For Sale by Owner Real Estate - Tips for Sellers
D) THE SHOW:
The "show" begins when you start advertising. Be sure that you have prepared a feature sheet. Feature sheets or hi-lite sheets are an important part of selling your home. They are a one or two page summary of your home and property (usually with one picture). Feature sheets are a part of standard realtor practice and you should have one as well. When a potential buyer visits it is important that you hand them something that describes your property. They can read it, make notes on it and most importantly walk away with it and are less likely to forget about you as a result.
If your home is on OKHomeseller and you don't already have a feature sheet you can print them from your listing on the website. You've taken the time to complete the information, use it to your advantage. Also read the document Effective Use of Your Listing for additional tips.
You need to be as easy to reach as possible. The main phone number you use in your advertising should have an answering machine to make sure that you don't miss the calls from potential buyers. When you're not home make sure to turn on the answering machine, they won't always call back.
Prep work to do before anyone comes to visit:
- Place your feature sheets in the entry way - so you don't forget about them
- Consider a guest book for visitors to sign - you can use it as a tracking list to follow up (if you wish)
- Make sure valuables are not accessible
- Turn on all the lights
- Open windows and curtains
- Clear away any clutter and accumulations of personal pictures
- Shovel sidewalks and decks in winter
- Try to make other arrangements for the pets and kids when showing your home
When the potential buyer arrives:
- Don't have the washer, dryer or dishwasher running
- Turn off the TV
- Music is nice, but not loud or annoying
- Give the potential buyer some space when they come to visit - Don't follow them around explaining every minor flaw - You may appear over anxious to sell
- Try to qualify the buyers - Ask them if they are pre-approved for financing
- Ask them how they found your home - So you can determine which advertising method is most effective
An open house is another way to attract buyers. It allows buyers to visit without making an appointment. Use the same guidelines mentioned above for the prep work and when the potential buyer arrives. Here are some more hints that may help:
- Try to schedule the open house at least one week in advance
- Limit the open house to 3-4 hours
- Advertise your Open House - use the newspaper, signs and your internet listing. At OKHomeseller we'll gladly put the dates and times of open houses on your listing.
- Use directional signs off busy streets to direct traffic to your open house
- Leave plenty of parking space for visitors
- Have feature sheets and a guest book ready
- Visit a show home or a builder's model home and notice how the professionals show a home
- Remove or secure valuables