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Five ways to use the internet to market your home

Published: Oct 14, 2009

When you talk to friends and family about selling your home, many will give you the suggestion that to sell your home all you need to do is "put it on the internet." They may be right. As over 80% of buyers today begin their home search online, if you are serious about selling, using the internet as a marketing tool is a smart choice.

But what does it mean to put your home on the internet?

If we imagine the internet as a vast ocean of information, standing at the edge and throwing a random piece of marketing about your home in probably won't do you much good. Yes, your home will be "on the internet" but it will be highly unlikely to be found by a homebuyer. A better tactic would be to ask yourself: Where do homebuyers in my area go online to find homes? The answer to this question will be a good first step to unraveling how to market your home successfully online. Once you have identified these hotspots you will want to present your home in a visually appealing way and be prepared to handle any buyer inquires that are generated as the result of your online marketing efforts. Overwhelmed? Don't worry - it's easier than you might think.

To help, let's explore five ways to use the internet to market your home like a pro:

  1. Use aggregators

    A real estate aggregator is a company that pools real estate information and stores the data in a massive database which consumers can search online. If your home is listed with a real estate agent, relax, it's highly likely that your home will automatically be placed into databases like Trulia free of charge. Even private sellers, for a small fee, can tap into the power of aggregator websites by using databases like Yahoo! Real Estate and ForSaleByOwner.com.

  2. Use online classifieds

    Craigslist, the largest online classified ad database in the world, allows you to list your home for free and update the data as often as you like. Other online venues like Oodle and backpage.com provide similar services. But don't stop there. If your local newspaper has a website, consider advertising your listing on their website as well. Many buyers prefer to stay local, even online.

  3. Purchase a domain name

    A domain name is an online address that points to a website or web page. You can purchase a domain name quickly and inexpensively at online registries like GoDaddy or Network Solutions. This will give you the ability to point your new domain name to any webpage or website that you choose.

  4. Build a web page

    A web page is where you will build your online advertisement. This can be done simply by following the instructions provided by service providers like Craigslist, or by building your own more custom web page. Companies like Postlets and vFlyer provide template web pages for both private owners and agents to use without having to learn any fancy code or special tricks of the trade.

  5. Use social networking

    Did you know that a surprising number of homebuyers eventually find out about their next home from the referral of a friend of a relative? Word of mouth is a fantastic way to market your home and now you can do it online using social networking sites like MySpace, facebook , LinkedIn and even Twitter.

Marketing your home online isn't really work, it's fun. With multiple advertising venues to choose from you can be selective and creative about how and where you market your home. One secret to increasing your odds of success is to track your results. Keep a record of where people have seen your home online and what motivated them to contact you. This technique will allow you to focus your efforts on the most productive online marketing strategies and may just help you sell your home successfully on the internet.

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