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Selling Your Own Home Online

Mar 31, 2008
Nearly 80% of those who bought a house last year started their search online. If you're selling your own home, an online For Sale By Owner (FSBO) site is nearly a must. According to realtors, most people who browse FSBO sites will view at least one house that they first saw online - and about half will purchase a home that they found in an online selling your own home web site. Knowing that, how can you not take advantage of all the new selling techniques available to those who are selling their own homes?

What sort of selling techniques are available to you if you're selling your own home online? Depending on the site, you can literally have a 24/7 open house - without ever opening your front door. With photographs, multiple listings, virtual tours and floor plans, you can literally allow prospective buyers to tour your house without ever leaving their own homes.

There are several different ways to go about selling your own home through an online FSBO web site. Your best option is to contract with a local real estate agent for a flat fee listing, which will give you the right to post your home on a multiple listing service. With a flat fee listing, you pay a local realtor a flat fee of a few hundred dollars for the single service of listing your home with the Multiple Listing Service. Once your home is listed, you can post it on MLS web sites where it will be seen by hundreds of real estate agents and thousands of prospective buyers.

Another way that you can get your house listed on an MLS site is by contracting with a real estate agent with an Exclusive Sale Contract. You agree to pay that agent 2-3% commission if any realtor sells your house during the time that it is listed through him - but reserve the right to sell the house yourself without paying any commission. Again, your main aim, since you're selling your own home, is to get the house listed on a multiple listing site.

There are also a number of FSBO sites that will allow you to list your home on their sites for a fee. Shop around for the best deal - they range in price from a single flat fee to a 2% commission when you sell your house.

Tips for Selling Your Own Home Online

- Upload at least one picture of your house that shows it in its best light. If you can, have the photograph taken by a professional photographer.

- Has your home got a gorgeous fireplace? A great view of the city? Make sure that you get a photo of that posted - the best way to sell your own home online is to make it look its best.

- Give buyers the info they want to know. Put information about the school system, the neighborhood, the local stores into your online ad. The more they know, the more likely it is that they'll be ready to buy when they come looking.

- If your home is priced in the high ranges, consider investing in a virtual home tour so that prospective buyers can get a full tour of your home online and fall in love with it before they see it.

- Use your listing page to print out flyers that include the photographs and descriptions, and post them locally.

The internet gives you new tools for selling your own home. Just take it online, and see how far you can go with a few pictures.
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