Social media gives customers a direct line to the property and the less formal setting enabling potential buyers to ask questions beyond the standard property description.
For sellers, social media enables them to reach a much larger pool of potential clients without spending an extra dime, thanks to information sharing and the use of descriptive hashtags.
But while the benefits of social media for property selling cannot be denied, sellers might also find themselves in sticky situations because of it, such as:
1. Mis-pricing or mis-representing your property
Selling your house on social media is often a case of direct selling, where you’re trying to find a buyer yourself, without working with a real estate agent. If you don’t know the local property market very well, you might not be knowledgeable about setting a correct price for your property.
It may not be enough to know how much your home is worth through sites like Property Value and On the House; while they provide a guide, they’re not as accurate as estimates from experienced Real Estate Agents who can help provide more accurate data not just about the current value of your home, but also the current market conditions.
Whilst pricing your property too high or too low may cause problems, there are bigger risks at play if you are found to be misrepresenting the property: for instance, by falsely understating your true asking price.
2. Lack of Full Disclosure
Posting a listing online is a form of advertising your property. In marketing, you need to disclose all pertinent information so that you will not be accused of false advertising. If you’re not aware of what kind of details to disclose, then you might even face legal claims from potential buyers.
Sellers can be held liable for negligence, fraud, or breach of contract if you end up withholding information that poses a hazard, nuisance, or defect after the buyer moves in.
3. No Contract
It is also important to remember that any interaction you have on social media with a potential buyer should be taken with a grain of salt, because it’s not written in a formal, binding contract.
Comments on social media are not considered legally binding unless it is placed in a contract. Even if a buyer agrees to buy your property for a certain amount through a social media conversation, you should still insist on a physical meeting to iron out all negotiations and get the deal signed and sealed in writing.
Despite these legal traps, social networking is still a great marketing tool for property sellers. Just make sure that you physically transact with a buyer to get everything on paper and make it legally binding, to serve as a protection against any legal issues that might crop up.