The big online listing sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com are popular with home sellers today, and for many sellers, they are an excellent selling solution. It’s just that many people aren’t quite sure how to effectively use these sites. And that’s exactly why we’ve put together this brief guide titled “How to List My Home on Zillow and Realtor.com in Baltimore.
What Is Zillow?
If you’re wondering how to list my home on Zillow, you should probably begin by gaining some understanding of just what Zillow is and how it works.
First, Zillow is a free online venue where you can “list a home for sale by owner or agent and to list a property for rent. Zillow’s online and mobile search tools, including its smartphone app, let users search for a property and view estimated property values for free, too.”
The service may be free to home sellers, but Zillow still has to make money, and here’s how they do it . . .
- “[C]harging property management companies to advertise their listings on the Zillow Rental Manager”
- Offering “Premier Agent branding on their website, which includes multiple listing service search, client reviews, past sales, bio, photo, and videos”
- Earning “revenue when real estate agents purchase advertising on Zillow’s website”
What Is Realtor.com?
But maybe you’re thinking, “I’d rather (or also) list my home on Realtor.com in Baltimore.” In that case, there are some definite advantages and major differences you should be aware of.
“Realtor.com is a feature-packed real estate app for consumers who want to buy or rent a home. Through its search feature, [buyers/renters] can look for homes for rent or for sale anywhere in the United States. [They can use] the app’s many filters to narrow down [a] search, and then view results in either a list or a map view.”
The great thing about Realtor.com is that listings include “information about the home itself and the surrounding neighborhood, including nearby schools, the noise level, and the crime rate. Some listings also include 3D tours that let [buyers] see what the home is like from [their] phone. If [they’re] interested in a home, [they] can schedule a tour or contact the real estate agent through the app.”
There are also financial tools that allow buyers to calculate monthly costs and determine what they can afford based on income and expenses. Buyers can also check mortgage rates and get pre-approved through the service.
“What are the top benefits when I list my home on Realtor.com?” you ask.
“Listings vary depending on the information provided, but they tend to be very thorough and detailed. [Buyers] can typically see when the home was built, the size, cost per square foot, past sales, and property tax records. Realtor.com also provides ample information on the surrounding neighborhood. It offers a list of nearby schools with their number of students and GreatSchools Rating, the noise level in the area, and the risk of natural disasters.”
I Want to List My Home on Zillow . . .
To list your home on Zillow, here are the basic steps . . .
- Create an account or sign if you already have one.
- Locate your property. On the home screen click “Sell,” enter the address, and click “Search.”
- Claim your property and unlock the Owner Dashboard. You have to claim and take ownership of the property by clicking “I’m the owner. Show me!” Then you’ll get access to the Owner Dashboard.
- Create your FSBO listing. Use the “List Home” tab to select “List for sale by owner.” On the screen you get next, you can list all the information about your home that you want to be shown on Zillow. You’ll enter the price first, and then you can enter other information including listing photos. You’ll also need to enter a real phone number so that Zillow can contact you to verify. Finally, agree to the terms and click “Post for sale by owner.”
- Verify your listing. Zillow will review your listing, and then you’ll receive an automated phone call so that you can verify some information. Then, after up to 72 hours, your listing will go live.
I Want to List My Home on Realtor.com . . .
Now, if you want to take advantage of the benefits of listing on Realtor.com and are thinking “I want to list my home there instead of or in addition to Zillow.” know this: You cannot create your own listing on Realtor.com. Listings there are taken directly from the MLS.
And that means that you’ll likely need to work with a local agent to get a listing on Realtor.com. The service allows only licensed real estate professionals to utilize the service. It is, after all, the official website of the National Association of Realtors. (To discover more about this, contact a [marekt_city] agent at (443) 834-4499.)
The upshot is that FSBO sellers are pretty much out of luck with Realtor.com. Don’t forget, though, that Realtor.com works directly with more than 800 different MLS databases nationwide, which means that they can showcase 99% of all MLS-listed homes. And that is a major benefit.
If you don’t want to go through an agent, you still have an option. For a flat fee, MLS companies will list your home on the local MLS (without any additional services) so that Realtor.com can then pick it up.
A Better Alternative
As you can see, then, listing your home on Zillow can be pretty daunting for those new to it. And to list your home and market effectively on Realtor.com, you’re better off working with an agent. So why not get all the benefits by working with an experienced Baltimore agent right from the beginning? If you want to go the list-my-home-on-big-sites route, you certainly can, but be sure to contact us today at (443) 834-4499 for a better alternative.