Proof Sellers Shouldn’t Do Their Own Marketing

I was reading the marketing remarks for a For Sale By Owner listings the other day. Like most FSBO marketing remarks, it was light on what matters to most buyers and heavy on the minor things the seller found fascinating about the home. This particular one went on and on about the different fruit bearing bushes. Not that I am saying that doesn’t matter. Just saying that feature might appeal greatly to 5% of the buyers and 95% will wonder how hard it is to maintain all that. You only have a buyer’s attention for so long. If you have loooooong marketing remarks, you need to keep them interesting. The moment people get bored they do what? That’s right, they move on.

While my wife and I were watching Doctor Who with one of our sons, I got to thinking about the time we were in the market for a Subaru Outback. A used one. We decided we wanted one with the 6 cylinder engine and leather seats. My wife wanted one with the big sunroof too. That meant a Limited one or the L.L. Bean Edition.

The 6 cylinder ones were hard to find. You could find a zillion 4 cylinder ones with the other features we wanted. Then one day I find a classified ad from our local paper. All it said was “2008 Subaru Outback. ‘Si Drive’. $23,000.” That was it. I often wondered how many calls this seller got on the car with that description. See, the “Si Drive” feature was ONLY available with the 6 Cylinder cars. The 6 cylinder cars only came in the Limited and L.L. Bean trim levels. So, I knew THIS was the one we were looking for.

We bought it. My wife loved it until the right rear wheel kept ripping off lug nuts even after replacing everything twice. We literally drove the wheels off that car, which shouldn’t happen with less than 65,000 miles on it. It is gone now, but it makes a good example of how not to sell your car. I am sure if that seller would have said “Leather, Sunroof, heated seats, L.L. Bean Package, 6 cylinder” rather than just “Si Drive”, he would have sold it sooner and for probably more money than I gave him.

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