Advice for First Time Home Sellers
Selling your home for the first time isn’t a simple cakewalk, instead it often takes a great deal of patience and preparation to achieve the best possible outcome. Having no experience on your belt when selling a home for the first time may feel like the process is especially daunting. So to avoid the pitfalls of a first-time home seller, keep reading for my advice on how to sell your home fast and with no regrets!
Be Prepared to Say Goodbye: Typically a first-time home seller has a great deal of emotional investment in the property they’ve chosen to sell and letting go can be difficult and stress inducing. You’ve committed years of growth and memories to this place you’ve called ‘home’ and saying goodbye won’t be easy. That said, selling is also an excellent time to reflect and ask yourself ‘why am I choosing to move and how will it benefit me?’ Will a new home offer you more than your current home can? Perhaps your home served you loyally in the years you’ve owned it, but you are ready for an upgrade based on your developing lifestyle. Do yourself a favour and don’t rush into a decision. First, weigh the emotional pros and cons of selling to know you are indeed ready to say goodbye.
Hire an Agent: Hiring an agent with a proven track record can make all the difference when selling your home both in terms of overall experience and outcome. A qualified agent is well versed in the language of home selling and is informed about the current market so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. As a first-time home seller, it’s in your best interest to trust your home in the hands of a professional with a high aptitude on how to navigate the real estate trends in your area. Do your research and seek out an agent that understands your needs, will have your best interest in mind and will work to get the utmost value for your home.
Understand the Market & Choose the Right Time to Sell: A ‘seller’s market’ refers to when there are more buyers than available homes on the market. Due to the shortage of supply, this drives up the demand for homes and therefore the selling price. Inversely, a ‘buyer’s market’ is when there are more homes than buyers and therefore homes may have a longer market lifespan and will often sell for lesser value than they’re worth due to the shortage of demand. As a seller, ideally you’ll want to list in a hot seller’s market. Typically avoiding the winter months is a safe bet, as this is a particularly slow time for sales. Most people are busy with holiday commitments or don’t want to brave the cold in order to tour your home. Sales tend to pick up in the spring when the weather warms up and people are looking to make a ‘fresh start’ in the new season.
Are You Financially Prepared? Yes, the expenses of selling your home can add up and if you’ve never sold a home before, it’s important to know exactly what to anticipate financially.
Evaluate the following costs:
- Your home equity (the difference left after you’ve subtracted your remaining mortgage from the overall value of your home).
- Additional Closing Costs
- Agents Commission
Once you’ve calculated that you are in solid financial standing, you can securely decide to list your home.
Price Aggressively but Strategically: A mistake many first-time sellers make is overpricing their home, which will often lead to a longer market lifespan and in the worse case scenario, your home not selling if buyers refuse to pay the up sell. To avoid this, consider pricing your home slightly below its market value. This may sound like a crazy tactic, but most often than not homes that are priced on the lower side will garner multiple offers. In some cased this will lead to a bidding war and will drive the sale price of your home up which may in fact surpass its estimated market value in the long run.
Prepare Your Home for Sale: Lastly you’ll want to make sure your home is physically prepared for listing. Here are just a few quick tips on how you can make your home standout in the eyes of buyers. If you have the time, repaint your home to freshen things up and stick to neutral tones to display a fresh canvas to buyers. Depersonalize and hide away and knickknacks and photos. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home which is much more difficult to do when they’re surrounded by your memories. Stage your home. Your agent will help with this, either by staging the home for you or hiring a personal stager. Clean up your curb appeal by making sure your lawn and shrubbery has been groomed, that your gutters are cleared and you’ve remove any unsightly items like (garbage bins, toys, sprinklers, etc.). Make sure all lights are on and windows are open to brighten up the appeal of your home.
There you have it, my advice on how you as a first-time home seller can be prepared to tackle this endeavour confidently and get your home sold fast and for the best possible value! Remember, you’re never alone in your decision and if you have any questions at all, I’m here to help guide you every step of the way.