First-Time Home Sellers Guide: 5 Best Practices
First-time home sellers can find it challenging to make the right decisions when it comes to selling their property. There are so many intricacies involved. The process can easily become more challenging than it needs to be if you’re not experienced with it. Selling your house in the wrong way can cause unnecessary stress, sacrifice your equity, and even lead to a lower resale value.
If you’re a first-time home seller and need to sell your property, we’ve got you covered. In this first-time home sellers guide, we’ll share our five best practices that all new sellers must follow.
1. Price the Property Accurately
When you plan to sell a house, the first step is to price it accurately. This price should match that of the prevailing market price. Your source of advice in this situation has to be a good local real estate agent. The real estate agent should be experienced, with a number of local properties sold by them.
Because realtors have access to MLS (Multiple Listing Service), they can run comparisons on property prices and analyze the figures with precision. A good agent will conduct a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to produce an estimated value for your home.
This report will show you comparisons of properties sold recently in the area. It’s important to ensure the agent is using properties with similar specifications to yours in their reports. This includes features like age, area, size, and condition.
While you should trust the real estate agent’s knowledge and opinion, make sure you study the comparable sales yourself to determine the right price for the property. A realtor can help, but the final decision should ultimately be yours.
Pricing a property too high, especially for the area, seller circumstances, or time of year, can lead to the property not selling. Dropping the price should be avoided at all costs. Buyers in the market are often well aware of properties for sale in their chosen area. They’ll notice a price drop and may be concerned that there’s something wrong with the property.
As Denver real estate investor Shaun stated, “It doesn’t matter how well you renovate a house. If you price it too high it just won’t sell. Trust me, Watson Buys purchases houses in Denver CO regularly. Often the homes that we buy have been sitting because the homeowner started too high.”
2. Timing is Everything
Home sellers need to know when to list their homes. There are certain times in the year when the market is at its highest for house sales. You need to capitalize on these days. According to researchers, most homes are sold in spring, somewhere in the first week of April. However, selling a house in fall, when the demand is high, can also be beneficial to first-time home sellers.
As per research by Zillow, Thursday is the best day to list a property. Homes listed towards the end of the week get the most engagement and enquires within the first 24 hours than houses listed on other days. Ask your real estate agent about when is the best time to sell a property in your area. Experienced agents know exactly when you can earn the maximum profit from your sale.
3. Complete All Pending Repairs
When a prospective buyer enters a new home, there may be repairs that they want to be completed before actually buying it. A worn-down, ill-maintained house will not appeal to any buyer. In fact, most of them won’t even book a showing or step foot in the door if they notice issues beforehand.
As part of the checklist of things to do before selling, make sure you complete all major and minor repair work. Things like refreshing the kitchen or bathroom, fixing external issues, and checking the foundations are intact will attract better buyers and higher offers.
Don’t be tempted to “hide” issues with a property. These problems will resurface later, usually during a homebuyer’s survey or mortgage inspection. When this happens, you can end up lowering the price more than you would have if you’d fixed the issue beforehand. You can also lose money if the buyers decide to pull out.
Plus, fixing issues before listing can increase the property’s value, so the renovations pay for themself and give you more equity. A few examples of repairs that you should take care of include plumbing issues, electrical defects, roofing, lighting issues, and drywall wear and tear.
4. Prepare Your Home For the Market
Another essential thing to do as a first-time home seller is to prepare your property for a sale. This means staging a house for a sale in the best possible way to attract buyers. One innovative method is using virtual staging to present your house in its best light. When it comes to choosing the best solution, Virtual Staging is becoming an increasingly preferred choice among sellers considering its effectiveness and cost efficiency. But if clients are coming over to see the house in person, make sure you:
- Mow the lawn and trim shrubbery
- Keep on top of garden maintenance during showings
- Declutter bedrooms and surfaces
- Remove old furniture and unessential items
- Clean the property thoroughly
Listing photos are the most crucial part of selling a property. Bad images can deter buyers from looking at your property online, let alone in person. Ask a real estate agent for advice on how to stage a property and consider paying for professional listing photos.
5. Review Offers Carefully
When selling a house, you’ll often receive multiple offers. Don’t judge an offer by the buyer alone. The actual terms of the offer should be reviewed carefully before deciding which one to go with. A few factors to consider once you’ve received an offer include:
- Type of financing (traditional loan or cash)
- Down payment amount (if they are paying with a loan)
- Speed of closing
Ideally, as a seller, you’ll want to find a buyer who is reliable, has a strong financing method, and wants to close the deal quickly.
Summary: Selling as a First-Time Seller
Trying to sell a house fast can be an emotional process with multiple steps to go through to get your house sold. The idea, however, is to understand the market and make the right choices to prepare your home. As first-time sellers, do your due diligence ahead of time and it will pay off later. Utilize real estate professionals that have the tools and knowledge to make these processes easy.
By following the best practices detailed in this first-time home sellers guide, you can sell a house fast and get the best price for your home.
Are you curious about what your property is worth? Give us a buzz at (215) 769-9875 and receive your cash offer today. Brotherly Love Real Estate is a cash home buyer in Philadelphia that offers information for homeowners. We can help you by providing options to buy your house for cash. Contact us to find out how we can help.