Get Web Savvy to Sell Your Home

Almost 80 percent of home searches start on the internet, so why not finish them there too? In lieu of the traditional method of selling through a real estate agent, some home sellers are turning to the Web to sell their homes.
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Woman with Laptop

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Amid the antique watches and signed sports memorabilia, some real estate gems can be found on eBay.

The online auction site has an entire category devoted to real estate with thousands of listings of land, residential homes, commercial properties and timeshares. The Web site reports that these listings get more than 370,000 page views everyday.

Homes listed on eBay run the gamut from fixer-uppers and foreclosures with no reserve price to luxury homes with “Buy It Now” price tags in the millions. One recent auction on a three-bed, two-bath home in Canton, Ohio concluded at $10,800 after 33 bids. Another home, a four-bed, four-bath in Naples, Fla., remains up for auction after its reserve price was not met the first time around.

Before listing your home for sale on eBay, keep in mind that eBay real estate auctions are not legally binding. After the bidding closes, the buyer and seller can work out the details of a real estate contract themselves, but neither is obligated to complete the transaction. Be sure to consult with a real estate attorney first.

Real estate auctions on eBay also have an “escape clause” to protect buyers if the home they bid on was falsely advertised.

A less risky way to use eBay to sell your home is by placing a classified ad on the site. The ad format doesn’t allow buyers to bid on your home, but it does give your home international exposure.

Home Swapping

Vacation home swapping has been popular for years, but swapping homes for sale has also become a growing trend in real estate.

Web sites like and work a bit like a dating site for home sellers. The sites allow users not only to list their homes for sale, but also to specify where they want to move. They are then matched with other sellers who may be interested in swapping with them.

For sellers whose homes have been on the market for a long time, home swapping Web sites seem to generate new interest in their properties. Michelle Wulfe, who has been trying to sell her Kingman, Ariz. home for a year, told Inman News that she’s had about 10 responses since she posted a listing on Pad4Pad about two months ago.

While the Web sites don’t track the number of sales these responses generate, the concept of home swapping is certainly popular. Around 90 home swapping sites exist, not all of which are trustworthy. Be wary of sites that promise to sell your home fast or charge a monthly fee for your listing.

Like eBay, the actual real estate transaction is not made on home swapping Web sites. If two sellers decide to make a swap, it is up to them to schedule showings and close the deal. Again, before signing anything, consult with a real estate attorney first.

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