How to Market a House for Sale: 9 Creative Methods

Jamie Ayers's Photo
By Jamie Ayers Updated May 1, 2024
's Photo
Edited by Steve Nicastro


Struggling to sell your home without a realtor? Thinking outside the box may be the key to selling quickly and for a great price. 

When it comes to selling a home, reaching qualified buyers is crucial. But how do you do that? While putting a For Sale sign in your front yard is a common approach, it's not particularly original and won't reach a wide audience.

Here are 10 creative ways to market your home and stand out.

📷 Why partnering with an agent is essential

Experienced local real estate agents have developed techniques for marketing homes that work with buyers in your area.

Your best course of action is to connect with a low-cost, full-service listing agent for a consultation. Agents use expertise and tools to maximize exposure, leading to more views, showings, and offers. 

Statistics show all buyers search online, prioritizing photos (85%) and detailed property info (53%).[1] With professional photography and strategic marketing, agents showcase your home effectively, increasing the chances of a successful sale. Find an agent with Clever Real Estate today!

How to market a house for sale in 9 steps

1. Sell your house fast with an experienced agent

What is the most effective way to market your home for sale? It's simple: hire a professional to handle it.

Working with an experienced listing agent is crucial for executing successful marketing strategies for your home. Their local expertise and professional marketing services can significantly boost your chances of selling quickly and for an excellent price.

A strong, experienced agent can provide you with: 

  • A comparative market analysis (CMA) to pinpoint a fair listing price that will neither scare away buyers nor invite lowball offers.
  • Professional photography that showcases your home's best features and creates a warm, inviting atmosphere for potential buyers.
  • Video and 3D tours to increase your listing's visibility and accommodate out-of-town buyers who can't visit in person.
  • Posting on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the premier platform for home sales, utilized by 86% of all sellers.[1]

Ultimately, a realtor's adept marketing skills and connections with photographers and videographers play a significant role. Realtor-assisted homes sell for nearly $50,000 more on average than those sold FSBO.[2]

You don't have to compromise on creative marketing to stay within budget. By partnering with a discount real estate broker like Clever Real Estate, you can access full-service assistance at a fraction of the cost. With Clever, you'll pay a low flat listing fee of just 1.5%, significantly below the national average commission rate of 2.83%.

2. Play up the neighborhood's vibe

Highlighting your neighborhood's unique features and atmosphere can greatly increase your home's appeal. According to a recent industry survey, 60% of all home buyers cite the quality of the neighborhood as the most important factor determining the location of a house.[1] 

Emphasizing important neighborhood features can attract potential buyers. These may include popular restaurants or attractions, parks and green spaces, and family-friendly amenities like clubhouses and pools.

If you're selling a condo or townhouse with an HOA, ensure you include quality photos of the amenities provided by the association, such as pools, fitness centers, trails, and shared community spaces.

3. Find motivated buyer's agents

Connecting with buyer's agents is essential when selling FSBO. These agents often have a broad network of potential buyers who might be interested in your property. So, networking with agents can significantly increase your home's visibility and attract serious buyers.

Consider attending local events where real estate professionals gather, such as happy hours, industry conferences, or meetings. Alternatively, you can search for top-producing agents on platforms like Zillow and and contact them directly.

Once you've made contact in person, provide the buyer's agents with a printed or emailed document detailing your home's key features, including its size, location, and asking price. You can also share your home's online listing and include any additional relevant information that might not be included in the listing itself. Don't forget to provide your contact information and preferred showing times.

4. Get creative with yard signs

Differentiate yourself in your area by creating attention-grabbing yard signs that pique interest and generate excitement. Consider using larger, more vibrant, or uniquely shaped signs to attract attention to your property and start conversations.

Using contrasting colors boosts visibility and impact. For instance, red against black creates a striking effect, while red on a white background may appear softer. Ideal outdoor sign colors are bold and bright, like reds, blues, and whites.

The placement of your yard sign matters, too. Position the sign near the sidewalk or street for passersby to read it easily. Avoid making them go too far onto the property. Additionally, smaller sidewalk signs at key neighborhood entrances can improve visibility, especially if the property is away from busy streets.

5. Host a great open house

Open houses are a great idea for FSBO sellers to market their homes and attract potential buyers. However, creating a successful open house requires a lot of attention to detail and planning, and you'll need to get a little creative. 

  • Choosing the right time for your open house is crucial. While most are held on weekends, scheduling a weekday event after work hours can accommodate busy schedules and potentially attract more attendees. 
  • Promoting the open house extensively through social media, neighborhood flyers, and online listings is essential. Platforms like Zillow can notify viewers about upcoming open houses in your area.
  • Consider the fact that many visitors may bring children along. Creating a welcoming environment with snacks and games can cater to their needs and improve their experience. 
  • Adding inviting touches such as fresh flowers, candles, or decorations, along with maintaining a clean exterior, can significantly boost the appeal of your home.
  • Providing ample information about your home and the neighborhood is also essential. Prepare printed materials in advance detailing community amenities and other relevant details. 

