If you had, or were a kid, in 1989, you likely remember when Ariel from The Little Mermaid sings, “I want to be where the people are.” Even 30 years later, she still might be onto something. When it comes to knowing how to sell your home online, you do want to be where the people are… or at least promote your listing where they are.
While I’m not an expert in selling underwater castles (yet), I do understand how to sell your home online. The visibility of your home matters and where buyers look matters even more. If you take notes and ask questions, you could turn a major profit on what financial guru, Suze Orman calls “the keystone of wealth & emotional security”. Here are the two sure methods regarding how to sell your home online.
Option 1 – Sell your home online – with an agent
Making the choice to sell your home online with an agent is the most common method for a reason, but it will cost you. A seller typically pays the commission for both their listing agent and a buyer’s agent that brings the buyer. However, with advances in technology, it is now easier than ever to find an agent who will provide full-service listings for 1.5%. If you consider all that an agent can do for you, it certainly can be worth it.
Get in the MLS
This is the name of the game. If you want to be where 93% of buyers look to find a home, this is paramount to getting a quick sale for a high price. Although, to get access to the MLS, you have to be a licensed agent. This is where the decision to use an agent starts to pay off. Agents upload the details of your home and photos for you to promote and market your home for you in a multitude of ways. There are lots of promotion tricks our there, but the MLS is the most trusted and most common method to find home buyers.
Option 2 – Sell your home online – without an agent
Aside form the obvious choice of choosing to list with a REALTOR®, you might also choose to list it yourself. If you do sell your home online without an agent, here are a few things to quick tips make your journey easier. Although for a more complete list, click here.
Free FSBO resources
If you choose not to promote your listing in the MLS, to avoid paying a buyer agent commission, it will definitely be harder to find a quality buyer, but I can be done if you know what to do.
- Free exposure – Here are a few websites where you can list your home to help increase your visibility: Homefinder, Craigslist, eBay, ZIllow, Facebook, Amazon, Homes, Realtor, and Owners. Sure Craigslist is free, but the audience that you have to promote to is very limited and unlikely flush with cash. It’s also worth considering posting your home in a Buy-Sell-Trade group on Facebook as that is gaining popularity as well.
- Sphere of influence – Those close to you in your life are more likely to help you than someone you barely know. How are those close to you willing to help? Can they share your listing on their page or talk about it? Do you have any connections with your neighborhood association or access to their website?
Pay for Exposure
- Spend money to make money – When it comes to real estate, the old adage does rings true. You do need to spend money to make money. However, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Putting up a For Sale sign in your yard is a good start, but you’re really only letting those in the immediate proximity know about your sale. For best results, this should be used in conjunction with a Flat Fee MLS service.
- Flat Fee MLS – Many consider this service the hidden gem resource for home sellers as Flat Fee MLS agents & brokers will promote your home on thousands of websites for next to nothing. Again, 93% of all homes purchased within the last year were found on the MLS, so to sell quickly, you want to be where the people are.
Find a Transaction Coordination Service
- You have accepted an offer! Now what? – When you do accept an offer, you’re going to be so excited. But, now what? Do you know, legally, what you should and/or shouldn’t do next without missing a key step? There are tech-savvy services out there who outpace the competition to serve FSBOs. Transactly, and other companies like it, can help provide transaction coordination services like ordering a title search, scheduling an inspections or services, and handling all the shuffling of paperwork to make sure you have a successful and smooth closing.
When it comes to selling your home online, with or without a REALTOR®, you want to be where the people are (like Ariel says) to get the best offer. If you’re not there yet, it’s not too late.