You may like the idea of selling your own house without hiring a real estate agent. This is understandable, as it will save you roughly 6% in real estate commissions…which can easily be more than ten thousand dollars. For example, if you sell a home for $250,000 you would traditionally pay your real estate agent $15,000…the buying agent gets 3% ($7500) and the selling agent (your agent) gets the other 3%. The buyer never pays any commission. That burden falls completely on the home seller. Therefore, it is easy to see why you would want to sell your own house without a realtor and save on that commission. However, before we go any further let me make it perfectly clear that there is a reason why realtors make a 3% commission…they work for it. If you try to sell your own house without using a realtor, you too will quickly learn that selling a home is hard work. Fortunately, the Internet has completely leveled the playing field making selling a home without a realtor easier than ever before. Unfortunately, most home sellers simply do not know what to do in order take advantage of all the Internet has to offer.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to sell your own house by using the Internet:
– Keywords. First things first, you need to do a little keyword research before you start. Keywords are the words people type into search engines when doing research on the Internet. You want to find keywords that people are searching, but do not have a great deal of competition. For example, it is going to be impossible for me to rank anywhere in the search engines for a keyword phrase such as “real estate” or even “real estate for sale”. It will be significantly easier to rank for a keyword phrase such as “Lakewood Ranch real estate” or “Lakewood Ranch real estate for sale”. There are plenty of keyword tools on the Internet that can help you with flushing out good keywords. Google’s free keyword tool is a good place to start. Do NOT underestimate this step! You will be using your keywords in nearly ever other step of this process. Sell My House Fast Dallas offers excellent info on this.
– Create a blog. You can create a website, but these days a blog is much easier to set up and much easier to rank well in Google. You could always set up a free blog with Blogger.com, but there are many search engine advantages to creating your own blog with your own domain name using WordPress.org.
So first step…buy a domain name through a company such as Godaddy.com. This will cost you roughly $10 for the year. Try to include your keyword phrase in your domain name. Depending on your keywords, it may be difficult to find an available domain so you may have to get creative. For example, the domain name “lakewoodranchrealestate.com” will not be available, it is more likely that the name “bestlakewoodranchrealestate.com” or “greatlakewoodranchrealestate.com” or even “Lakewood-ranch-real-estate-for-sale.com” will be available. Again, get creative, but try to include your keywords in your domain as best as you can.
Once you have chosen your domain, you will now need to host it with a reputable web hosting company. There are many to choose from but the most recommended are Hostgator.com or Bluehost.com. Personally, I use Bluehost for all my web hosting needs. The cost is roughly $7/month, they have all the bells and whistles you will ever need, and their customer service is second to none. Anytime you have a problem you can call them up 24/7 and talk to a real person. OK, now that you have your domain hosted with a reputable host you are ready to install you blog. If you went with Bluehost you will simply log into your account and click on the WordPress icon and follow the simple directions to install your blog. Once your blog is set up you will devote all your blog posts to information about your home, your neighborhood, your schools etc. And of course, make sure to include your keyword phrases in the titles of your posts and several times throughout the posts as well. I suggest making one post per day. After each post make sure you bookmark the post using the top social bookmarking sites on the Internet such as Digg, Mixx, reddit, Delicious, Evernote, Google Bookmarks, Google Reader, StumbleUpon, and Twitter. These social bookmarking sites have the potential to drive a great deal of traffic to your website/blog. Also, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn work great as well. And of course, when bookmarking your sites use your keywords whenever possible.
– Article writing. The next step is to use article writing as a way to drive traffic to your site. Don’t get nervous…it’s actually very simple. You are going to write short articles (250-400 words) about your town, neighborhood, schools etc. Again, make sure to include your keywords in the title of your article and roughly once per every hundred words within the body of your article. At the bottom of each of your articles you will have what’s called a “resource box” or “author’s bio” area. It is here that you will write a sentence or two about your home with a link back to your website. You will then submit your article to the many different articles directories on the Internet. There are many to choose from and, of course, there is software you can buy or paid websites you can join that will submit your article to many different directories, but you can always submit them yourself for free. The three main article directories I would use are EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com, and SearchWarp.com.
Once you have submitted your article you will want to bookmark that article just like you did with your blog posts.
– Create a video for you home. This is really easy to do. Simply create a slide show using the photos you have taken to advertise your home. Use iMovie, or Windows Movie Maker (or any popular movie making software) to save your video as .mov, .mpg, or .wmv file. Again, if you struggle with this you can easily find people to do it for you at roughly $10/video. Once you have your video you will submit that video to the top video directories on the Internet such YouTube, Veoh, DailyMotion, Viddler, Revver, Yahoo Videos. And of course, you will want to include your keywords in both your title and description. And, make sure to include a link back to your website/blog in the description as well.
Once you have submitted the videos you will also want to bookmark those videos just like you did with the blog posts and articles.
– Get listed in your local MLS. This could be the most important step of all. The fact of the matter is 90% of all home sales in the United Sates are listed in MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Unfortunately, the only one who can list you in MLS is a licensed realtor. However, that does not mean you need to pay out a 6% commission. These days you can pay a flat fee listing service to put your home in MLS for a one-time flat fee. This fee usually ranges from $299-$799 depending on the company. Just make sure to do your research because not all flat fee listers are created equal.
– Add your listing to other top real estate websites including Craigslist, Realtor.com, Point2Homes, Google Base, LiveDeal, Cyberhomes and AOL Real Estate, Truila, Zillow, Oodle, Homescape, Vast, HotPads.com, CLRSearch.com, Clickable City Directory, WorldWide-RealEstate-ForSale.com, House.com, TheHousingPages.com, CityCribs, VideoHomes.com, BEATyouThere.com, NTXHouseHunters.com, LandWatch.com, and ResortScape.com…
Of course…bookmark those listing pages with your keywords
– Backlink, backlink, backlink! One of the most important things to do in order to get a high ranking in Google is to place “backlinks” to your website from other websites. This is usually done by placing comments on blogs, in forums, as well as setting up profile pages on various social networking sites…there are literally hundreds of thousands of these sites (and that might be an understatement). However, to this right you need to find websites that not only allow you to place links on their site, but also have what’s called a “do follow” tag. Without getting too technical, a “do follow” tag simply means that the website allows Google to “crawl” through the site and “follow” the outgoing links thereby giving your site a boost in the search engines. There are many ways to go about finding these sites, but the easiest thing to do is buy Angela Edwards backlink package for $5/month. In this package she provides 30 high ranking “do follow” sites that you can easily add your backlink to. There are other packages you can buy as well, but Angela’s is a great place to start.