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How To Sell Your House Online.

Sell Your House Online

In the Internet age it is now possible to sell our homes online using specialised sites as an alternative to listing with a traditional estate agent. With the promise of thousands of pounds saved in fees, it is no wonder than online house sales are starting to become commonplace. We explain how to sell your house online and look at some of the pitfalls that could arise from taking the non-traditional route to selling a property in the UK.

Save Money Selling Online

With buyers desperate to scrape back the loss experienced from dropping house sales, a consequence of the recent period of financial recession, selling housing online at first glance appears to be the obvious choice. Estate agents typically charge between 1% and 2% commission on the final sale value of your home - a figure that is likely to cost several thousands of pounds for even modestly-sized homes. Online house sales agents offer far more attractive deals with flat fees of around £500, regardless of the end sales figure. According to official figures, around 5% of all house sellers in the UK are now choosing the low-cost online sale option, but is it easy to find genuine house buyers online?

Finding House Buyers Online

Apparently, online house sales are on the rise, according to statistics quoted by the most popular agents. As media coverage of the trend increases and more people become aware of the option, trust levels go up and result in more potential buyers looking for their new homes online. Is there any benefit for the buyer with an online home sale, or is it just a money-saving endeavour for sellers? Some sellers choose to attract buyers by passing their savings on and offering their homes at lower prices. Some buyers with a keen eye for savings also prefer to 'cut out the middle man' and deal directly with the seller, making haggling and deal-cutting far easier. Buyers are also flocking to online house sale websites in order to see all available properties in their area and not miss out on a deal. With the online sales industry booming, it is reasonable to predict a steady increase in the number of house buyers that turn to independent online house listings in addition to those listed by traditional estate agents.

How To Sell You House Online

In order to stat selling, you will need to pick an online agent to list with. Some have monthly costs, while others offer attractive one-off fees. As the industry is new, look for a site that is large and has several houses in your area already listed. Check online feedback from previous sellers (not just the feedback on the company website, go to neutral sources) and read forums and advice sites before committing to one agent. It is possible to list with more than one website in order to reach a wider market, but spreading your listing across multiple sites will cost more and may not help you achieve a quick sale.

Like selling anything online, the key to attracting buyers is good photography. If you've ever been on a major online auction site like eBay then you'll know that the items listed with blurry or dark photos often sell for peanuts. Short of hiring a professional to stage and photograph your home, try asking some friends and family to help - we usually know someone with a decent camera and an eye for good angles. Take the time to tidy and clean and set your home like a showroom before taking photos; you want it to look its best and attract as many viewers as possible.

Once your house is listed don't forget to put up a 'For Sale' sign outside; a reported 1 in 3 house sales in the UK is triggered by buyers that noticed a sales sign. Without an agent to provide you with one, get creative and design one online using a free template and get it printed to look professional and give buyers confidence in you and your home. A hastily scribbled note on a piece of soggy cardboard is unlikely to persuade buyers to give your home a closer look.

Stay Safe Online

As is the case with any online platform, there are measures you need to take to keep your information safe and avoid inviting unwelcome visitors into your home. Never include your name or personal details on your online listing and allow all visit requests to come through the site's automated system. When getting in touch with a potential visitor, don't be afraid to ask them for some personal information such as a name and address before they book a time slot. Always inform a friend, neighbour or family member when visits are taking place and it is best to have a few people present at the house for visitations. The risks associated with strangers in your home are just as present with traditional estate agents so a sensible approach is recommended for all house viewings, however they are arranged.

For those with desirable properties in popular areas, it is possible to save thousands of pounds by selling your house online. The trend looks set to see more and more UK houses listed independently online in the coming years. Could this signal the end of the traditional estate agent?

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