First-Time Home Sellers Will Benefit From These Tips!
Tips for First-Time Home Sellers
Buying and selling homes are two very different things. Whether it’s your first time selling your home or selling for the first time in 40 years, there are some important things you need to know as a home seller. Here are seven tips for every first-time home seller.
1. Find the right agent.
It’s important to find an experienced agent who is knowledgeable of the current market and your current neighborhood so he/she is able to price your home correctly. Listing agreements will contractually tie you to your agent for three to six months so it’s important to make sure you find one who you enjoy working with as well as one who has a strong strategic marketing plan. One thing to note: while you did not have to pay commission to your agent when you were buying, you will pay a commission when selling.
2. Prepare your home to sell.
You want your home to show its very best and be show ready when the home goes on the market. Start by cleaning and purging all your rooms to get rid of excess clutter and make your home feel bigger. It’s also the time to take down any personal décor and to neutralize your paint so buyers can imagine living in the home instead of being distracted by your personal taste. Make minor repairs, like installing a new front door or replacing the faucet and cabinet pulls, to boost the home’s value. When you’re done preparing the inside of the home, boost the home’s curb appeal by trimming the bushes and filling in bare spots in the lawn. Buyers’ first impressions start as soon as they pull up to the front of the house. So make sure you wow them from the start.
3. Understand your local real estate market.
Real estate markets can vary significantly from one neighborhood to another even in the same town. It is important to understand the real estate market in your own back yard.
There are three states of a real estate market: a seller’s market, a buyer’s market and a balanced market. A seller’s market is preferred when selling your home for the first time. This market typically leads to lots of demand for a property and the potential for multiple offers. And the spring months have generally been the stronger months to sell a home as the increase in buyers pick up starting in March. Your agent should be able to advise you as to your local market.
4. Decide where you’re going to live next.
It’s important when selling your first home to know where you’re going to live next. Are you building a new home? Buying a new home? Moving to an apartment? If you’re buying another home or building a new home, you need to talk to a local mortgage lender to find out whether you can be pre-approved for a mortgage without being contingent on the sale of your current home. Buying and selling a home simultaneously can be tricky, while managing the closing and moving schedules, so it’s important to have a game plan in place.
5. Price it right.
Want to know the number one reason a home doesn’t sell? Price, price, price. Listing your home too high can force your home to sit on the market longer. The longer it sits, the fewer number of buyers will be looking at the home. And once you do make a price adjustment, which you will eventually be forced to do, buyers will often submit even lower priced offers. If you hire an experienced agent, they will do a comparative market analysis; looking at active home sales, past home sales, and expired listings to determine the price of your home while also factoring in your home’s current condition.
6. Know what your closing expenses will be.
First time home sellers are often shocked when they learn the seller expenses they are traditionally responsible for, something they may not have to deal with in buying their first home. Some of these closing costs are real estate agent commissions (something they did not have to pay for when they purchased), surveys, title fees, and transfer taxes. Often these closing costs are paid for from the profit of selling your home.
When you do receive an offer, keep an updated mortgage pay-off balance handy so you can determine what your closing costs will be and there will be no surprises right before closing.
7. Make your house available and be ready to move.
Once your home is listed, make sure it is show ready and you are available to show at a moment’s notice. You don’t want to miss a potential buyer. When you do have an accepted offer, the clock is ticking towards your closing! Often homes can be listed for sale and closed within 30 days, so make sure you are ready once you tell your agent to go.
Selling your first home can be very stressful and emotional. When you have an experienced agent on your side, you are more likely to have a successful home sale.
Questions about selling your home? Contact Minteer Real Estate Team who can walk you through all of the steps as well as give you a real time market analysis of your home’s worth.