Real NEaste: Can I sell my home without listing it online? [previously published]

Stacey McCarthy is off this week, and will return next week with an all new installment of Real NEastate. Today, we look back at one of her tips from Winter 2011.

Q: I decided to sell my home in Wissinoming but I don’t want the neighbors to know because they are so nosy. I do not want a “for sale” sign or any open houses or the home advertised in the paper. My realtor told me that wouldn’t be a problem, but said he still wants to advertise online. Will my neighbors find out I have my house for sale if I let him advertise on the Internet?

A: You might be able to sell your home without a “for sale” sign, holding open houses or advertising in the paper, but according to the National Association of Realtors, nine in 10 buyers used the Internet to search for their home in 2010. Don’t you want to capitalize on that and find a buyer?

But here’s another question for you: Won’t your neighbors get suspicious when they see people, otherwise known as buyers, going in and out of your house to see it? Or will you not be showing your home to buyers either? You’re kidding yourself if you think they won’t find out somehow. And if they do, who cares? You’re moving anyway.

Your agent is doing the right thing by advertising your home online but at least put up the “for sale” sign too. Even though you may not want your neighbors to know your business, one of them may know someone who might want to buy a home nearby. And the faster you find a buyer in this market, the better.

Ask yourself, “What is my ultimate goal? Is it to keep the neighbors in the dark or sell my home?” If the answer is sell your home then forget about your nosy neighbors and put up the “for sale” sign so your agent can do his job better. If you are worried about the neighbors wanting to see it then tell your agent that you want all buyers pre-approved for a mortgage first. That should weed out the looky-loos.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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