Thinking of selling your house online?
You’re not alone. In the past few years, there’s been an explosion in selling homes for cash sites, which allow homeowners to sell their homes fast, conveniently, and entirely online. Generally referred to as iBuying, the process can be a good one for homeowners who want to sell their homes quickly and with as little hassle as possible.
However, there are certain things that sellers should be aware of before selling their home online.
As in any industry, there are reputable players, and not-so-reputable—and the last thing you want is to find out you accepted a below-market-value price for your home, or even end up on the hook for something in the transfer that wasn’t done correctly.
With that in mind, here are the do’s and don’ts of selling your house online.
DO: Explore all your options first
Sure, selling a home online has its perks, and in some cases it’s the best possible choice for a seller.
But before you commit, it’s important to take a look at all your options, including selling through an agent and For Sale by Owner (FSBO).
Both of those involve more work than simply accepting an offer from an iBuyer, but there are other potential advantages that need to be weighed.
If your goal is a fast sale, you can talk to an agent about what he or she thinks is possible in order to speed things up, and how long homes like yours have been lasting on the market. Considering that it’s currently a hot seller’s market, insights from top agents show that you may not have to wait long before you start getting offers.
If you want convenience, many agents can expedite or organize services to handle as many details as possible both pre-listing, during, and while the home is under contract. From home staging, to coordinating home repair services, you might be surprised at just how many of the details of selling a home your agent can help handle.
DON’T: Go with the first iBuyer you find
Not all iBuyers are created equal—and some are downright scams.
Before you work with an iBuyer, make sure you do your research. Look for reviews from previous homeowners who sold through the service, explore the site and read the process they go through, and make sure to see whether they have any guarantees, sale cancellation processes, or other protections for sellers.
In general, you’ll want to choose a site whose name you already know or that has a major presence in the real estate market online.
DO: Know the value of your home before starting the iBuying process
Before embarking on any home sale, it’s critical that you have an estimated value of your home.
What are homes in your area going for? What’s the housing inventory like where you live? What kinds of advantages or disadvantages does your home have that could affect its price?
A home value estimator is one important tool to use as you go through this process, as it can give you a good baseline to keep in mind as you talk to agents or receive online offers.
DON’T: Assume you’ll get lowballed if you do decide to sell online
While it’s very true that cash offers typically come in under traditional, bank-backed offers, whether online or not, it’s not always the case that an iBuyer will give you less than you could get if you sold traditionally.
There are lots of factors that go into your home’s price, and they include everything from location, to the iBuyer’s current inventory, to what the iBuyer thinks they’ll be able to sell quickly.
So if you’re looking to sell online and you get an offer that seems like a good one—taking into account the speed and convenience that you’re getting—it probably is.
As long as you’ve done your research beforehand and know your home’s general value, you should be able to rest easy that you’ll receive a good offer for your home—whether or not you decide to sell online.