Strategies For Selling Your House Online That Really Work (If Followed)
What You Will Read In This Article
Selling your house online requires experience and expertise in digital marketing to successfully close with the right buyer for the highest purchase price. Let’s dive in! Here are the three best strategies for selling your house online.
We Have 3 Online Home Selling Options!
Did you know that we can help you save a lot of money when selling your house online? Money that you can put towards moving, buying a new house, paying off debt, a much needed vacation or anything else you want. ISoldMyHouse.com has 3 ways for you to sell your house and NOT pay high commissions.
- Sell It Yourself With Our Flat Fee MLS Listings
- Sell With Top Local Agents With Negotiated Discounts on Commissions
- Sell To A Pre-Qualified Cash Buyer
Selling Your House Online As A FSBO
FSBO means For Sale By Owner. As an FSBO, you’re acting as your own agent when selling your house online.
The home-selling process is long and complicated, with many moving parts to succeed. While not impossible, it will take a great deal of investment in time and effort.
If time is on your side, then there are many benefits for you to take on the challenge.
Benefits to Selling Online as a FSBO
Save on Commission
4 – 6% of the home purchase price sounds small, but on a $256,000 sale, that’s potentially $15,000 that you could save on commission fees. While you get to save on the commission costs, you can put that money toward marketing, advertising your home, or toward a future expense.
Start Selling Right Away with Full Control
You can save yourself time as well by eliminating the need to spend time finding the right agent. Finding someone you can trust is not always easy, and it can be hard finding an agent with top-notch skills in every area and years of experience.
Relying less on finding the right person means you can get started on selling your home right away!
And you will get full control over all the details of how you sell your home, who you let in to see it, and who you sell it to.
Already Have the Skills and Experience
Like with an agent, selling a home FSBO requires applying the right skills and having as much experience under your belt to increase the likelihood of success.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you have the necessary skills to do the job well?
- Social Media Strategy
- Legal Contracting
- Research & Data Analysis
- How many times have you done this before?
- Have you done your research and know what to do?
- Do you understand how to ensure the sale is legally binding?
If you can answer those questions with confidence, then you’re more than capable of selling the house yourself.
Strong Sellers’ Market
When there is limited inventory, prices tend to go up, and there are more buyers than homes to sell. In a strong sellers’ market, it only requires minimal marketing and advertising, and sellers often end up in multiple offer situations with buyers raising market value.
Waiting to sell at the right time can benefit the FSBO strategy of selling your house online.
Access to Qualified Buyers
Online exposure is more crucial as an FSBO property because you need to gain access to bigger pools of qualified buyers than just your network.
It’s in your best interest to create as many new leads that are financially capable of purchasing your home. Anyone of them could be someone you potentially sell to.
As an owner, these are some very cost-effective options for listing on popular sites.
The Best Tool For Selling FSBO Online – Flat Fee MLS
List by owner on the MLS for a flat fee.
You’ll save tons of money on commission costs, spending only a couple of thousand dollars while getting the maximum amount of exposure possible. With the small investment, you’ll get access to all the real estate agents and active buyers who use MLS as their primary source for finding homes on sale.
By putting your listing in the database, you are free to make changes to the listing and schedule open houses. You list your personal contact information to handle the process of showing and reviewing offers.
To list for a flat fee on the MLS do the following:
- Find a Flat Fee MLS Broker – Choose a reputable company with a good network of licensed real estate brokers. If they’re reputable, they’ll cover listings in the primary MLS for your area rather than just putting you in any MLS in the state. A good broker will be responsive and responsible for maintaining your active listing. They will forward you inquiries and buyer leads.
Check to see if they’re a member of the MLS for your area. There are multiple MLS services, so choose one that suits your county. Don’t be afraid to shop and compare. You should never feel locked into a flat fee MLS listing, so verify their cancellation policy.
- Purchase the Flat Fee MLS Listing – Finding the right broker and company is the most challenging part! If you’ve gotten past step 1, then all you need to do is purchase the flat fee MLS listing with that company. We think you will be very happy if you choose ISoldMyHouse.com!
- Provide Info About Your Property – The company will require you to fill out some paperwork providing information about your property. Ensure that all the information is correct because once filed, it goes into the database for your listing.
- Upload Your Best Photos – Present your house with professionally photographed photos. Please don’t think just taking a few quick shots with your cell phone camera will do a good job, it won’t. Consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos of each room in your home from different angles, as well as the exterior. There’s typically a limit of 25 – 40 photos for a flat fee MLS listing. Check with your company for what they and your MLS allow.
- Sign Listing Agreement – There will be a listing agreement to lay out the terms from the broker and the commission fee for them to handle your listing. There are typically two types of listing agreements, described below.
