Selling guide

How to list a property on Trade Me when selling privately

Tips for creating an eye-catching listing.

Good on you, you’ve decided to sell your property privately. We help Kiwis do this every year so we’re going to support you on this journey. It’s a good idea to think of selling your home as your main job for the period of marketing, going about it as a good agent would. Only you know everything there is to know about your home, so you have a great story to tell. 

One of the biggest skills you’ll learn is how to market your property, in other words, how to let everyone know your home is available to buy. We’ll give you tips for taking and uploading photos, advice for writing great listing copy, and some extra steps for getting more out of your Trade Me Property listing.

How to advertise your own property for sale: Trade Me best practices

1. Nail the visuals

The more the merrier

We see a direct correlation between the number of images a listing has, and the number of “watchlist adds” it receives.  So go crazy on the photos, and you’re likely to get on more watchlists and have more people at your open homes.

Only the best photos will do

Make sure each photo is excellent quality. We use heatmaps to check out which parts of a listing attract the most attention, and these clearly show that buyers spend a lot of time scrolling through images (and that they go right to the end of your carousel!).

Rank in order of importance

As a general rule, your series of images will start with the home’s exterior, then they’ll move inside, and onto any ‘lifestyle shots.,’ For example if your house is near a beach or you’ve got doors opening to a deck which show great indoor-outdoor flow, these will appeal to buyers. Prioritise the photos which show your home’s best features. 

Inspire the buyer with how they might live in your home

Your photos should convince the buyer how great it would be to live in your house.. For example, if your home has a beautiful garden, you could take an image at sunset, with the outside lighting on. An emotive shot like this can conjure up images of drinks on the deck with friends while the kids are playing in the garden.

If you’re looking to take the photos yourself, check out our property photography tips. But unless you’re a professional, we advise making the investment in a good photographer, it’s remarkable what an experienced photographer can do. A real estate agent friend will give you a recommendation. You cannot stint on this part of the marketing.

Your images need to be high quality, and selected to show off the property's best features.

2. Write a great property description

The good news – you don’t have to be Bill Shakespeare to create a well-read Trade Me Property listing. That said, there are some savvy things you can do to improve the chances of buyers finding your listing. These include:

Using keywords

Many house hunters use keywords when searching on Trade Me Property, and the vast majority of these refer to desired home features. 

The most common search terms on Trade Me include:

  • garage
  • pool
  • Investment
  • seafront

Use your intimate knowledge of your home in putting together some keywords. If there are aspects of your house that you absolutely love, chances are the same things will appeal to buyers. So make a list of your home’s unique selling points and include them in your keywords.

Being clear and concise

Our heatmaps show that, compared to images, there’s very little buyer activity in the main copy area of a listing.

This doesn’t mean you don’t need to bother with this section. You just want to make the info as digestible and easy to read as possible. We advise sellers to use bullet points when writing Trade Me Property descriptions which work well when people are viewing the listing on their mobile. Our stats show that close to 80% of Trade Me Property home searchers are looking at listings on their cell phones so this matters.

Including the important info

You can’t list a property on Trade Me without supplying the basics. When you’re adding your home you’ll be asked for standard details around location, your expected sale price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, among other things.

So with this already done, what do you need to put in the description?

This is where you, concisely, sell the property’s best features, using your keywords where appropriate. Of course, exactly what you include will depend on your home’s unique attributes, but it’s a good idea to include details of:

  • The floor plan/room configuration (e.g. open plan, separate dining room. Indoor outdoor flow)
  • Particular attributes: for instance, all-day sun, elevated for views, insulation, heating or renovations
  • Neighbourhood attractions and amenities (e.g. playground at the end of the street, village shops round the corner)
  • Distance to employment centres/schools (schools in zone if relevant, length of bus or train ride to city or main hubs)

Think about what keywords buyers might use when searching for properties like yours on Trade Me.

Make sure other essential details are correct

If you want to achieve success, it’s important your listing has the basics right. Making things quick and convenient for buyers will only increase your chance of a speedy and successful sale, while errors will put people off. So, when listing your property, double and triple check the following:

  • Your contact details: an email address and a mobile phone are popular forms of contact so make sure these are correct. 
  • Open home times: when listing your property, you’ll be able to specify open home times that suit you and you’ll make it clear you’re available for private viewings. 
  • The address: our heatmaps show listing location maps get a lot of attention, so make sure you’ve entered your address accurately and that the map is displaying your area, and where your home is, correctly.

Other ways to draw attention to your Trade Me Property listing

1. Social media

Sharing your listing on social media, and asking your friends and family to do so as well, is one way to get your home in front of more people. A lot of successful agents are active on the popular platforms and you can be too. You never know, that friend from college you haven’t spoken to in years might be looking for a home exactly like yours.

2. Don’t forget your ‘For Sale’ sign

Adding your Trade Me listing number to the “For Sale” sign in front of your house means that passers-by who like the look of your home can quickly find more information on Trade Me Property. You’ll find the listing number at the very bottom of your live listing.

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