Would You Sell Your Home Online?

Going the way of trying to sell your home on your own has always carried with it certain risk and lots of uncertainties. But with the increasing popularity of customers wanting to buy everything online, that trend has now spread over to buying homes. But the question is, would you do it?

Some have found that placing their home on sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji leads to multiple offers and bidding wars on their home; while others find that it’s a waste of time and that it’s no way to attract serious buyers.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Kurt Kern, who placed his four-bedroom home on Kijiji in February. Just a month later he took it down after the ad received little interest. And the interest that it did receive turned out to evolve into nothing anyway.

“One or two people said they would come out and look at it, but they never showed up,” he continued.

But Kern’s ad also wasn’t the typical ad you’d see for a home for sale. Instead of actually selling the home and buying another, more suitable one, Kern instead was looking to swap homes. His, a sprawling multiple bedroom. What he was looking for? A smaller home, closer to the city.

No one was interested, and Kern has taken to looking into other homes that are for sale, so that should he find one he can contact the sellers to ask if they’d be interested in the swapping idea. And he’s looking for those sellers online.

Mark Subnaik could have been one of those online sellers Kern was looking for, if only his home hadn’t already sold to an interested buyer. Subnaik says that in addition to receiving interest from his listing on MLS, he saw even more interest on Craigslist, where his home was listed in February after listing it on Kijiji in January.

Subnaik says that Kijiji garnered the most interest for his home, even though he eventually ended up selling to an MLS buyer.

“Unbelievably, my ad on Kijiji received the most hits,” he says. “It seems to be the hot site for getting people to call.”

He says that once he got serious and started taking serious buyers, he set up seven showings in four days. And, it continued to see interested buyers even after the home was sold.

“One guy who found me on Kijiji called me after the MLS offer and said if it doesn’t work out, he’d buy it,” said Subnaik. “I think it’s really important, if you don’t have an agent, to list on all sites.”

But listing your home online isn’t just a simple matter of throwing together an ad and using a few clicks to get it online. It takes marketing savvy, a know-how on how to sell the home’s biggest benefits and features, and a little bit of luck. All of which are reasons why selling a home online works so well for some, and not so well for others.

The question though is, would you do it? When selling your home, would you try going it on your own and posting it online? Or would you go the traditional, and safer, route of using a real estate agent?