Can an SEO sell his house faster than his Realtor?


I have done some crazy things in my days as a web developer to test theories, or prove points, but I think this one will probably take the cake.

I have decided to try to test online traffic generation vs traditional real estate marketing in order to prove to my Realtor and friend how effective the internet can be as a sales tool. We have what some might call a small wager going - a bet if you will:

I think I can sell a house (Without any prior real estate sales experience or training) using internet marketing tactics faster than he can sell a house using his traditional methods of advertising.

And in order to make this thing happen, I am putting up my house

The Wager:
I am going to attempt to sell my house faster than my Realtor

The Terms:

  • I have to put my house up for sale and list it with my friend and Realtor Michael Peterson.
  • Michael is only allowed to use his usual (Traditional) methods of advertising and SOI to sell my house. (Defined below)
  • I am only allowed to use my online strategies and SOI to sell my house (Defined below)

The prize:

If I sell my house faster than my Realtor he agrees to:

  • Clean my house for the nice new owners in the outfit of my choice and pose for a photo op for my personal collection (Photos will be posted to my blog)
  • Donate $500 of his commission to the charity of my choice

If my Realtor can sell the house faster than I can, I agree to:

  • Clean my house for the nice new owners in the outfit of HIS choice (Photos will be posted on his website)
  • Donate $500 to the charity of his choice.

The Point: There are many points, but here are a few good ones

  • To compare the effectiveness of online lead generation vs traditional real estate marketing tactics.
  • To win a bet - yes I am that competitive.
  • To participate in something really fun that benefits charity
  • To see Michael clean my house in a funny outfit - that's right buddy, I am not going to lose.

The contestants:

Morgan Carey:
That's me. I am a professional web developer and owner of Real Estate Webmasters. My company provides web development and internet marketing services for Realtors across North America. I have never sold (Or tried to sell) a house before and as you can see, I'm a bit of an odd bird.


Michael Peterson:
Michael is a local Re/Max agent in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada (Where we both live). He has been a good friend of mine for many years, and in my humble opinion is a great Realtor. In fact, the house I am putting up for sale in this wager, is one that he helped me find (My first home) and I cannot say enough good things about his abilities and professionalism. He also happens to be a great sport.

How I will be generating traffic for my listing:

One of the most important things I teach people in the forums about internet marketing, is that is as much about relationships and networking as it is about generating links, getting exposure on websites - so in addition to submitting my listing to as many places online as possible, generating interest through articles and blogs, RSS syndication, submitting press releases and email marketing, I will be relying on the help of all my great friends online (My internet SOI "sphere of influence") in order to help spread the word through send to a friend emails, Digging this post and others, reaching out to their own SOI anything to spread the word.

As my list of websites and tactics for selling this home increases I will be updating this blog often, so please stop by regularly - or if you would like to keep up to date right from your own website or through a reader, be sure to grab my RSS feed.

The fine print: (You probably have some questions by now)

I am not a licensed Realtor, and obviously cannot sell my own home - so to win this contest, I actually have to generate the "lead" or "buyer" that ends up purchasing my home through Michael. I will be passing the leads I generate onto Michael to follow up with, and he will be handling all facets of the actual transaction, including showings, contracts and paperwork etc. I will of course have very detailed tracking of the leads I generate so that when I win (And win I shall) I can verify my victory.




Enjoy this post? Why not share with friends or add a comment of your own?

Gary Smith

What an interesting concept. I hope "Michelle" likes what you pick out

Morgan Carey

Houston, certainly press releases are forthcoming, and yes he is a great sport. Jseville - yes submitting the listing to the MLS is in his arsenal, I have a huge challenge ahead of me. James, thanks for the support. Gary, glad you like it - one correction, it is Michael, not Michelle :)

REW Nick

No offense to Michael, but I hope the SEO side wins :) This is a really cool experiment. Best of luck to both of you.

Morgan Carey

Thanks Nick! I think that would be wicked - either way though, this is going to be a great case study for traffic generation of a listing online, and of course with the charity angle, everyone wins. Incidentally, I welcome anyone to make suggestions regarding local charities - Mindi Pettit from has already donated a free listing in her weekly email letter promoting this contest and the listing, and she had a great suggestion with the Nanaimo SPCA

Mike Dammann

Morgan will get immediate calls from people in LA and Newyork, and by the time they get there, Michael will have just sold the house. That is my prediction and I will wager with whoever is interested. PM me. :)


Your blog post has already created some of the best real estate marketing I've seen in awhile. In all fairness, the bet is the buzz.


A couple of weeks into it... we need an update! A listing in the MLS may be hard to beat.


Will your realtor place your home on the MLS?


I have my money on the realtor, sorry morgan. I don't think anything can out power the mls. The internet may sell your home but, I think it will be through another agents website. I have $25 dollars in on the cause. If I loose it will help charity

Julia Foster

I agree, that SEO work and blogging will help sell a house faster than a realtor. I beliebe that a House-For-Sale Blog is an effective sales tool. So if you ask me, "Can a blog sell your house?" my answer will be "yes". Morgan, I'm sure you will win! I wrote about you on my FSBo blog as an example how SEO and blogging can sell a house. Good luck!

REW Auliya

So what are the details of how this experiment is going? Any updates yet?

REW Nick

I was also wondering this as well. :)

Annie Maloney

Well...what was the outcome??

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