South Florida Real Estate Blog
Helpful Tips, Advice & Articles for Buyers or Sellers
Step By Step Guide for First-Time Home Sellers
Are you ready to sell your home?
Don’t do anything until you’ve read this guide!
For first time home sellers, it’s easy to make simple mistakes that could end up costing you tons of money. These mistakes may also make it difficult, if not nearly impossible to sell your home.
Fortunately, we’ve written this guide for people just like you, getting ready to sell a home for the first time. Take a minute to read through this comprehensive, yet simple guide to get your home sold for its value as quickly as possible.
A Guide for First Time Home Sellers
Selling a home takes time and work. You need to get your home in prime condition to make a positive impact for potential buyers walking through.
Depending on the condition of your house, you may need to invest some money into it as well. However, if you decide not to, it may mean dropping the price down. Regardless, you can do everything you can to make your house feel as warm and inviting as possible.
All home sellers should take the following steps.
1. Do Your Research
First, you need to do some market research. Get online and check out the houses in your neighborhood.
You can find the relative values of the homes in your neighborhood as well as what houses have sold for recently. Recent sales numbers will be a good indication of how the market is doing and what you can expect for your house.
However, pay attention to quality, size, and features of the homes compared to yours. Be practical and emotionally unattached when determining how to price your home, and only use homes within your neighborhood for comparison.
2. Come Up with a Plan
Next, home sellers should come up with a gameplan. Figure out a deadline for when you want your house to be on the market.
Timing is very important as well, certain times of year are better than others for selling a house. For example, people don’t want to be trudging through snow and the bitter cold to look at homes. People certainly don’t want to move during the winter.
If you can, list your house between early spring. This gives you all of spring, summer, and fall to sell your home. However, don’t be surprised if the hottest days of summer are slow, as people don’t like being out in the heat.
You also need to plan out all of the steps you need to take to get your home ready. But don’t worry, we have them listed out for you below!
3. Minimalize, Move Out, and Stage
The best thing home sellers can do is move out, although, we realize that may not always be an option. If you can move out, you should also hire a home stager. Professionally staged homes have shown to sell significantly faster.
If you can’t move out, you need to start decluttering your home so that it looks like a minimalist lives there. The less stuff you have in the house, the easier it will be to keep clean. Rent a storage unit for your extra stuff or start selling it off, or both.
4. Renovate and Repair
Now that you’ve got a lot of your stuff cleared out, you should start minor renovations and repairs (before you have your home staged).
How you do this depends on how much time, effort, and money you want to commit. Remember, if you don’t make the repairs and renovations, it will likely be reflected in the offers you get for the home.
Here’s a quick checklist of things to repair or renovate:
- Leaky pipes
- Damaged trim
- Cracked/Broken Windows
- Replace lightbulbs
- Repaint interior/exterior (a fresh coat of paint works wonders)
- Have windows, doors, sinks, toilets, showers, tubs resealed
- Refinish hardwood floors, shampoo carpets
- Repair damaged drywall
5. Perfect Your Curb Appeal
Next, home sellers need to improve the aesthetic appeal of the exterior of the home. This includes siding, roof, landscaping, driveways, sidewalks, etc.
There’s a lot you can do to make your home seem more appealing as you drive up. Here are some ideas:
- Cut the grass
- Pull weeds
- Remove all garbage, clutter, and debris
- Trim trees, hedges, bushes
- Clean driveways and sidewalks
- Clean the siding and roof
- Plant flowers or use potted plants to liven it up
Every time a potential buyer walks into your house, it needs to be perfectly cleaned. The kitchens and bathrooms need to be sanitized. The floors should be spotless, and the home should be odor-free.
If you don’t live there, maintaining cleanliness will be much easier. If you do live there, it just means you will constantly be covering your tracks.
7. Hire Your Own Inspector
While it may seem silly to hire an inspector when that’s usually the buyer’s responsibility, it will actually give you an edge up.
Having an inspection does immediately puts you in the know. You are aware of any problems with your house and what work needs to be done, there will be no surprises after the fact.
Having an inspection done also serves as an olive branch to potential buyers. You’ll already have everything they need and they won’t have to spend the money, making them more prone to placing an offer.
8. Hire an Agent
Next, all home sellers can benefit from hiring a realtor. Not only do they know the market better, but they also know how to sell homes quickly. They can help you every step of the way.
However, they also come with many other benefits such as additional contacts, experience, negotiating skills, and more.
9. Be Ready to Negotiate
Finally, home sellers need to be ready to negotiate and compromise if necessary. Just because you have fond memories that make your house more valuable to you, it doesn’t mean buyers are going to agree.
Be realistic about your expectations. It may take longer than you want to sell your house and you may not get the amount you want.
Finally, remember not to get emotionally involved. Don’t get offended when people try to low-ball you or ask for the moon. Like you, they’re just trying to get the best deal possible.
Home sellers all have one thing in common – they want to sell their homes! However, you should learn to be patient when selling your home to avoid losing your sanity in the process. Sales fall through all the time due to buyer finances, changes of heart, etc.
Your home will sell when it’s supposed to. However, you should still do everything in your power to make it more appealing!
And if you need help getting started or making the mad dash to the finish line, contact us, we can get you there!