How to Personally Market a Home for Sale


It’s not uncommon for people to sell their property without a realtor. In general, the two main reasons are having full control over who buys their home and eliminating the middleman. Everyone wants to avoid paying realtor commissions and end up with more money in their pocket.

However, having control over the sales process also means more responsibility for the seller. If you are selling your home without hiring a realtor, know that you have your work cut out for you. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do it, just that you’ll need to invest time and energy to sell your home.

And properly marketing your home is a significant factor in the ‘for sale by owner’ process. You’ll need to advertise your home and attract the right buyer. So, here are marketing tactics you should use when you are selling your home without a realtor.

Choose Your Target Market

Before you start applying different marketing tactics, you should choose your target market. In simple terms, the target market is the people you want to sell your house to and who you’ll focus your marketing efforts on. That doesn’t mean you’ll be excluding anyone, just that one group will be your main target.

You can target individuals or even companies. If you are selling your home personally, you probably don’t want to deal with realtors and wholesalers. However, companies like SleeveUp Homes will buy your property directly from you, avoiding any middlemen, so you can include them in your target market.

Regarding individuals, think about who you’d want to live in your house and who is the likeliest to buy it. If there’s a group of people that meets both criteria, focus on them. Large companies spend thousands of dollars to find specific subgroups that they will focus on. As an individual seller, you don’t need to worry about heavily targeted marketing.

You need to find only one good buyer and you’re set. The three primary criteria that should concern you are location, age, and size of the family. Try to find out who bought homes in your neighborhood lately. Are they local or out of state? What’s their average age? You’ll market the house differently depending on who you want to sell it to.

As far as the size of the family is concerned, there’s not much you can do about that. The size of your house will determine that for you. If you’re selling a large family home, you’ll be primarily marketing to people with large families or those who plan to start a large family. If your house is smaller, you’ll be targeting singles or couples with no kids.

Once you determine your target market, every subsequent step should be guided by it. Once again, that doesn’t mean you’ll exclude anyone. For instance, if you’re targeting single millennials, but an older couple with teenage children offers a good price, there no reason to deny them.

Your aim is to attract the best potential buyers. If, for whatever reasons, people who you didn’t think would be interested in your house are interested, all the better for you. That just means you have more potential buyers than you initially expected.

Cover the Basics

There are a few basic things that you should always do when you decide to sell your home. For one, put up a ‘for sale by owner’ sign. It’s simple and easy, and it may attract a buyer passing through your neighborhood.

Then, tell your extended family, friends, and colleagues that you are selling your house. They may know someone who could be interested. You should also take out an ad in your local paper. And print out a few flyers with your contact information to give out to anyone interested.

These are simple and old-timey marketing tactics, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. Even if you attract no buyers using these tactics, you’ve put minimal effort into them, so it’s no big loss.

A Good Picture Means a Lot

Having good pictures of your home that you can use for marketing is a must. A good picture won’t sell your home, but it can instantly attract a potential buyer. You can think of pictures as clothes for your house – yes, clothes don’t make the man, but they definitely affect the way people perceive him.

You wouldn’t go to a fancy dinner party wearing flip flops and you shouldn’t promote your house with bad pictures. If you have an eye for photography, you can do it yourself. Otherwise, you can always hire a professional photographer.

And keep the group you are targeting in mind when you take the pictures. For instance, if you are selling a family home, take a few extra pictures of the yard where kids can play. If you have a big kitchen, take more than one or two pictures of it. In essence, focus on the features that you think are the most likely to attract your target demographic.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Then, we get to social media. Using social media to promote your house costs you nothing and reaches the most people. Make an account on any social media platform you can think of – be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. You can’t go wrong here.

Provide the relevant information and upload the pictures you took. Depending on the platform, the way you advertise will be different. However, regardless of if you’re posting, tweeting, or uploading stories, it’s all essentially the same. Just remember to keep your account active.

If possible, join specific groups that are relevant to your locality. And don’t forget hashtags that are localized and will target your likely buyers. So, go for #forsalebyowner, #SouthernCalifornia, #familyhome, #community, #-yourneighborhood- + homeforsale, or whatever else is relevant.

Even if using social media is not your forte, it’s easy to pick up. Ask a friend or younger family member for some tips and advice, and you’ll quickly get the hang of it. By disregarding social media you are unnecessarily limiting your pool of potential buyers.

Hold an Open House

Finally, you’ll need to hold open houses. You may not like taking time out of your day to host strangers in your home, but there’s no helping it. An open house will attract the most serious buyers – after all, they also need to take time out of their day to come to your open house. Only people who are truly interested will come.

However, you can hold a virtual open house. Setting up a meeting over Zoom or a similar app is easy. This may be less stressful to you and you can reach a wider audience, especially if you are targeting younger people or people who are planning to move to your area.

Your best bet may be to mix in a virtual open house every two weeks or whatever your schedule allows. Regardless of the specific way you implement it, holding an open house on a regular basis is a marketing tactic you can’t afford to skip.

Good Marketing Takes Time

Don’t expect offers to come flying in as soon as you start marketing your home. Finding the perfect buyer won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to think strategically and spend energy to market your home, but, once everything is over, you’ll have more money in your pocket than if you went through a middleman.