Selling Your House on the Internet


Posting your house online exposes it to lots of potential buyers. Do it right!

By Tracy Leigh Ritts

 

As spring arrives, folks all over the country are selling their houses. It’s been a difficult market for a few years now, and although it's getting easier there are a number of things homeowners can do to on the road to success.

Increase your odds or eliminate an expensive commission to a real estate agent — or accomplish both — by attempting to sell your home on the Internet. If nothing else, the exposure is a terrific marketing tool!

Here are some tips to take into consideration:

  • Know the right price range your house falls into. You’ll want to do a search of comparable houses in your city and neighborhood to see what other homes are selling for. You’ll also want to have your home appraised, so you know its value, before you try to sell it.
  • If you do have a real estate agent, make sure to take full advantage of her or his Web site to show the house. You also can visit the International Real Estate Directory for a listing of For Sale by Owner sites. Make sure your agent knows you are listing the house elsewhere as well on her site.
  • Review the listing packages carefully. Which one will best allow you to showcase your home and still fall within your budget? The goal is to get your house out there so that buyers can find it. You want to make it as easy for them as you can.
  • You’ll have an online form to fill out that will ask for a description of the property, your price, and your contact information. Use positive words in the description. For example, rather than saying “small living room” use “cozy living room,” instead of “unfinished attic,” say “good attic storage” and rather then “oversized kitchen” describe it as “eat-in kitchen.”
  • Choose listing sites that display pictures of the properties -- as many as you can that show the house off to its best advantage. Take pictures of both the interior of the house and the yard. Select only good looking vantage points. If you don’t have a scanner, you’ll have to have photos scanned, but it is well worth the price. Buyers like to see what your home looks like, and if they like what they see, you’re house will go on their shortlist of homes to visit in person.
  • Be aware of your listing expiration and renewal dates. You don’t want your listing to lapse, even for a day.

There’s no guarantee that by listing your house online it will sell, but it definitely increases your odds. After all, the more people who are exposed to your home, the better chance you have. Good luck!


Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. Her book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy, was released in 2008.