- Exclusive Right To Sell, where you pay the broker regardless of how you sell
- Exclusive Agency Agreements, where if you sell outside of their MLS company, the broker does not get paid a commission
Pro Tip: It’s better to sign an Exclusive Agency Agreement. Be cautious with Exclusive Right To Sell.
We put together the video below for you to watch that shows you everything you need to know about how to use flat fee MLS to list your house without a Realtor.
To list a house as FSBO on Zillow is very easy.
- Make a Zillow account.
- Claim your home by searching for your home and clicking “I’m the Owner.”
- Navigate to “Sell” in the top navigation and select “For Sale By Owner.”
- Type in the address of the home you want to sell.
- Confirm the property’s location.
- Add in the details for your home, including info, photos, and contact information.
- Publish your home listing by clicking the checkmark at the bottom of the page!
You’ll be able to edit your listing, and the post will stay active for 90 days. And guess what? It’s free!
Pro Tip: Keep in mind, if you choose to purchase a flat fee MLS listing, your listing in the MLS will sync out and override your FSBO listing on Zillow. This is good because it will keep your listing data in sync on all real estate platforms.
How to post on social media:
- Make Multiple Social Media Accounts and Garner Followers and Connections – By creating these connections, you’re building a network of potential buyers to market your listing to. Facebook is probably the most important social media site for selling your home.
- Create a High-Quality Post – Include the same high-quality professional photos as you would with an MLS listing and Zillow. Write up accurate information to highlight the best features of your property.
- Post at the Optimal Time to Maximize Viewing – Wednesdays tend to be the highest engagement on social media platforms. Post at times when people are more likely to have time to check their social media, like mornings before work, lunch, late afternoon, or 5 pm.
- Continue Engagement – There are many strategies to foster engagement with your content. Some ideas are:
- Share your post into local Facebook groups
- Asking others to share
- Prompting people to comment
- Posting upcoming open houses
- Posting polls
- Doing giveaways
Engagement leads to more activity and a wider audience. Since it’s free to post, there’s no reason not to! Finding a trusted buyer through your network will also make for an easier sale.
Selling Your House Online With An Agent
Selling with a listing agent usually costs about 6% of the home’s purchase price. Typically, the seller pays this commission from the proceeds at the close of the sale. While it has its costs, there are many crucial benefits to hiring an agent to help.
Benefits to Selling Online with a Realtor
Invaluable Guidance Through the Home-Selling Process
Experienced listing agents should know the ins and outs of the home-selling process. With houses, finalizing a sale often comes with lots of paperwork, requiring plenty of knowledge of disclosures, contracts, addendums, riders, etc.
This is where a listing agent’s extensive knowledge about property rights, real estate law, ethics, and requirements for the closing of sale plays a crucial role in moving your sale forward.
Listing agents spend anywhere from 60 to 135 hours on pre-licensing training to prepare for their licensing exam to become real estate agents. Their expertise can be invaluable, especially for first-time and inexperienced sellers. But the trick is you have to make sure you find the best agent in your area that can get the job done and works well for your personality.
Showing your House in the Best Light
Putting your best foot forward in showing the house converts interested buyers into actual serious offers. Two of the most significant pieces are staging and photography.
A listing agent can help stage the house, making your home a lot more attractive to prospective buyers. Agents can connect you with professional photographers as well. Having both can make your listing a lot more appealing, leading to more showings and hopefully more offers. And if you get multiple offers you can leverage them to flush out the highest and best deal!
Fair Market Value and Pricing
As a seller, you’ll likely wonder how much is my house worth today? And am I pricing this right for the market?
That’s precisely what a listing agent is for! A listing agent will be able to get the answers to these questions by doing a fair market analysis of surrounding properties that are sold or are for sale in your neighborhood.
Depending on your needs, you can price your home appropriately or competitively. Backed by data and not just an online home valuation tool, an agent will help you make an informed decision, removing all doubt of what is both fair and strategic.
Negotiate for you
The home-buying and selling process is often stressful and emotional for both parties involved. A listing agent brings in an objective third person to professionally negotiate with buyers and their agents for you.
They will weed through non-interested parties and unqualified buyers, leaving you with only the most serious and best offers. And agents can then recommend appropriate counteroffers and get you top dollar for your home.
Online Real Estate Marketing
One of the first things that listing agents do is post your house online and start marketing. Agents know the most popular sites with high traffic and can publicize the listing through their networks, giving maximum house exposure. This will take a lot of work off your shoulders by having an agent manage the listing for you.
Some of the most popular sites where agents list houses for sale are:
MLS is a multiple listing service with a massive database of home listings for sale by realtors.
MLS pulls from roughly 580 regional databases, where each regional MLS has its listings. Home sellers can’t directly post to the MLS; only licensed agents and brokers who pay for access can. Although as described above, an owner can work with a flat fee MLS listing company if they are selling by owner.
Zillow is one of the most popular consumer sites for homes. They provide everything from buying and selling a home to renting, financing, and even remodeling.
