Whether or not, real estate private sale websites work isn’t the simple question it seems at first.
Like so many things in life, to get a good answer you need to first ask a good question. A better question equals a better answer.
So before we try to answer the question let’s structure it a little better. Let’s not ask whether the private sale websites are effective. Let’s ask instead, which private sales websites are the most effective and which ones are useless.
No matter what country you live in, if you are trying to sell your house without an agent then there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. In the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and most countries worldwide there are some major real estate portals and websites. Along with those, each country will have literally hundreds of smaller FSBO, private sale websites.
These small sites may look as professional as some sites that are far more powerful,but looks are deceiving. It is quite easy to build a very glossy, whiz bang website that looks a million dollars and yet receives almost no visitors. To the private seller, especially the newbie, such sites represent extraordinary value. Place your property on the site for 10 bucks, and you’ll be inundated with inquiry right?
You know the answer to this one – you get what you pay for. These pretender sites can never deliver the huge number of inquiries you need to ensure that your private house sale is a success. There are even free private selling websites, but the danger with those is that they give you a false sense of security in thinking that your property is being viewed by prospective buyers in sufficient quantity.
Imagine for a moment that you are looking for a house to buy in your local area.
Chances are that there is no local website, sufficiently well known in your area to bring buyers in from all around the country. And what’s more even your local agent is probably advertising his listings on the major portals. So you see, if even the agents realize the necessity of being seen on the major portals then it’s all the more reason that you must be on them as well, when you a private selling.
To use a very concrete example from my own experience, consider this.
I operate my own private selling website called propertynow and we are very successful. Even though we generate close to 5000 visitors a month we still realize how inadequate a number that really is. Because of this we also place our clients on a major real estate portal that produces 2 1/2 million visitors per month.
There are countless FSBO websites that don’t even get 5000 visitors per month. Add to this the fact that those meagre visitor numbers are shared between several hundred listings and you begin to see the problem in listing with these smaller sites.
You see the general public is very time poor. What this means is they do not have time to search hundreds of obscure websites in a bid to find the house of their dreams. They simply go to the top search result for real estate in their area and more typically on a national basis. Of course, the small sites never get a look in since they do not appear at the top of the search results.
In my opinion, and as the owner of a private sale website, there is no point in listing your property with any website that is not within the first five results in Google for search terms related to your property.
I even recommend to our subscribers that they do not merely list their property on our site alone, but rather use our full-service, where we place them on the major portals as well. Now of course, my bias towards the portals is obvious however, I am sure that you understand the validity of what I’m saying.
When you are undertaking a real estate private sale you need the marketing clout that used to be the domain of the agents alone.
The only way to get that clout is to utilize the major portals in your country. With this in mind, I suggest that you only use a private seller service which can provide you with access to your national portals, as well as its own site.
You might as well burn your money rather than waste time on the private seller sites which will only ever be seen by other private sellers.