home seller

The Ultimate Guide for First Time Home Sellers

Are you soon to be a first-time home seller?

If so, you’re not alone. 5.5 million people sold their homes in 2017, many for the first time.

While buying a home often centers around sentiment and emotion, selling a home is more about numbers and logic. What can you do to maximize your home’s profit potential and get the best possible sale price?

If you’re looking for home seller tips, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll reveal 10 expert tips for the first-time home seller.

1. Start with a Plan

Few things in life can you feel less in control than selling your home. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by outlining a clear plan and your top priorities.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Will you hire a real estate agent?
  • How will you set your price?
  • How will you stage your home?
  • What will you leave behind or take with you?
  • Are you more worried about closing quickly or getting your asking price?

There are no right or wrong answers here. The idea is to determine what you want out of the sale so you can focus your attention where it’s needed most.

As an example, what if you’re experiencing financial distress and hope to get sell your home fast? It might be possible to find an agent who will make a cash offer and buy your home “as is” — no repairs required.

2. Consider the Timing

Did you know that the time of year you list your home can make a major difference in the selling process?

It’s true. While it’s possible to buy and sell homes at any time of year, research shows that May is the optimum month to place your house on the market.

You also need to consider what’s happening in your personal life. Have you recently gone through a divorce, a death in the family, or another stressful life event? You may want to allow some time to pass before making the major decision to sell your home.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

The seemingly endless websites to help you sell your home may convince you to try it on your own.

You’re welcome to take this route, of course, but there are compelling reasons not to. The real estate industry is a complex world. Your best bet of navigating it smoothly (and getting the best price for your home) is with the help of an agent.

Are you selling a home in the Chicago area? Click here to learn more about our team of experienced agents.

4. Set the Right Price

We’re sure your sister’s husband’s former roommate who dabbles in real estate means well.

But dabbling in real estate is not the same as the ability to expertly analyzing home values in your neighborhood.

Again, this is where a trustworthy agent is your most valuable ally. They’ll prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine a fair and accurate price to list your home.

5. Learn How to Stage Your Home

If you haven’t already, now is the time to boost your home’s curb appeal.

You don’t have to make major renovations, but there’s a lot you can do to make your home more visually appealing. A fresh coat of paint, a well-maintained yard, and a pressure-washed driveway can make a world of difference.

You’ll also want to declutter your home before you schedule any showings. Experts recommend removing about half the furniture from your home, if possible.

6. Hire a Professional Photographer

This is another step many first-time home sellers overlook.

Hopefully, if you’ve hired a reputable agent, they’ll arrange for professional photographs of your home. If this isn’t included, don’t try to sell your home with a few hastily snapped pictures from your smartphone.

A skilled photographer will know exactly how to photograph each room to make it appealing to potential buyers. You should also consider a video or virtual tour of your home, as this can entice more buyers to schedule a showing.

7. Be Flexible About Showings

Showings can feel like an imposition on your life, but they’re a necessary part of the selling process.

If possible, arrange to go away during the first weekend or week your home is on the market. This will allow your agent to schedule multiple showings (or even an open house) without infringing on your personal life.

8. Consider Hosting an Open House

Is your home located in an area that receives a lot of traffic?

If so, you’re in an ideal position to host an open house. Not all home buyers spend hours scouring the internet for listings–some prefer to get in the car and view houses in person.

Who knows? Your ideal buyer may pass your open house and take the opportunity to view it on the spot.

9. Review Your Online Listings

Your agent will do their best to ensure accurate listings. Still, the person who knows your house best is you.

It doesn’t hurt to double-check your online listings to ensure they’re accurate and complete. If you notice an important feature is missing, be sure to contact your agent and let them know.

10. Respond Quickly to Any Offers

So, you’ve listed your house and had a few showings. Now your very first offer has rolled in.

Congratulations! You’re one step closer to selling your house.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting too long before you respond to the offer. Many offers have an expiration date, and there’s always the chance the buyer could find another house in the meantime.

Now’s not the time to waffle about accepting the offer, making a counteroffer, or waiting for a better offer. Respond promptly to all offers that come your way to maximize your chances of selling.

First-Time Home Seller: Don’t Go It Alone

Now that you’re familiar with these real estate tips, you’re better prepared to put your house on the market.

The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a first-time home seller or you’re looking for expert guidance on the selling process, we’re here to help.

And whenever you’re ready, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We look forward to helping you sell your home as smoothly (and profitably) as possible!