Tips for First-Time Home Sellers
House and Home

Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

We know that selling a home for the first time might be daunting and a bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Like anything new, doing your research and knowing what to expect can help to quell your fears and set you up for success. Real estate professionals have let us in on a few of their best tips to help first-time home sellers get optimum results for this all-important transaction. Being prepared for the selling process ahead of time can help you be realistic about what your home will sell for, ensure that you know how to find a professional that can guide you through the process and also allow you ample time to prepare your home for the sale. Small changes in the process can result in tens of thousands of dollars in increased sale price, which can impact your financial future for the rest of your life. Make sure you take the time to get educated to ensure that you’re selling your home in the best way possible. 

Understand the market and how much your home will sell for

Unless you are in a situation where you absolutely need to sell now, you’ll want to evaluate the market, how much your home is worth, and if it’s really the optimum time to sell. Covid-19 has created a seller’s market across much of the country — meaning that there are not enough homes to keep up with buyer demand — and as a result it could be that now is an ideal time to sell and you could get more than your home is worth.

Do your homework

A home value estimator can be a valuable tool to help get a ballpark number to begin your research. With this type of online tool, you can look up your address to get a quick estimate. Some of the more sophisticated options, such as HomeLight’s Home Estimate Tool, will pair market data with a quiz about your property. You can even take it a step further with a Comparative Market Analysis, which an agent will do for you, or you can start researching yourself, by comparing similar properties in your area. A pre-listing appraisal can provide even greater accuracy to see what your home is worth. You’ll want to also subtract sales costs to get a full picture of what you’ll take home from the deal. 

Hire a professional

While there is definitely more than one way to sell a house (like selling a home for cash), hiring a professional can be the best strategy for first time sellers. You could start with Google to seek out agents in your neighborhood, but like valuing your home, there are online tools designed to get the job done faster. These assets, like HomeLight’s agent matching tool work with an algorithm that reviews sales records to identify top agents in your area. A pro tip is to ask your friends and neighbors for a referral. It could be that you can skip some of the legwork for online research by starting from a trusted recommendation. Then research these agents online to see what kind of presence they have, the types of homes they are selling or helping people buy, and then contact them to find out more and see if they might be a good fit. You want someone that you have a good chemistry with, someone that listens to your concerns and feedback and really takes them on board. Selling a home can be such an emotional process, not only are you letting go of a property that has been home to so many 

Get your home ready to sell

While you are looking for your agent, you can get your home ready to sell. First you need to tackle decluttering to streamline your home — especially if you will be living in it while going through the selling process. After decluttering, a deep clean is a must, preferably by a professional to do a thorough job reaching every corner like ceilings, windows, and fans. Then you have to get your home ready for the stage, to show off its best features. You can follow some DIY tips, by moving furniture from one room to another and adding light by taking down heavy drapes, painting walls in neutral tones, or bringing in greenery, fresh flowers, or even a bowl of fruit into living areas. Hiring a professional can of course save time to get your home in shape. If hiring a professional isn’t in the budget, it can be worth borrowing items from friends and family’s homes to stage your home without breaking the bank. You want to make sure your home looks so good that the potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. 

By keeping all of this in mind, you will be well on your way to selling your home in no time — hopefully with minimal stress. Giving yourself ample time to prepare for the various steps required when selling a home, will hopefully allow you to command a higher sale price as well.