Selling Your First Home

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Real Estate

If you are a first-time home seller, and you need to know where to start when it comes to selling your home, reading this will help you out. The typical home seller lives in their home 7 plus years before considering putting it up for sale.

Selling a home isn’t a small task. It requires work and time. As a first-time home seller, you have already gone through the process of a sale transaction when you bought your home.

The first thing when it comes to selling your first home is the motive behind you selling. Is it because you need more space, or are you ready to downsize, or you’re relocating for job related reasons? Whatever your reason, it’s important to have a clear understanding of why you are wanting to sale.

Make sure you are in a strong financial position to sale. Determine if you need your proceeds from the sale to cover all the fees associated with selling your home. Otherwise, you’ll have to bring money to the table, and hopefully, you’ll profit some money when you do sale.

Your home is your biggest investment! So, you with at lot of money on the line, and no experience with selling a home, it may be a little intimidating. Rest assured you can sell fast at full price as a first-time home seller.

With any other challenge, do it slow and do your research before you make any moves. Here are some tips to help guide you in getting your home sold.

Letting Go!

Selling your home comes with a lot more emotional baggage. It is hard for people to let go of something that they have invested so much time in. You have had so many great or life-altering memories in your home that it’s like being in a long-term relationship.

You need to deal with whatever anxiety or apprehension you have about letting go, and trust me, feeling this way is 100% normal. Walk through your home and reflect on how it has served it purpose in your life. Think about what life beyond this sale will be an whether you’re happy with that picture.

The Time To Sell!

Understanding the real estate market can help you identify the best time to sell. As I write this blog post in 2021, we are definitely in a seller’s market. When there is a seller’s market there are more buyers searching for homes than there are homes available for sale. It gives sellers more negotiation power and can drive up profits.

The first thing you need to decide is if you’re going to sell your home on your own (this is called “for sale by owner’ FSBO) or if you’re going to use a real estate agent.

Consider the pros and cons of each option below, including how quickly you need to sell your home, the local market, and challenging features of your home that may require an expert with negotiating power.

 If you plan to sell FSBO:

·         Allocate time to prepare your home for the market across multiple channels

·         Research recent comparable sales in your area.

·         Keep flexible hours for showing or use a lock box.

·         Listen to feed back from buyers or agents without taking it personally.

·         Make sure you are a strong negotiator.

If you plan to hire an agent:

·         Ask for referrals.

·         Interview potential agents to make sure they are the right fit for you.

·         Trust your agent’s home selling advice.

·         Sell homes faster and for more money.

Home Improvements

Preparing your home to sell typically take some work. According to one survey, 30 % of first-time and repeat sellers say they wish they’re given themselves more time to get their house ready for the market. Making a lack of preparation is the most common regret among sellers.

You want buyers to fall in love with your home, like you did when you first bought it. Spend some time getting your home move-in ready, in a way that will appeal to the broadest range of buyers.

The repairs and upgrades you decide to make will probably depend on the condition of your home and what buyers in your area are looking for. A real estate agent can be a big help in identifying the items that should be on your to-do list. The good news is that home improvements doesn’t have to be massive renovations.

·         Decluttering and clean can open the space in your home.

·         Neutralize any orders to make sure the home smell fresh.

·         Organize your closets to highlight your home’s storage potential.

If you literally do nothing else to prepare your home for sale, at least make the outside look great. Make that all-important first impression, spend some time on your front yard. Power-wash the driveway and sidewalk, add some seasonal plants to pots and garden needs, cut back overgrown plants and rake leaves.

·         Mow and fertilize the lawn, kill any weeds

·         Remove dirt, grime, and cobwebs from entrance.

·         Scatter fresh mulch

·         Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door

Staging Your Home

Today, buyers have access to countless properties online, so your home have to make a great first impression on the internet. Home staging is the art of showing off a space in its best light with the right furniture, décor, and accents.

When a home is staged well, that alone will help people fall in love with your home. I have had a buyer ask to purchase a home with all the staged furniture. I have sold a couple with the staged furniture.

Make sure to repair pet damage, remove pet’s belongings, and clear away kid’s items like toys, gates, and high chairs.

Keep in mind when a buyer is walking through your home, they are visualizing their own families in the home.

Pre-Inspection

While it is likely that your buyer will do an inspection as part of the purchase process, sellers often opt to do their own pre-inspection. A pre-inspection can help you avoid surprises down the road and gives you a chance to fix the items that an inspector would flag for a buyer. Basically, an inspection report with a long list of issues gives buyers more negotiating power. Some buyers may find problems that will cause them to walk away from a deal. If you get a home inspection done first, you have a little more control. You will make it hard for a buyer to not offer full price for your home when they can’t find anything wrong with it.

Selling As Is

You will likely profit less money in the end, selling a home as is. Without completing any major improvements is a way to speed up your overall sale process and limit upfront costs.

Popular Improvements

You may want to think about some popular home features that today’s buyer love, like updating the floors from carpet to hard wood, granite counter tops in the kitchen, stainless steel appliances, heated floors or solar panels.

Pricing Competitively

A seller’s personal connection to their home and the motivation to get the most profit out of it, can cloud their judgement on price. Finding the price to list your home for can be challenging. It’s the most important factors in a successful home sale. Homes that are priced right are most likely to sell in no time. Make sure your home is backed by comps in your area.

A real estate agent can help you with a comparative market analysis to help with the decision of pricing your home.

Having an appraiser done on your home can cost between $500 and $700, but it can be a small price to pay if it helps you to sell your home quick and for an appropriate price.

Marketing Your Home

Once your home is ready to start to receive buyers, the next step is getting your home in front of as many potential buyers as possible. The best marketed homes have the best photos and compelling property description.  

You may want to invest in professional photos of your home. Professional photos can go a long way toward making your home stand out in a big way. Make sure your photos are of high quality.

The description of your home should highlight your home’s best features and the amenities that buyers in your area are looking for. Keep your description short.

Make sure to market your home across multiple channels. Today’s buyers search for homes in many ways, from searching the web, to looking for open houses, driving around looking for sale sign in the yard. The more places your home shows up, the more buyers will see it.

Closing Obligations

Closing is the last step in the home selling process. Once you have accepted an offer from a buyer you may be obligated to complete some repairs before closing. These repairs will have to be done before closing as the buyer will do a final walk through of the home a couple days before the closing takes place.

Submit property disclosure to the buyer. In most states, as a seller you’re required to disclose any known defects or issues that could affect the value of the home. These must be documented in writing prior to closing. You do not want to get sued!

One of the last steps is showing up for the closing, where you’ll sign all the legal documents to the sale of your home.

The keys are handed over to the buyer at closing, as indicated in your contract. Make sure to vacate the premises before closing if the buyer is taking immediate possession. Depending on the terms of your agreement with the buyer it may be later before the buyer take possession.