Finally, having a sign-in sheet allows you to collect attendees' contact information for follow-up purposes. Following up with each attendee afterward can help gauge their interest and address any questions, ultimately increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.

6. Appeal to unconventional buyers

Broaden your scope to appeal to unconventional buyers by offering alternative selling options. 

For example, consider rent-to-own agreements where you lease your home with the option for the tenant to purchase it later. This approach can attract individuals who may not qualify for traditional mortgages but are interested in homeownership. For the seller, it could mean making more money on the home than they would have earned in a conventional sale. 

If your home requires repairs or you need to sell quickly, reaching out to cash home buyers or investors could be beneficial. Investors may be interested in purchasing your property for cash, allowing for a fast sale and alleviating the need for extensive repairs or staging.

Finally, exploring niche markets or unique selling propositions can further broaden your pool of potential buyers. For example, by highlighting eco-friendly features (a tankless water heater or solar panels, for example) or emphasizing a guest room that could be a home office, you could attract buyers with specific preferences or needs.

Get cash offers ASAP!

Considering selling quickly or dealing with repair costs? Cash home buyers offer a viable solution. However, it's crucial to explore multiple offers to ensure you receive the best price.

You can take this step independently, with realtor assistance, or via a complimentary service like Clever Offers. Clever connects you with thoroughly screened cash buyers, each submitting competitive bids for your home.

7. Use creative videos

Virtual tours, particularly 3D tours with interactive floor plans, offer multiple advantages for sellers. They attract serious buyers, enabling them to streamline their selection process before committing to in-person viewings, thus saving time for all involved parties. 

Research from Zillow indicates that listings featuring a 3D tour receive 37% more views on average than those without one.[3]

To maximize the appeal of your listing, consider creating high-quality videos or 3D tours that captivate potential buyers, enticing them to explore further. Engaging visuals showcase your home and highlight the neighborhood, adding to its allure. Properties with virtual tours also gain increased exposure on Zillow, with higher visibility in specialized search results and dedicated buyer emails.

Zillow's 3D Home app offers an optional interactive floor plan feature, adding another layer of functionality to virtual tours. This feature allows users to easily navigate the home, aided by a detailed floor plan displaying their current location and the overall layout.[3]

8. Market your house before it hits the MLS

To build anticipation and exclusivity for your home sale, consider showcasing your property before it officially hits the market. This strategy involves offering private showings to select individuals or utilizing social media teasers to attract eager buyers.

Share your home's photos and key details on platforms like social media or distribute flyers in your neighborhood to provide a sneak peek of what's to come. Creating a "Coming Soon" listing allows interested parties to glimpse your property before it's widely available on the MLS or popular real estate websites like Zillow.

This approach can capture the attention of motivated buyers eager to act quickly. You may even receive immediate offers by generating early interest, laying the groundwork for a successful sale.

9. Offer rewards for social media leads

Maximize your social network's reach by sharing your home listing across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels. Elevate your strategy by motivating friends and family to spread the word.

For example, consider incentivizing their efforts with rewards like gift cards or entries into a contest, encouraging sharing and amplifying visibility among potential buyers.

FAQ about marketing a house for sale

How do I sell a unique house?

If your house is unique and doesn’t appeal to everyone, take some extra steps in your marketing. That’s where the tactics above might help, including having a well-prepared and marketed open house or offering to work with people who can’t finance traditionally.

How do I sell my house quickly?

To sell your home quickly, you need a great realtor who can help you set the right price with a CMA report, which values your home based on a comparison of recently sold homes in your area. A price too high or too low will drive people away, so setting the right price is crucial.

Instead, work with a professional who performs CMAs regularly and can help you set the perfect number. They should also have a strong marketing strategy to help you sell quickly.

How do you market a home that's having trouble selling?

First, look at it from an outside perspective. Is there some possible issue that's holding your home back from selling? Is your asking price too high? Or, are potential buyers simply not finding your house listing online?

It's best to consult with an experienced, local realtor who can help you pinpoint any potential problems holding your house back from selling.

How do you sell a home in a bad market?

If the market is poor in your area, you'll need to work extra hard to help your home stand out and make sure you offer incentives to attract buyers.

For instance, you’ll want to make sure your curb appeal is top-notch and that your interior is updated and in great shape. A new coat of paint, updated tile, and modern fixtures make a big difference.

Incentives can help a lot, too, such as throwing in a free TV, hot tub, or another item you could leave behind when you move or perhaps offering to pay part (or all) of a buyer's closing costs. People love free items, or money to help pay for their closing costs, and it can make a big difference in getting a sale.

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