First-Time Home Seller Tips
Buying a home for the first time can be quite exciting. Conversely, selling a home for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Indeed, it can be an emotional endeavor parting with a place that you’ve been living in for years.
On the practical side of things, selling a home takes a lot of work. You need to invest a lot of time, in particular, especially when it comes to meeting with potential buyers and negotiating prices. The process itself can also be difficult to deal with, which can lead to frustration and disappointments. In addition, it’s highly likely that you’ll be selling and buying at the same time.
This situation can easily double or triple the stress you’re feeling.
In short, you need to prepare well. If you’re a first-time home seller, here are some tips that can help make the experience a lot easier:
Work With a Real Estate Professional
You may have bought your own home successfully without working with a Real Estate professional, but selling is another story. In some ways, it’s more complicated and therefore easier to get wrong. Having a Real Estate professional at your side to guide you every step of the way can take a huge burden off your shoulders.
The main thing you need to decide on is whether you want to work with a real estate agent or a broker. Either real estate professional can help you sell your home the right way, but their roles have a few differences. A Real Estate Agent is licensed to assist people in buying, selling, and renting real estate. They are paid a commission that is about 6% of the property’s sale price.
Meanwhile, a Real Estate Broker is a real estate agent who has continued their education and has earned a broker’s license. They can still work as agents but they can also start their own real estate brokerage and hire a team of Agents to work with them. (You can go here if you’d like to have an idea about some of the things that a real estate broker does.)
With a reliable Real Estate professional at your side, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a good price. You can also sell your house much faster, as well as hand over matters such as showing the property to potential buyers and filing the paperwork. Real Estate professionals can even vet people so you don’t have to deal with scammers or other ill-intentioned parties.
Stage Your Home
As with anything that’s being sold, your home will be scrutinized by potential buyers. It’s perfectly understandable, of course, since a home is a big pretty big investment and people want to get their money’s worth. You probably did it too, when you were still thinking about buying the property, right? All of this is to say that you need to prepare the house for visitation purposes. This is what’s known in the industry as “staging.”
A Real Estate Agent can help you with this matter. They can set up each room in the most appealing style to entice buyers to sign their name on the deed. Don’t be surprised if most of your furniture will be removed; a house stages better if there’s ample space to move around for a quick “tour.” Moreover, a house that’s being sold ideally should look like a showroom rather than an actual lived-in house. This way, potential buyers can easily imagine themselves living in
Take Good Photos
Nowadays, most people will start looking for homes for sale online. This means that a lot of the interest will be driven by content such as photos and videos. If you take bad pictures, you’ll most likely turn off buyers. No amount of “it looks so much better in person” captions will be able to fully convince people that your house is not as drab as the photos you’ve posted.
If you can, hire a photographer to take really great photos of your home. Nothing beats the creative eye of a professional and they can even add their own artistic touches to your home to showcase it better. However, if a photographer’s fee is out of the budget, you can easily take great photos using your own camera or even your smartphone. Study how professional photos look and try to replicate the shots. Natural light is your best friend, as is a wide-angle lens so you can present better perspectives.
Better yet, hire a Real Estate professional who will take care of the photos for you by having a professional photograph your home.
Be Open to Negotiation
It’s rare to find a buyer who will automatically agree with your asking price. Again, a home is a big investment. If people can find ways to save even just a couple thousand dollars, they would definitely take it. Thus, you need to be patient when the price negotiations inevitably happen. Besides, a lot of home-buying agreements include inspections. This is to protect the buyers and reassure them they aren’t being short-changed.
The good thing is that if you hire a real estate agent, they can handle all the negotiations for you. They can advise you as to how much you can adjust the price, as well as on other matters such as repairs, insurance, and other inclusions or exclusions.
Sell at the Right Time
There’s such a thing as the right time to sell a house. The best opportunity is when you have a seller’s market—a situation when there are more home buyers than available properties. This will give you more wiggle room when it comes to price negotiations.
On the other hand, the least ideal time to sell a house is during winter months, if you’re in the North, and the holidays. People are usually busy celebrating, visiting loved ones, or simply spending time at home due to the cold weather. Severe conditions can also disrupt home visit schedules. Of course, this also means that there will be fewer sellers to compete against which can skew the odds in your favor. Depending on the buyer’s circumstances, you may be able to sell your home for a higher price during this period.
You should also take into consideration that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed whatever unspoken “rules” there were with regards to home buying and selling. Again, your Real Estate Agent or Broker can help you navigate these matters and give you advice so you can make the right decision.
Insure the Property
Insuring your home can increase a buyer’s confidence, since they’ll be protected in case there are any accidents while they’re viewing your home. Of course, it’s also standard practice to remove any hazards on the premises before showing your property to potential buyers. If you have a dog, no matter how friendly it is, it’s best to get it out of the house before any showings.
You should also coordinate with your Real Estate Agent or Broker about other important information. For example, if you have a cat, potential buyers with allergies should be informed. You should definitely clean up the place beforehand, but it’s still better to have everything laid out at the beginning so that there are no surprises.
Wrapping up Considerations
Finally, the best thing you can do as a first-time home seller is to prepare yourself not just financially, but also mentally and emotionally. This way, if anything goes wrong, you won’t be disappointed or too stressed.
Still, with the help of these tips, you can lessen the risk of encountering less-than-ideal scenarios and sell your house as smoothly as possible. Good luck!
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About the author
Lynn Pineda’s Real Estate Blog ImagineYourHouse invited Monica Mendoza to write for the blog.
Monica is a content writer and marketing professional who’s on the lookout for a new house. As part of her research, she’s taken a good look at how the Real Estate industry works and how she can find Agents who can help her get a good deal. When she’s not working at home, she can be found baking ad looking for new recipes online.