Did you know that a real estate investor has the option of selling a rental property online? That’s right, entirely online!
Now, it’s typically recommended that a property investor (especially a first-time seller) works with a real estate agent. However, for some real estate investors, this route doesn’t fit their strategy, doesn’t make financial sense, or is simply not their preferred method of selling a rental property. Yet a lot of these same investors work with agents anyway because they don’t know too much about how to sell rental property online.
That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to sell an investment property online.
Make a Decision: Sell Yourself? Or Use a Real Estate Website?
You need to decide which part of this guide you want to follow: Do you want to sell your income property online yourself? Or do you want to use the services of a real estate website? You can’t really decide without reading the details of both, but just know by the end of the guide, the answer will become really clear.
Selling a Rental Property Online Yourself
Now, there is a way to sell rental property online all by yourself. Let me run you through the steps.
Step #1: Find a Website to List Your Rental Property for Sale
Find a website that allows you to list investment properties for sale. There are quite a few out there, so take the time to research which ones get a lot of traffic (like the ones that show up on the first page of Google) as well as what fees (if any) the website collects for allowing you to list. Now remember, you’ll be paying fees here just to list. The type of website we’re referring to isn’t going to do anything extra to help you out other than providing you with online space to sell your real estate.
Once you find one you like, you’ll have to set up your online real estate listing yourself. This means that you’ll have to take care of two major things:
- Pricing your investment property
- Real estate marketing
Step #2: Set a Listing Price
As a real estate investor, you should know that you can’t just name a price, slap it on your investment property for sale, and hope for the best. What if it’s too high? It will deceptively promise a high return on investment (ROI) for a rental property that will inevitably end up staying on the market for way too long (high days on market is something you want to avoid when selling a rental property!). If the property price is too low, you miss out on a good ROI. The solution? Run a comparative market analysis. You can take the easy route and do this using online real estate investment tools that will help you find comps faster.
Step #3: Market Your Rental Property
Now that you have the perfect price that will make you money, it’s time to market your rental property. Pull out your camera because you’re going to want professional photos in the best lighting. Even though you’re not marketing to homebuyers, real estate investors have to think of their tenants. They, too, want to buy a property that is appealing so they won’t have any trouble renting it out when the time comes. You could use a professional photographer if you wish to.
Step #4: Deal with the Offers on the Investment Property
If you’ve done everything right up to this point, you’ll be getting some offers on the rental property from interested real estate investors. You’ll have to figure out for yourself who is a serious property buyer (someone who can back their investment property financing) vs. who is just casually browsing. Even though you ultimately want to sell your rental property, you don’t want to waste time on pointless showings, which are the next part.
Next, you will have to take care of getting the rental property ready to show to prospective buyers. Research a few things about what real estate agents and professional home stagers do to try and make an investment property more appealing to investor buyers. Mimic a few of the cost-effective solutions that you find. You’ll also have to schedule times and be available for property showings. If you have tenants in place, make sure to let them know beforehand and work around their schedule. You want this to go as smoothly as possible for them; otherwise, you’ll end up losing your rental income.
Once you do find a buyer, it’s likely you’ll have to enter into the negotiation phase. This can be tricky especially if it’s your first time selling a rental property. More experienced buyers may know how to get a great real estate deal out of you and leave you thinking you made a great ROI, so be careful. Don’t accept offers too quickly if it means a very low return on investment for you.
Step #5: Close on the Real Estate Deal
At this point, if you navigated all of the steps of selling a rental property online by yourself, you would have to deal with the paperwork of closing. Only once you pass this hurdle will you have sold the property for a profit.
But you would have taken a pretty long journey to do so. While selling property online is supposed to be easier and save you money, doing it yourself is somewhat of a hassle, especially for beginner real estate investors or for investors who own multiple rental properties and run a full business.
The alternative? Selling your rental property online with the help of a trusted real estate website. Let’s see what the steps of this process look like so you can compare and walk away confident in the decision you make on how to sell your rental property.
Selling a Rental Property Online Using Online Services
For this part of the guide, we’ll walk you through selling an investment property using Roofstock, which is a great option for property sellers who prefer a more seamless, hassle-free experience and to reach a large audience of potential buyers. When you sell through Roofstock, you also only pay 2.5% or $2000 (whichever is greater) on the sales price, compared to the traditional 6% when you sell through a broker.
Step #1: Submit Your Rental Property Listing
To kick start the process, you have to submit basic information about your rental property. This is done online of course and only takes a few minutes to fill out. Roofstock, for example, asks that you enter in information like the address, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square feet, and the year the rental property was built.
You will have to pay a small fee for the services of selling a rental property online. However, the difference here compared to the first half of the guide is that the rest of the steps are taken care of by a team of experts. Let’s go over the process and what you should expect, even though, as you’ll see, your role in each step is minimal to non-existent. But you need to know what you’re paying for.
Step # 2: Price Your Investment Property
Rather than performing a CMA and looking for real estate comps, Roofstock will help you with a real estate valuation to determine the right price. Not only will you profit from selling a rental property, but the price set will also help you to attract real estate investors. You won’t have to worry about pricing too high or too low with the right professional on your side.
Step #3: Market Your Rental Property
At this point, Roofstock will gather all the necessary documents and photos needed to properly list and market your rental property online. This includes things like inspection reports, current lease agreement info, etc. You won’t have to worry about missing a key piece of info that could cause a real estate investor to skip right past your listing.
Another benefit of this route of selling a rental property online is that your listing is likely to reach the right audience. Websites like Roofstock will market your rental property to a wide, yet targeted audience of real estate investors. That way, you don’t risk the possibility of choosing the wrong listing website, suffering a high DOM, only to find you have to take your listing somewhere else. This process removes trial and error from the equation of real estate marketing.
Step #4: Receive Offers
Roofstock works to facilitate offers so that the entire process is done online. There will be no staging or showings. If you have tenants in place, this will keep from disrupting their daily lives, allowing you to ensure that you keep receiving a steady rental income and cash flow until you close. You won’t have to deal with negative cash flow while your empty rental property for sale sits on the market!
Step #5: Close on the Real Estate Deal
Finally, it’s time to close, which typically only takes about 30 days as it is all done online and everything is taken care of by the real estate website of your choice.
Once this journey is over, you’ll find that the total time from listing to closing is reduced compared to other selling methods. Not only that, but you would have saved a lot of money since there are no staging fees, commission fees, or negative cash flow.
Selling a rental property online is definitely the easier path to take. But you shouldn’t have to do it all yourself while taking on the risk of making a mistake along the way and either losing out on your potential return on investment or having the investment property on your hands for longer than your strategy calls for.
Check out Roofstock for an easy solution to selling your rental property online.