Are real estate websites effective?

This question is posed to the real estate agents out there (or anyone with more experience selling houses than I have):

How effective are real estate websites in the overall marketing strategy? I ask because I’m not thrilled with the job my agent’s been doing, but don’t want to blame her for a slow market.

The majority of her marketing has been on online sources- her personal website, her office’s website,,, etc. She’s done no advertising in the area paper or held a single open house in the month and a half the house has been on the market.

I have little to no experience with real estate, and so I don’t want to be uncharitable in my dealing with her.

Is online real estate marketing really this effective that it takes the place of things like open houses and print ads?

I work in the Mortgage industry, and have several family members in Real Estate. I have also worked very closely with RE agents in helping them market their listings.

Open houses in my opinion do nothing more than build a database for the listing agent to market to at a later time. They also open your home up to nosy neighbors. As far as using websites to market your home, they do help for those who are looking to relocate ad can’t look for homes in person. They are pretty checap to use and certainly don’t hurt.

The problem though is that right now we are facing a huge slump in the market all accross the nation. I don’t know that there is any right way to market homes right now. You may just have to be patient until your home is recognized by someone as their future dream home. Don’t beat the agent up over it not selling. Ask your agent to share the average listing time on the market for recent sales. I bet it is quite long.

I’m not a Realtor… I have my RE license, though… but just haven’t taken it on as a “job” because of the current market.

First off… where do you live? This is a huge factor in how quickly you’ll sell… there are some REALLY bad markets out there right now.

Open houses just aren’t going to work in this market… and print ads, while historically were decent, are just going to eventually be fading away.
Online sources are the way to go these days… and as long as your house is listed with a Realtor on your local MLS, then that’s where you’ll the the majority of bites… from people who are working with a Realtor who is searching for criteria on MLS.

The biggest factor in today’s market is going to be PRICE. Most areas have such a huge inventory, that buyers have hundreds of options that fit their personal criteria. If you aren’t in the very bottom price range of comparable houses in your area, they aren’t going to even consider looking.

So my advice… ask for the full list of comparables in your area… and make sure you’re priced at the bottom.
It’s not fun, as a seller, to have to list low… but if you’re really serious about selling… price is everything.

First, what is stated in your contract with your agent? When I sold my house, it specifically listed each thing they would be doing over 90 days-- internet ad, paper, open house, sign in yard, etc.

If you aren’t happy with what they are doing-- tell them.

IMHO, internet advertising through the real estate agent is an **excellent **tool. I’d say the majority of buyers go there first these days. Ads in the paper are more effective in small markets than large cities. Open houses can work, it again depends on the characteristics of the area.

When I bought my house-- pre internet-- I drove around neighborhoods I was interested in and looked for “for sale” signs and took flyers that gave me the details (now I’d look online for that, but back in the day…). Then I had my agent set up times for us to walk through.

Curb appeal is #1 for drive-by buyers. The sign in the yard is key. Then, the market comparibles and your agent being on the ball with the price you’ve set is important. Your agent’s network is also imporant. Often they will have buyers contacting them to help them look for houses, and if they do a good job can steer them to your property.

That said: It’s a SLOW market. Don’t have unreasonable expectations. And, watch some of those “Get It Sold” type shows and walk around your own house with a VERY critical eye.

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