Sellers October 10, 2018

How to Thrive as a First-Time Home Seller

You probably didn’t consider what it would take to sell your home when you bought it beyond potential resale value. Selling can be something of an emotional rollercoaster, and it can be a real inconvenience if you aren’t prepared. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your first foray into selling your home.


Check Your Emotions at the Door

Selling your home can be an emotional ordeal. Even when you’re excited to move on to a new house, it can be tough to leave behind all the memories you’ve made in this one. It may help you to always keep the idea that you want to sell your home at the forefront of your thoughts.

This is so important because at some point, someone is going to make an offer on your house and you may not be pleased with it. It’s crucial that you’re mentally prepared for that type of scenario. You must remember that it’s a business transaction and that potential buyers don’t mean anything personal. They simply don’t have the same emotional investment in your home that you do.


Communicate with Your Agent

You can’t expect your agent to know what you really want out of this transaction if you don’t tell them. Make sure you let your agent know what is most important to you. Any agent worth their salt will take all of this into account when listing and selling your home, and they’ll likely ask specific questions to help guide their approach.

Here are some questions you can consider to determine how you expect selling your home to go:

  • How much are you expecting your home to sell for?
  • Would you rather sell the home quick or is getting top dollar for it your priority?
  • Are you open to discussing alternative terms like a flooring allowance or are you looking for more of an as-is deal?
  • Are you open to hosting an open house? What kind of parameters will you need to set on showings?


Be Receptive to Advice

Ideally, you’ll hire a real estate agent who has seen success in selling homes in your area and is an expert in their field. You’re going to be paying them a commission for this expert advice, so make sure that you’re prepared to take it.

Your agent will be able to use their knowledge and research skills to help you determine the best time to list your home, how much you should ask for it, what kind of repairs you should consider prior to listing, how to prepare for showings, and how to best market your home.


Prepare Your Home with ROI in Mind

When you are getting ready to list your home, you’ll likely need to do a little work to get it ready for the market. This can seem a little like walking a tightrope; you don’t want to spend more than you can recoup through the sale price of the home, but you also don’t want to miss out on money because you didn’t do enough to make your home more appealing.

Your agent will likely be happy to give you some objective advice on the matter specific to your home. To get you started, here are a couple little improvements that usually offer a high ROI (return on investment):

  • A simple deep clean
  • Painting, both interior and exterior
  • Updating light and plumbing fixtures
  • Kitchen updates
  • Bath updates
  • Fresh flooring (depending on the condition of the old flooring)
  • curb appeal boost


Consider Staging

Whether you’re planning on living in your home while it’s on the market or you’ll be moving out before it’s listed, staging can go a long way to helping you find the right buyer at the right price. A survey done by the National Association of Realtors show that 96% of buyer’s agents say that staging has an impact on how buyers view a home at least some of the time.

If professional staging isn’t in the budget, your agent may be able to help you with a set-up that’s more appealing. If you want to get started before you even hire an agent, step one is always to eliminate clutter and most of your personal items from view.


Have a Game Plan for Showings

Make sure that you’re prepared for your home to be shown at the drop of a hat. Being more available for showings can help you get an offer faster; telling potential buyers it’s not a good time can prevent you from getting the best offer possible.

First off, always make sure that your home stays neat and tidy so that it’s show ready, particularly when the house will be empty for a large portion of the day.

If you have pets, make sure they’re contained or take them with you when the house is being shown. At the very least, make sure your agent informs other agents of any specific instructions or information regarding your animals (i.e., the dog is in the laundry room, friendly but loud) so they can prepare their client.

It’s a good idea to find a place nearby that you can always go to for a few hours when your home will be shown. A park, coffee shop, or a close friend or relatives’ home are all potential escapes.


Make Sure You’re Ready to Move

Before you list your home, make sure that you’re ready to move. This means you’ll need to get your affairs in order emotionally, physically, and financially. Ideally, you’ll have a preapproval letter in hand at the very least.


Parting Words for First Time Sellers

Selling your home is oftentimes a gateway to new, exciting things. By taking the above tips to heart, you can make sure that your selling experience doesn’t sully the start of new adventures.