Real Estate Marketing
June 21, 2021

A Complete Guide to Selling Your Home Online

Rahul Agrawal
About Author

When selling a home, as with most anything else, the more “eyeballs” you can get, the better are your odds of making a deal. 

According to NAR reports, 52% of buyers found their dream home online — not by flipping through brochures, driving through target neighborhoods, or contacting an agent for leads. Therefore, your home’s online presence is particularly crucial if you’re selling it on the online market and you have just eight seconds to grab your buyer’s attention.

How to Sell a House Online

There are three main strategies for selling real estate online. The method you choose should depend on your timeline, financial goals, and your willingness to invest time and effort.

  1. Hiring a real estate agent: If you’re an amateur or inexperienced seller, we recommend hiring an agent specializing in online marketing.
  1. For-sale-by-owner (FSBO): If you have the time, experience, skills, and resources, FSBO is an excellent cost-effective option.
  1. iBuyer: If you’re looking for a guaranteed sale that suits your timeline, you can sell your home to an iBuyer.

In this guide, we’ll give you a detailed explanation of these three primary online home selling strategies, so you can win over buyers and sell your home for the most money. So, let’s get you ready to sell!

SELLING YOUR HOUSE ONLINE WITH AN AGENT

The majority of home sellers use the services of a real estate agent for selling their homes online.

According to NAR reports:

  • Most buyers discover their dream home on MLS, and 64% of Realtors call the MLS their top tool.
  • In 2020, 91% of sellers listed their homes on multiple listing services (MLS), and 89% of sellers worked with an agent.

Benefits to Selling Online With a Realtor

A real estate agent’s expertise in networking, marketing, pricing, and negotiating helps you sell your home fast and for significantly more money than you’d probably make selling your home to a direct buyer or selling your home on the market without an agent.

Here are some key benefits of selling your home online with a realtor:

  1. Your home gets listed on MLS.

If your home is listed on MLS, it increases its exposure, thus increasing the chances of selling your home. Only licensed real estate agents have access to this tool, which they can use to post photos and details of your home.

  1. You get the pricing right.

It’s a known fact that pricing can make or break the sale of your home. Your home selling price should be fair and also appealing to the local buyers. But, striking a balance is not easy as it may sound.

Fortunately, real estate agents have the knowledge and methods for arriving at the right home listing price. Through comparative market analysis, they study the local real estate market and set a beneficial price to both the buyer and the seller.

  1. You work with a professional negotiator.

Experienced realtors and real estate agents are great professional negotiators. When negotiating a sale, they are not merely representing your wishes and acting as an intermediary, but they are tenaciously looking for ways to create an agreement between both sides.  

  1. Your online real estate marketing is taken care of.

A realtor has the tools and resources to implement a robust online marketing strategy involving a good social media presence and internet exposure. Today, since a significant portion of the home selling process happens online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate agents have innovative contactless procedures at every step of the home sale process.

Some of the virtual technologies that have become the new normal with real estate agents are:

  • Live virtual open houses
  • 3D virtual tours
  • Facebook live tour
  • High-quality real estate photos

According to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Q2 2020 report, 46% of agents confirm that live virtual open houses and 3D tours have replaced video tours to be the top tool for sight-unseen deals. And companies like Styldod have been instrumental in helping real estate agents get accustomed to the ‘new normal’ faster and with ease. Styldod creates stunning, 100% mobile compatible, single property websites that includes virtually staged property images, 360 virtual tour, floor plans, street views and much more, empowering real estate agents to sell your home online faster and for top dollar.

Tips for Selling Your House Online With a Realtor

  • Check your listing to ensure that it’s accurate and highlights your home’s best features with quality photos.
  • Although your agent is in charge of online marketing, you can share the listing in your network to let people know your home is for sale.
  • Your agent will schedule showings, but you need to be flexible with the timings because the more potential buyers see your home, the more likely you are to sell!

SELLING YOUR HOUSE ONLINE AS AN FSBO

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is a home-selling strategy in which the owner lists their home for sale on their own without the help of a listing agent or broker. Homeowners who choose this option are responsible for all or most of the processes involved in selling a home - from listing the home and showing it to prospective buyers to negotiating the deal and closing.

Benefits of FSBO

One motivating factor that drives homeowners to attempt to sell FSBO is saving a commission. Since you sell the house yourself, you don’t need to pay the real estate agent commission. However, this isn’t the only benefit of FSBO; there are a few more:  

  1. You have complete control over the home sale process.

When you do it solo, you decide everything on your own – from preparing your home for sale, marketing it, determining the price to handling negotiate the price – it’s all on you.

  1. You can devote your full attention to the sale of your home.

Suppose you are a DIY person who has the advantage of time. In that case, you can dedicate all your time and energy to extensively market your home online, be available for property showings, and communicate with potential buyers at any time of the day.

However, there is a long list of things that real estate agents typically do that become your responsibility.

  • Research your market
  • Learn about disclosure rules
  • Set a competitive price
  • Clean and stage
  • Photography
  • Listing
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Social media strategy
  • Networking
  • Accommodate and attend showings
  • Screen buyers
  • Negotiating
  • Accept offer
  • Go under contract and attorney review (if applicable)
  • Prepare and sign the closing paperwork

Ways for Selling FSBO Online

Interestingly, 36% of millennial sellers and 34% of urban sellers attempt to or succeed in selling their homes on their own. If you want to be successful, learn the following ways to sell your home on your own:

  1. List by owner on the MLS for a flat fee.

With the small flat fee, you can get access to active buyers and real estate agents who use MLS as a primary tool to find homes on sale. Once your listing is in the database, you can make changes to the listing, schedule open houses, and list your personal contact information for ease of showing and reviewing offers.

