How To Sell A House Online To Remote Buyers In 2021
Sidney Richardson8-Minute Read
April 29, 2021
Deciding to sell your home is a big deal and a huge decision. The process can be exciting yet stressful, especially if you’ve decided to sell online. Navigating how to sell real estate online, especially to completely remote buyers, can be confusing.
Whether you want to sell your home online or you’re just considering it, read on for our guide to everything you need to know about selling to remote buyers.
Why Sell A House Online?
Selling a house completely online is a very different process when compared to traditional home selling. So, you may be wondering, “Why would I sell my home online?”
There are many reasons someone might choose to do a fully online home sale. Compared to traditional selling, it can be considered far more hassle-free. Instead of being forced to make time to deal with the sale of their home, homeowners can instead list, stage and sell their house on their time and their terms.
Selling online is also a great option for homeowners who want a quick sale or cash for their house. iBuyers, house flippers and even plenty of regular home buyers are now more eager than ever to try buying a house they found sight-unseen online. The pandemic upended traditional real estate marketing in many ways and normalized buying a home remotely when meeting in person was not an option due to social distancing. That, combined with the fact that many people are now able to work from home anywhere in the country, has led to a large interest spike in buying and selling homes online.
How Is Selling A House Online Different From In-Person Selling?
Traditional home selling is all about showing potential buyers the best features of your home – in person. Whether you’re working with a real estate agent or selling the house yourself, for sale by owner- (FSBO) style, it’s important to make sure your home is looking its best.
The costs of professional staging, the help of a real estate agent, and many other expenses associated with traditional in-person selling add up, however. Online selling can help sellers avoid parts of the traditional sale process that would otherwise cost them money or time, such holding open houses.
Selling online also gives your house more exposure to potential buyers – and if you opt to do it without a real estate agent, you can save money you would have spent on agent fees as well.
How Can Technology Help Me Sell My Home?
Technology has been used to market real estate for a long time, but now, it’s more popular than ever. There are many ways homeowners today can take advantage of technology to get their home in front of more potential buyers, sometimes free of charge.
Photography, Videography and Editing
Though in the past it may have seemed like a huge risk, many home buyers today are willing to buy a house online without seeing it in person first – especially if they need to move quickly or intend to renovate the home in question. Most home buyers won’t just do this on a whim, however – and that’s where good photos and videos come into play.
Taking high-quality photos and videos of every corner of your home can give buyers a good idea of what to expect without forcing them to tour the house in person. This can be a very effective practice, too – a number of real estate-focused TikTok creators have gone viral with short video tours of unique houses they’re selling. A video or good photo can not only show potential buyers what a home has to offer, but can also attract additional potential buyers, depending on how much attention your post or video gets.
If you’re interested in trying this but don’t know the best way to capture your space in a photo or video, you can always seek out a real estate photography specialist.
Professionally staging your home, which essentially decorates and cleans it up to appeal to buyers, can be very expensive. One of the nice things about selling online is that you can choose to virtually stage your house.
Though you will have to disclose that your home doesn’t really look the way it appears in the staged photos, virtual staging allows home buyers to see the potential of the house they’re looking at if it was upgraded or even just repainted.
Typically, you or a photographer will take photos of your house’s rooms and then a virtual staging company will edit the photos for you to show interested buyers what those rooms might look like with a different wall color or furniture. This can be a very useful tool to help sell a property, and it typically costs significantly less than in-person staging.
Aerial photography may seem like a trivial addition to your home’s marketing material, but it can actually make a big difference in selling your house. By using a drone to take a photo of a property from far above, sellers can show interested buyers not only the inside of their house, but the entire yard at a glance as well – including how the house looks in its neighborhood and what surrounds it.
Should I Work With A Real Estate Agent To Sell My Home Online?
When selling a house online, you can choose to do it yourself for sale by owner-style and save a bit on real estate agent-related costs. If you choose to sell your home by yourself, however, you may be missing out on some of the benefits of working with a real estate agent.
So, how can a real estate agent really help you sell your house online – and is it worth it to work with one? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of working with a real estate agent or REALTOR® when selling digitally.
