Selling a home is never easy, and while opting for an FSBO (for sale by owner) approach can save you a significant amount of money, it certainly comes with its own challenges. Since you’re selling your home, you need to do all your marketing, and that means you need to write your own listing.
The good news is that writing a good listing isn’t complicated, but the bad news is that it is easy to make mistakes. If you spend an hour or so reading realtor listings, you’ll see that they too, often slip up.
Fortunately, we’ve got all the tips you need to ensure you write a quality listing that attracts buyers. Below, we’ll explain all the key elements you need to include, common mistakes you need to avoid, and an example advert you can use as a template for your own listing.
What to Include in an FSBO Property Listing Ad
- High-quality photos: Include clear, well-lit, professionally taken photos showcasing your home’s best features. If you want to do your photos yourself, either ask a friend or family member with photography skills to take them or spend a few hours looking at listings online so you can see what makes them stand out. Your photos should be:
- Clear and sharp
- Well-lit (ideally taken on a bright sunny day)
- Are taken from the corner of a room or yard to show as much of the room as possible, or are taken straight-on to a doorway for the front door and any other feature doorways
- Display the home’s best features (such as the view out of a window)
- Are taken from about chest height (so you get a good view of the entire space as you would see it)
- Detailed description: Provide a thorough description of your home, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, and any unique features or upgrades. Don’t forget to mention recent renovations, energy-efficient appliances, or smart home features that might be appealing to buyers. Feel free to include a few personal details about what you’ve loved about living in this home and area.
- Use adjectives: Use adjectives in your listing to describe the features of the home. For example, the “master bedroom” can be described in any of the following ways, “spacious master bedroom”, “master bedroom that is flooded with natural light”, or “cozy master bedroom.” Use adjectives to put a positive spin on areas that may be lacking. For example, an unlandscaped backyard can be described as “natural.” Just don’t go overboard!
- Location: Include the specific neighborhood or area your home is located in, along with any nearby amenities such as schools, parks, shopping centers, and transportation options.
- Price: The price should be obvious (this won’t be a problem when listing on a site like Zillow) and you can consider adding any buyer incentives you plan to include in the advert (such as white goods or paying some of their closing fees).
- Contact information: Make it easy for interested buyers to get in touch with you by providing your phone number and/or email address and what they need to do to book a viewing.
What to Avoid in an FSBO Listing Ad
- Being too informal: You don’t want a listing full of jargon, but equally, you don’t want it to be so casual it doesn’t have any flow. Your listing ad should guide the buyer through the overview of your property, not just state the facts. You also don’t need to include any details that wouldn’t be included if you were selling through a realtor. For example, you don’t need to include the reasons you’re selling or why you chose to make a certain decision.
- Overselling: While it’s important to highlight your home’s best features, avoid exaggerating or using verbose language. This can lead potential buyers to feel mistrustful, even if your pictures look like the exact type of home they’re interested in.
- Neglecting the basics: Don’t forget to include essential information such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and location. Also, don’t try to hide the fact your home is FSBO.
- Not proofreading: Get someone else to read over your listing to check you haven’t misspelled any words or are lacking punctuation. Remember that simple things like this can be the difference between someone taking you seriously and not.
Tips for Making Sure Your FSBO Listing Sells Your Property
- Be strategic with timing: List your home when the real estate market is favorable for sellers. Spring and early summer are often the best times to sell a property, especially in states where it snows.
- Price your home competitively: Research the local market and consult with a real estate professional to determine a fair asking price. Overpricing your home may deter potential buyers and cause your property to sit on the market for an extended period.
- Be responsive: Answer inquiries promptly (within 24 hours, ideally) and professionally.
- Leverage social media: Share your FSBO advert on various social media platforms to increase its visibility and reach a wider audience.
- Offer incentives: Consider offering incentives to attract buyers, such as paying for a portion of the closing costs or offering a home warranty.
Now that you know all the ins and outs of writing a listing for your FSBO home, let’s look at an example advert that puts all of this into practice. Feel free to use this example as a structure for your own listing.
Example FSBO Listing
Headline (if necessary):
Charming 4-Bedroom, 3-Bath Home in Desirable [Neighborhood] – Move-in Ready!
Interested in enjoying the relaxed small-town lifestyle offered by [neighborhood]? This move-in ready 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom single-level home offers 5,500 sqft of living space on a half-acre plot on a quiet road just a few miles from the center of [town].
This home has been recently renovated and now includes an open kitchen-dining room with pocket doors leading into the living room which can be completely concealed when entertaining. The main living spaces have hardwood floors and the bedrooms are carpeted.
The kitchen boasts granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and an island. There’s a deck directly off of the kitchen that provides enough space for outdoor dining with a view over the spacious backyard.
Toward the back of the home, you’ll find a spacious master suite with a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom featuring a soaking tub and separate shower. The additional three bedrooms offer ample space for family members or a home office.
A large driveway provides parking for 3 vehicles and the double garage can be used as a home gym, workshop, or to keep your prized vehicles in top condition. There is a convenient laundry room connecting the garage to the rest of the home.
Located in the top-rated [School District], this home is just a short walk from local parks, shopping, and dining. Easy access to public transportation and major highways makes commuting a breeze.
Priced at $450,000, this move-in-ready gem won’t last long!
This home is FOR SALE BY OWNER. Please contact [Name] at [your phone number] or [your email address] with any questions or to schedule a showing.
Worried there aren’t enough good things to say?
As you can see in the example above, writing a listing is a lot easier when there are a lot of good things to say about a property. If you’re worried about how to sell your home without overselling it in the listing, you may also find that it’s the kind of home that may hang around for a while. If you need to sell a home as-is, we can help.
We buy homes for cash in Massachusetts in any condition, offering a hassle-free solution to your selling woes. With our cash offer, you can avoid paying realtor fees and buyer incentives. Plus, we can close in as little as 2 weeks. Don’t let the stress of selling your home overwhelm you – let us provide a seamless, efficient alternative that puts cash in your pocket as soon as possible.