, accentuate the positive, and make sure you have pictures of the home's most compelling elements.

But unless you are a professional photographer, seriously consider hiring someone for these pictures. They are the heart and soul of your listing. They merit a few hundred bucks so that your listing is as compelling as possible. If you take these pictures yourself and you live in Seattle, watch out, you may see your listing here.

Insider's Tip: Don't oversell the house. While your pictures need to focus on the positives, don't misrepresent the property. Otherwise you risk alienating a buyer as soon as they drive up, when they see a house that doesn't look like the listing. Buyers hate the "bait-and-switch" sales technique.

Your final set of pictures should give a good sense of the various rooms in your home. You should include a shot from the exterior from the street, and include one of the view if there is one. Make sure you hit all of the highlights. Don't about the exact order, you can figure that out when you load them up onto the web.

Creating the Copy

This part is much easier than it sounds. Because while good copy might sell razors or even cars, it probably isn't going to sell your house. A house is different.

Like the pictures, good copy should accentuate the positives of the home. And every home has positives. Think back to why you bought the house originally, and think of everything good you've learned since - about the house, the neighborhood, the local school, the nearby park, etc. Make sure you note any updates, particularly anything that might be considered "green" because buyers today can be environmentally conscious.

 It may be easier to just put it in outline format, that way you won't have to worry about perfect grammar. Have someone review it and give you some feedback. Even the best writers know that a good editor is essential. 

A Simple Flyer

Pictures? Check. Copy? Check. Time to begin putting it all together. There are lots of free flyer templates available on the web. Find one that works for you. And don't overthink it, the flyer is used after the buyer has already seen the home. So you're not going to make or break it with the flyer.

Use your best pictures. Insert your copy. Hit print. Congrats!!

Up Next, Step 4: Post It