Search for flat fee MLS listing sites, such as Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc. Next, create an account, upload photos, and other information. Some tips for searching for the right flat fee MLS listing site:

  • Check to see if the MLS listing site is a member of the MLS for your area.
  • Always shop and compare.
  • Verify their cancellation policy so that you never feel trapped in a flat fee MLS listing.
  1. Use social media to build a network of potential buyers.

If you are in the real estate market, trying to sell your home independently, social media should be an essential part of your strategy. So, the more seriously you can take your social media activities, the better are your chances of selling your home quicker. Some of the things you should keep in mind while using social media for marketing your home for sale are:

  • Don’t ignore Facebook. It’s probably the most important social media site for selling your home because it offers you a larger audience, hence greater reach.
  • Create a high-quality post. Use high-quality professional real estate photos. Write an engaging description to highlight the best features of the property. If you need help with real estate photography, our real estate photography guide is the right resource for you.
  • Create a virtual tour of your property. Virtual tours are a great way to show off your property – a perfect solution during times of social distancing. They are quicker, efficient, affordable, and make your listing more attractive. If saving money is the greatest motivation behind you going FSBO, then Styldod can offer great virtual tours at affordable pricing.  
Visit our blog for more social media marketing strategies.
  • Keep your potential buyers engaged. Engagement leads to more activity and a wider audience. Some ideas to foster engagement are as follows:
  1. Share your post into local Facebook groups
  2. Prompt people to comment
  3. Request people to share
  4. Post polls
  5. Post upcoming open houses
  6. Offer giveaways

Tips for Selling Your House Online if You’re Going FSBO

  • Be professional. Try to emulate the techniques used by professional real estate agents in your area. Use high-quality photos in the listing and make the description engaging.
  • Don’t overprice. Overpricing can increase your home’s time on the market, leading to a stale listing.
  • Offer buyer’s agent commission. Although you don’t have to pay a commission to a listing agent (because you don’t have one), it’s a smart strategy to offer a commission to a buyer’s agent. Make sure you mention it in online advertising. If the buyer’s agent sees you are offering a commission, they will be more inclined to show your home to their client.

SELLING YOUR HOUSE ONLINE TO AN iBUYER COMPANY

What is an iBuyer?

An iBuyer is a company that makes an offer on your home instantly with the help of technology. iBuyers are responsible for causing a dramatic shift in the way people sell or buy homes. These technology-driven companies offer a simple and more convenient alternative to a traditional home sale.

Top iBuyer Companies

iBuyers evaluate the value of your home and make an offer. If you accept, they take the responsibility of owning, marketing, and reselling the home. Some of the top iBuyer companies are:

  1. Zillow

In 2018, Zillow announced its iBuying program. Aptly named Zillow Offer, it makes instant cash offers on your home.

  1. Offerpad

Launched in 2015, Offerpad has become the second-largest iBuyer in the US. It aims to eliminate stress and hassle associated with the home selling process.  

  1. Opendoor

Launched in 2014, Opendoor is a pioneer in iBuying platforms and programs in the US. This largest iBuyer enables you to sell your home and move into a new one easily.

  1. RedfinNow

Redfin introduced RedfinNoW, its iBuyer platform, in 2017. With its plans to expand in the pipeline, RedfinNow enables you to sell your house in under 30 days.

  1. UpNest

UpNest was founded in 2013 to help buyers and sellers find qualified, local real estate agents to ensure a quick, stress-free transaction.

  1. Orchard

Orchard introduced its iBuyer program in 2017. It aims to reduce the stress and uncertainty associated with selling and buying a home.

  1. Homelight

HomeLight entered the real estate industry in 2012. This company relies heavily on data and a proprietary algorithm to help you find a top real estate agent in your area.

Pros of Selling to an iBuyer

  1. You can close the sale on a day of your choosing.

iBuyers promise a speedy selling process. You don’t need to wait on the interest of a potential buyer. The iBuyer can close a deal within 24 hours or at the time frame that works best for you.

  1. You get a cash offer on your home.

iBuyers offer to buy your home in cash. So, if you have a cash crunch, need monetary flexibility, or in a time-restricted situation where you need immediate access to cash, then iBuyer could be your best bet. Typically, you can get the cash offer within 24 hours.

  1. You don’t need to handle showings.

The best part of using an iBuyer is handling the showings once the house is bought and dealing with potential buyers themselves.

  1. You can buy your next home without a contingency.

If you aren’t qualified for two mortgages, it’s a headache to time the sale of your current home perfectly so that you can buy your next home. iBuyers provide cash offers for your current home at your time frame and help you seamlessly move into your new home.

  1. You don’t need to find a realtor.

Finding the right realtor to sell your home can be a long and challenging process. With an iBuyer, you don’t need anybody else – just you and the iBuyer are good enough.

Tips for Selling Your House Online if You’re Selling Through an iBuyer

  • Have a timeline in mind because iBuyers deals with cash offers, and you need to decide the closing time that suits you the best.

Why Sell Homes online?

Some of the several reasons why you should consider selling your home online include:

  • Selling a home online gives you the opportunity to directly market your home to a considerable pool of potential buyers.
  • Selling online offers flexibility to change inaccuracies, review your offer or property description before your listing goes live.
  • Through your online marketing efforts, you can attract different people like home developers, investors, and regular buyers looking to buy houses.
  • With online home selling, you can operate according to your schedule. Technology can help you sell the house without any stress from the comfort of your home.
  • Selling your house online is the best when you need a fast sale and quick cash.

Regardless of how you decide to sell your house online, one thing is certain — selling a home online is easier, faster, and costs less.

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