Advice On Staging
Whether you’re staging your home for photos or paying for virtual staging, it can be hard to know exactly what you should do to entice potential buyers. Many real estate agents and REALTORS® have tons of experience preparing homes for listing and can help you out in that regard. Your real estate agent may even know of more cost-effective alternatives to make the staging process easier for you, such as specific methods of decluttering.
Multiple Listing Service
When selling your home online, there are multiple ways you can advertise and list your home yourself for potential buyers to see, including using For Sale By Owner, or FSBO. If you’re interested in getting your home in front of as eyes as possible, however, it may be wise to work with a real estate agent or REALTOR® who can list your home on a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS.
An MLS is only accessible to real estate professionals, so listing on an MLS can help get you more legitimate and desirable offers. You’re also more likely to reach your target home buyer demographic using an MLS. Your real estate agent can help make sure your home is listed in a way that best shows off its good features in order to get you the most money back on your investment.
While you can certainly advertise your home on social media yourself, there are real estate agents out there with already established audiences that they could share your home with. As mentioned previously, some real estate agents utilize TikTok and other video platforms to show followers brief clips of homes for sale. If you can find a real estate agent that’s adept with social media, it can be another great way to get your home out there.
Selling a home is a huge decision and probably something you’ll do only a few times in your life at most, if you’re a typical homeowner. Real estate agents, on the other hand, help sell homes constantly for a living. They have expertise selling, and depending on the agent, that expertise may extend to fully online sales as well.
If you want to make as much money back on your investment as possible, it’s always wise to work with a real estate agent or REALTOR®. Their insider knowledge can be extremely helpful, and since no two agents are the same, there’s a great chance that you can find an agent out there with just the right set of unique strengths to help you sell your home, whatever it might look like.
The Human Element
It can be intimidating and nerve-wracking to attempt to sell a house, even more so if you decide to go it alone. If you’re not fully confident in your ability to sell your property by yourself, a real estate agent can lend you their network, eye for detail and knowledge of sales to make the process far less frightening. While not all homeowners necessarily need a real estate agent to help walk them through the home selling process, a REALTOR® or real estate agent can be a huge help and asset to those that choose to work with them.
Knowing The Ropes
If you’re hesitant to work with a real estate agent because you’re afraid they might just list your home and then wave goodbye, know that this is usually untrue. Many agents will stick with you and keep the sale moving from contract to home inspections, appraisals and anything else that might come up before closing day.
Help Setting Sales Price
If you already know what you’re doing or feel confident tackling the sale of your home yourself, you can indeed save a good amount of money by choosing not to work with a real estate agent. You should be aware, however, that on average, homes sold FSBO make less money than agent-assisted sales. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homes sold with the help of a real estate agent typically have selling prices of $60,000-$90,000 more than FSBO homes.
That’s not to say selling your home yourself is never a good option, however. Not all FSBO sales are that far beneath the median sale price of real estate agent-assisted home sales. There are also many situations when a seller might be fine with accepting a lower sale price, especially if they are working with a cash buyer. It all depends on the seller’s situation and end goal.
Should I Sell My Home Without A Real Estate Agent?
Whether you sell your home online with or without a real estate agent is ultimately up to you. Your circumstances and the time frame you’re working with to sell your house are unique to you, and you should always make sure to consider all your selling options before deciding on a course of action.
Selling with the help of a real estate agent or REALTOR® can help make the selling process easy for you and often assures you get your money’s worth on the home you’ve listed. Selling without the help of a real estate agent will save you money on agent fees and costs, but you’ll have to take on the work of the selling process yourself, which can be difficult without experience.
Keep in mind as well that selling a house yourself doesn’t mean you’re exempt from paying extra costs associated with the sale. You’ll still have to pay for things like seller concessions, buyer’s agent commissions and closing costs.
The Bottom Line: Selling Online Is Becoming An Art Of Its Own
Selling a home completely online is now a very viable option for those with unusual circumstances, practicing social distancing or just interested in selling their home with technology. Whether you decide to work with a real estate agent or not, this method of selling can save you money and take out some of the stress of the traditional sale process.
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, online or traditionally, check out our guide to getting your home ready to sell, no matter the season.
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