There could be little doubt the transformative effect computers and the internet have had on almost all areas of modern life over the last 30 or so years. The web has changed almost all aspects of society – from how we communicate, to how we work and even how we shop.
However, until very recently, e-commerce and buying online had largely been the preserve of smaller value purchases. Yet through the rise of secure e-commerce and our growing acceptance of online shopping, these days it’s possible to buy even high-value goods online – including houses.
As the blurring of the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds continues apace and realty firms are executing their digital transformation roadmap, new and exciting possibilities for buying and selling a home online have emerged in recent years.
Getting ready to sell your house with an online vendor
If you’re considering taking the somewhat less familiar – and some might argue, less conventional – route of advertising and selling your home online, below are some tips to help get you started.
Find the right agent: There are several considerations to bear in mind when choosing which agent will work best for you – everything from the agent’s commission to no sale/no fee deals. Also, check what’s included in the seller’s price as most vendors offer different packages (i.e. front-page listing, enhanced adverts, etc). You should study the small print and know exactly what you’re paying for.
Get a valuation from a local vendor: Sure, you’re using an internet-based realtor but it’s very unlikely that a remotely-based agent will have a clear idea of the value of homes in your locality. Rather than leaving it to chance, enlist the help and advice of a local agent to give you an exact value for your home.
Check where your home will be advertised: Most online realtors will ensure your home has the highest visibility by putting it on several property listing sites. However, you shouldn’t just presume that the vendor will list everywhere you think would work best for you and your home. Rather than just assuming these details, you should get a clear idea of exactly where your house will be advertised (plus any unexpected associated costs for doing so).
Check the marketing, description, and photos for your property: The majority of online realtors will send a representative to take photos and get an idea of your home – but you should thoroughly check these details before giving the go-ahead to put them online. For example, it’s not uncommon for an agent to miss details like gas or electric heating, security systems, etc.
Check whether you or the agent is expected to conduct viewings: You should ensure you’re clear on whether you or the agent will be conducting viewings from prospective purchasers. Some online vendors have local agents that will look after scheduling appointments and showing people around your home, while others leave the responsibility squarely with the seller. You should also check in advance if there are any additional fees for agents showing people around your home as the costs can soon mount up.