Almost every home buyer who has an internet connection starts out searching for a house on home selling sites online. Fifty-one percent of home buyers are searching the internet; checking out competing inventory and putting together lists of homes they want to see. Because you don't know exactly which website a home buyer might check, home listings should be posted everywhere.
Basic Internet Listing Information
Include all key elements in your listing description. If you miss an important detail, a prospective home buyer might pass over your Internet listing on home selling sites:
- Property address.
- Sales price.
- Number of bedrooms and baths.
- Year the home was built.
- Style of home & number of stories
- Square footage.
- Acreage or lot size.
- Name of subdivision or location.
- Other rooms: family-den-media-library, etc.
- Type of flooring.
- Type of garage.
- Features such as a fireplace or pool.
- HVAC description.
- Contact information, including phone number.
Describe Buyer Features & Benefits
Features are a description of the home. Benefits are how the buyer will use that feature. A benefit makes the feature personal, and it's what sells on home selling sites. Don't just inform, instead, illustrate. For example:
- Feature: Fenced yard.
Benefit: Privacy, sunning area, a place for pets to play, lush lawn to run barefoot on, room for a pool, space to grow fresh vegetables, or plant flower gardens.
- Feature: Dual pane windows.
Benefit: Lower utility bills, energy efficiency gives peace of mind to environmentally concerned consumers, warmer in winter and cooler in summer, low maintenance, easy to operate and clean.
- Feature: Gourmet kitchen.
Benefit: Professional tools for serious cooks, makes meal preparation fun and enjoyable, impress friends with state-of-the-art equipment, space to display cookware and books, convenience and time-saving devices, simplified care and maintenance, beauty and eye-appealing design makes the kitchen a comfortable and inviting workspace.
Caution: Be careful not to violate the Fair Housing Act by using discriminatory words.
Pictures tell the story better than any words. Utilize four to eight photographs in your e-flyer and about 25 or more photos for an Internet posting on most of the popular home-selling sites.
- Use a wide-angle digital camera. Shoot more photos than you need. Try different viewpoints — ground level or bird's eye views, and take them from a variety of angles to find the best pictures that scream "buy me."
- Bare minimum: front, back, kitchen, and living room.
- Take close-ups of interesting features such as tile work, chandeliers, or fireplace mantels.
- Use photo enhancement software. Color correct, crop, reduce the image and downsize pixels (72 or 96 dpi) for the web.
Create a Flyer and Upload
I often use vFlyer.com to create my flyers. It offers multiple pricing options for both marketing flyers and websites, including a free plan for a five-page website. When you are finished creating the flyer, press publish. You can copy the HTML code on the screen and use it to post on Craigslist.org. Best of all, vFlyer automatically publishes your flyer on the following Web sites:
You can also hire professional designers or online Web sites to create flyers or brochures for you, depending on your price range.
Other Home Selling Sites
New websites pop up daily that accept free home listings. If you are working with a real estate agent, tell your agent where you are going to post your home listing to avoid duplicated efforts.
- Zillow.com. Check the Zestimate first, which is often way off market value. If it's too low, you probably do not want to post your home listing there. Although Zillow does allow you to challenge its estimate by providing updated factual information. Zillow Premier Agents can help.
- Active Rain. This professional and consumer real estate networking site accepts embedded HTML from vFlyer.
- eBay. While eBay charges a fee, the amount is nominal.
- Realtor.com. The problem with Realtor.com is you cannot post a listing on that website unless you are a member of the National Association of Realtors. This home-selling site also pulls its data from local MLS feeds.
- vFlyer.com. Also lets you create a single flyer, just for your home listing. But there is a fee for that service.
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, CalBRE #00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.