There are so many articles and blogs coaching first time home buyers through their first time home buying experience, but very few articles directed towards the first time home seller. Selling a home for the first time is just as intimidating a process as buying one for the first time. A first time buyer hears horror stories about picking the wrong home and turning it into a money pit. A first time home seller hears horror stories of houses being priced incorrectly, sitting on the market and losing money trying to unload it while carrying two mortgages at the same time. Although being a first time home seller can be scary, it doesn’t have to be with the right guidance and support. Here is a list of the top 5 tips for first time home sellers.
Prepare Your Home
With real estate finally making its comeback after the bubble burst, the market is competitive. Consumers have apps on their phones to find the latest and greatest properties on the market for the best price. As a first time home seller, make your home stand out to potential buyers so they have no choice but to stop and look at your property instead of scroll by. You do not need a major face lift on your kitchen and bathrooms to make your home appear more modern if you can not afford to do so. A little touch up paint on your baseboards or cabinets can lighten up a dark kitchen or bathroom, which could make a world of difference to a buyer. Replacing outdated hardware and light fixtures will make your rooms more appealing and are a low cost quick fix.
Your home’s exterior is your first impression to buyers.If you hire a professional landscaper, they could help increase your curb appeal dramatically. Take a look out our 5 Easy Spring Landscaping Tips. Most landscapers will provide a free estimate, so you could get an idea as to what they would do to make your property more appealing and at what cost. If you can not afford to hire a professional landscaper, take the time to trim, weed and mow your yard. Buyers driving around desirable neighborhoods they want to live in, will inquire about a property they drove by with an attractive front yard.
Real Estate Agent
When you use a real estate agent to sell your home, you sign a contract for them to represent you for 3 to 6 months. While it is definitely better to work with an agent instead of doing it on your own, you want to make sure you’re working with the right agent. Check with family and friends to see who they used when selling their homes. Go a step further and check into those real estate agent’s online reviews. Your real estate agent needs to be an expert in selling homes in your area and the process overall. Being a first time seller, you are going through a process that is completely new so you want to make sure you are with a professional that knows what to expect and can calmly guide you through it. See our blog 5 Reasons to be Thankful for a Great Real Estate Agent for more on why it’s important to pick the right real estate agent in any transaction.
Agent vs. Brokerage
When signing with an agent, you may be drawn to bigger named real estate offices instead of the smaller ones because you recognize the brokerage’s name. It is important to keep in mind that a larger brokerage (or real estate office) is not better than a smaller brokerage and the quality of the real estate agent is not different. Real estate agents are independent contractors, and choose which office they will work out of based on that brokerage firm’s philosophy and culture. Some real estate agents prefer a big name brokerage firm for the name recognition, while others prefer the smaller close knit office environment where the agents talk and share leads. The right real estate agent will work their hardest to deliver results for you and build a long lasting relationship with you. You can find those agents at almost any real estate brokerage firm regardless of the firm’s size.
Timing is Everything
Every area has a time of year that real estate moves the fastest. For some areas, it is the spring time and others it could be the early summer months. Look like a real estate pro instead of a rookie first time home seller and research to see when houses in your area sell the most. Your real estate agent will be able to help you figure this out for you. Knowing when the best time to sell will reduce the time your home will be spent on the market. A home that spends too much time on the market could be seen as undesirable and welcome in offers that are way too low.
Is the Price Right?
Pricing your home can be tricky. How can you put a price on your first home? Of course the memories you made in your home are priceless, but fortunately you get to take those with you. The house itself most definitely has a price based on comparable houses in the neighborhood that recently sold. Your real estate agent will do a comparative market analysis when determining what price they think your home is worth. It is important to not let emotion get involved in this piece of the process. If the price is a little lower than what you had expected, it is nothing personal. The numbers are based on what the market in your area is doing at the time. If you would like to boost your price, ask your real estate agent if there are any quick fixes (as mentioned above) that might bring your price point up. A home priced too high will sit on the market and discourage potential buyers from checking it out. Wondering what your home is worth? Get a free home value analysis from Leighton Realty.
First Time Home Seller Success
Selling a home for the first time is stressful, but with the right support and guidance it is manageable. Take a look at our Cape Cod Home Selling System. Once you find the right real estate agent, they can help guide you through the process so that it is seamless and you know what to expect.