With over 110 million U.S. homes, they can provide a lot of data around current and predicted market value as well as home history. Consumers can quickly contact listing agents, and when listing on Zillow, they prioritize listings from MLS and broker feeds.
Redfin is another popular site for listing homes. Redfin provides listing agents that work directly with Redfin for less than the usual listing fee. They also offer full services, including market analysis, pricing strategy, and connect you with professionals for free professional photos and 3d walkthroughs.
Realtor.com is one of the most comprehensive MLS sites, with 99% of home listings on the site. 90% of for-sale listings are refreshed every 15 min.
Realtor.com also provides tools and resources to make informed real estate decisions. It is a hotspot for real estate news, frequently asked questions and answers, and mortgage information. Also, the only way to list on Realtor.com is listing with an agent or a flat fee MLS company.
IDX is the Internet Data Exchange. It enables real estate professionals to display the most up-to-date information on real estate listings directly on their websites. They have their website programmer attach the IDX feed directly to their website to allow users to perform public searches.
If a listing agent chooses to use an IDX on their site, it becomes a powerful way to get leads as the IDX would put the most appealing listings in front of prospective buyers. Buyers also get the most updated information, creating a positive user experience and is a nice alternative to Zillow, Realtor.com and the other major search portals.
Your Agent’s Social Media Pages
Social media pages are standard for an agent. Agents use these to advertise real estate listings that are for sale and open houses that are scheduled.
With the right social media posting strategy, a listing agent can spread awareness about the home you’re selling. Your home will gain more visibility and could increase your chances of selling to a new network of engaged local buyers.
We Found Great Agents and Negotiated Lower Fees For You!
ISoldMyHouse.com has negotiated significantly lower commissions with some of the best real estate brokers so you don’t have to. We will match you with a top local agent in your area that will sell your house (without sacrificing service) for a much lower fee!
Selling Your House Online To An iBuyer Company
iBuyer’s are a company that makes an offer on your home instantly or at least thats the concept in reality it is not instant. Selling a home is complicated. They can take on the burden of owning, marketing, and reselling your home, leaving you with more certainty of selling and a stress-free experience.
The popular iBuyer companies are the following:
Opendoor is one of the sites that you can use to “trade-in” your home. They’ll make you a competitive offer and work on your selling timelines, lining up a time to sell with your next purchase. Not everyone can qualify for two mortgages, and it can be especially helpful for those looking to buy a second home.
We did an in-depth review of how Opendoor works here.
Zillow Instant Offers
Zillow offers a similar friction-free experience with some options.
- Accept an offer and sell directly to Zillow.
- Reject the offers and list MLS with an agent that partners with Zillow.
We also did an in-depth review of how Zillow Instant Offers works here.
Other iBuyers and We Buy Houses Companies
Selling to iBuyers may sell for a lower sale price than a traditional sale, but what you get are the speed and convenience. Other companies that buy houses similar to Opendoor and Zillow are:
Is It Hard To Sell a House Online?
Yes, it is! That’s only because selling your house is a fairly complicated process.
But with the right strategy, you’ll successfully be able to sell your house online. In fact, because of the internet, selling your house is much, much easier than without. By doing your research, carefully studying the market and forming the right strategy you can successfully sell your home online.
Further Reading: Looking For More Resources On How To Make The Online Home Selling Process Easier? Check These Helpful Articles Out!
Tips for Successfully Selling a Home Online
To recap, we covered a lot of ground here and reviewed 3 options for you to sell your house online.
If you’re a first-time or inexperienced seller, we recommend selling your home with a listing agent that specializes in online marketing. At a small percentage of the purchase price, they will provide full service for managing your listing. If you need a recommendation, we have a nationwide network of top-rated agents that we negotiated discounts with for you to take advantage of, learn more here.
If you have the time, skills, experience, and resources, selling as FSBO can be a great cost-effective option, leaving you with more money in your pocket at the end of the sale. As we said above, selling your house this way can be both effective and a great way to save the most amount of money on commissions. If you want to learn more about our flat fee MLS listing options, check out the details here.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a convenient and guaranteed sell that suits your timeline better, then you can sell your home to an iBuyer or a buy my house company. Leaving it to them to own, market, and resell your property means less stress and complication for you. If you would like to receive a cash offer on your home, we also buy houses, request your cash offer here.
Once you reviewed those 3 options, we want to leave you with a few tips we want to reinforce to help you be successful. You will want to make sure you follow these helpful tips when selling online.
- Ensure your home is listed on the MLS and all the major real estate websites
- Take professional photographs and upload the maximum amount allowed
- Write a compelling home description
- Share your home on social media
- Don’t forget to tell everyone about your home being for sale online!
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com, the broker of Get LISTED Realty and an official member of the Forbes Real Estate Council. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, Fox News, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.