How to sell a house online
In times gone by, the methods by which an individual could sell their home were extremely limited. However, thanks to the rise of the internet and e-commerce, vendors have a multitude of options available to them.
Thanks to numerous headlines regarding the underhanded business practices of a small number of individuals, the reputation of high street estate agents in the eyes of the public has suffered somewhat over the last decade, inspiring vendors to look for other ways to market their homes. In this blog, we’re going to take a brief look at how to sell a house online, and how the majority of online house sales work.
Where to sell a house online
If you’re thinking of selling your house online, you’ll be happy to know that there are a wide range of opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of – some of which are more attractive than others.
- Online estate agents
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of online agents willing to offer cut-price, or flat-rate deals to vendors who wish to sell their homes. The benefit of large national companies such as these is that their online visibility ensures that any attempt to subvert the client will often be noticed immediately by industry watchdogs or customer forums.
While they are, by and large, a fantastic value alternative to the traditional route of high street agents, there have been times where their conduct has been called into question. Examples of these incidents involve most of the prominent brands such as Purplebricks, eMoov, and Hatched – with many of the allegations linked to inaccurate marketing and hidden fees.
On the bright side, the increased competition, combined with the aim of maintaining their brand reputation in the online world means that it is in their best interest to perform in a manner befitting that of a reliable estate agent.
- House-buying companies
In today’s society, life seems to move at an unprecedented pace, and as a result, being tied down to a single location can often have a detrimental effect on one’s career or life goals.
While those who wish to sell – but are in no particular rush to do so – are able to patiently list their house on an online estate agent’s website, others may find themselves needing a fast house sale in a short time frame. In these situations, there are few better options than a house-buying company.
The advantage of a house-buying company is the ability to complete on a sale in as little as two weeks from the day an enquiry is first made. And thanks to the increased competition in this sector of house sales, the quote a vendor receives is often extremely competitive.
Also, while online estate agents are happy to make your listing visible, it is ultimately up to the buyers themselves to decide whether or not your home is worth their time. And as buying a house is more of an emotional than objective decision, if your home doesn’t tick all the boxes on their wish list, you may find your home sitting on the market for a while before you get any enquires – and even then, you may have to lower your asking price to get anywhere.
House-buying companies, on the other hand, are willing to buy any house – regardless of condition or location, which means that a vendor can enter negotiations confident that a sale will be achieved.
- Social media
Another approach that is gaining momentum is the use of social media to garner attention for a house that is for sale. By providing pictures and an accompanying description on sites such as Facebook or Instagram, a vendor can reach a large number of people – without having to spend a penny.
Of course, this method can be quite hit-and-miss depending on who sees the posts, but if you find one or two individuals who express an interest in your home, you may save yourself thousands in agency fees.
How easy is it to sell a house online?
- Online estate agents
With a growing number of companies selling you their services, it can often be hard to choose the agency with which you wish to proceed. To ensure that you pick the right one for you, you can always follow the advice of consumer advice companies such as Which? as well as view forums of customer reviews from those who have had experience with the companies beforehand.
Of course, it is important to bear in mind that no company is going to enjoy 100% stellar reviews from previous customers. There are going to be many occasions where the agent has followed procedure to the letter and done their hardest to achieve high sold house prices for their clients, but the odd customer will still not be satisfied. So, take all information with a pinch of salt.
Luckily, once your have picked your agent of choice, the rest of the process is extremely easy – although it may be worth reading some of the tips below to ensure that your home entices potential buyers.
- House-buying companies
Using a house-buying company is most likely the easiest route of all. With a single phone call, a vendor can get the ball rolling, and if they are happy with the quote they receive – then the house can be sold in a very short amount of time. If they aren’t happy with the quote, then they are under no obligation to continue with the deal – so for the customer, it’s a win-win.
This option is especially useful for vendors who are unable to sell for reasons such as their home being located in an undesirable area, or because of structural issues that would otherwise take thousands of pounds to fix – thousands of pounds that the seller does not necessarily have available. It’s also useful for those who need to sell fast but can’t afford to wait the length of time requested by an online estate agency to find a buyer.
- Social media
In reality, the ability to sell a house via social media comes down to computer literacy, and whether or not the vendor has a keen eye for marketing and promotion. Those who have a large number of contacts on sites like Facebook, or a large number of followers on sites such as Instagram or Twitter may find it easier than others – but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.
By using search engine optimisation along with good sales experience – not to mention an excellent grasp of the English language – any one with the drive and desire to succeed stands a good chance of selling their home via social media.
Top tips for selling a house online
No matter which method you choose to sell your home, there are always some universal pieces of advice that can help encourage a buyer to make a reasonable offer. So, if you’re thinking of selling your home through any of the methods above, make sure you follow these simple rules.
- De-clutter and clean
No matter how nice your home is, nobody will give a messy, unclean house a second thought. While it may be a pain to keep your house at showroom levels of cleanliness, it’s worth it if you manage to sell your home fast.
- Go plain
While your friends may think that your quirky tastes are a wonderful part of your personality, they can easily get in the way of a successful house sale. A buyer wants to be able to see themselves living in a house they browse, and the best way to help them achieve this is by removing as much of your influence from it as possible. This means ensuring the walls are painted a plain colour such as cream or white, and any odd furniture is either removed or covered appropriately.
- Choose the right time to sell
Try to put your home on the market during either spring or autumn. In summer, buyers tend to be busy with their children; going on holiday; and engaging in other activities, and in the winter, Christmas spending and the shorter days discourage many from their search. During spring and autumn however, the market often flourishes, and as a result, there will be many more potential buyers looking at making a purchase.
- Make your photos count
Your home may be beautiful, but unless your photos reflect this, then anyone browsing for a new home is likely to ignore your listing – so do yourself a favour and hire a photographer who knows what they’re doing.
- Premium listings
If you’re using an online agent, spending a little extra on a premium listing can help your home stand out from the crowd. However, you still need to make sure your house is appropriately priced or the extra web traffic will go to waste.
- Make yourself available as often as possible
It isn’t easy, but ensuring that either you or your partner are available to show any interested parties around your home is a huge part of finding a buyer. It may be a pain, but when it comes to selling, the buyer’s schedule is much more important than your own.
Looking online for a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.