5 Must-Know Tips For First-Time Home Sellers
There’s nothing quite like being a first-time homeowner. Even if your home has minor imperfections and not-so-great features, you’ve likely savored every minute of your homeowner experience. At a certain point, you’ll end up on the opposite side of the table and you’ll be getting ready to sell your home. First-time home sellers can often have a tough time navigating the real estate transaction.
Just because your home is for sale it doesn’t mean you’ll get numerous offers within minutes of listing the property. Selling a home takes a lot of effort and, in some cases, a lot of time. Similar to when you first purchased the property, you’ll need to take care of plenty of tasks and address unexpected issues. From hosting home showings to restoring parts of your property, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you.
But don’t worry too much about selling your home! We know it can sound like an overwhelming ordeal, however, with the right support and advice, your home sale will be smooth, stress-free, and speedy. Just stick with these must-know tips for first-time home sellers and you’ll be on the fast track to your next home.
First-Time Home Seller Tip #1:
Keep Your Emotions Out of the Transaction
We know that you may have a deep personal attachment to your property. That’s perfectly okay! Every homeowner inevitably grows attached to their humble abode. You likely have plenty of nostalgic memories of delicious meals in the dining room and numerous memorable moments in your backyard. But, if you’re serious about selling your home, then you need to remove emotion from the equation.
During home showings and meetings with prospective buyers, you might overhear comments concerning potential renovations to your home or negative remarks concerning your property. Don’t let your emotions take control and tank a potential sale! Take a step back, breath, and remind yourself why you’re selling your property.
In the midst of the home selling experience, you should take some time for self-care activities. Book a massage, have dinner with your friends, and find ways to relieve your stress.
First-Time Home Seller Tip #2:
Make Sure Your Home Is Impeccable All The Time
It’s time to face facts: Most prospective home buyers need blank walls and clean spaces to envision themselves living in your home. That means you shouldn’t leave your decor up nor should you ignore your cleaning responsibilities. For home showings and open houses, you need to make sure your home is spic-and-span.
So, now is the time to do a big decluttering sweep of your home. While you can store plenty of personal items in your closet spaces, you may also want to consider renting out a storage unit for your things. This is also a great opportunity to gather up items you never use and sell them in a garage sale or donate them to a local charity.
Once all of that is taken care of, you may want to consider hiring a professional stager for your property. They’ll be able to make expert recommendations on how to make your home stand out from the crowd. Just be prepared to do some repainting inside of your home and to live with rented furniture for a short amount of time.
First-Time Home Seller Tip #3:
Schedule A Pre-Inspection
As you know from your first-time home buying experience, prospective homebuyers will hire an inspector after they’ve made an offer—but before the closing of the sale—to thoroughly examine the property. After all, isn’t that what you did? That inspection can be a critical point in your home sale, as the inspector findings can reopen the door for negotiations. If the inspector finds any issues or concerns, the buyer may be able to negotiate their offer or request repairs prior to the final sale.
What kinds of issues might an inspector find on your property? It really depends on how you’ve maintained the home over your time there and what kinds of improvements you’ve made to it. According to 5280 magazine, some of the most common inspection issues in Colorado homes include:
- Foundation flaws
- Roofing problems
- Dated electrical wiring
- Plumbing predicaments
- And utility upgrades
If you want to keep your home sale from stalling, then it would be wise to get a pre-inspection on your property now before listing it. That pre-listing home inspection will identify major and minor things that need repairs, alongside potential issues you might’ve not known about. It will also provide you with a better picture of the exact condition of your home, which will make it easier to pinpoint the most appropriate listing price.
First-Time Home Seller Tip #4:
See The Bright Side In Lower Offers
Sooner or later, your home will start to receive offers from prospective buyers. And yes, these offers merit a small celebration. However, you need to prepare yourself for some slightly disappointing offers. Some prospective buyers will submit offers that are just slightly below your asking price, while many other offers will be tens of thousands of dollars below your listing price.
When you see those kinds of low-ball offers roll in, don’t get frustrated! Remember: not everyone will view your house in the same way that you see it. Instead, try to see the bright side of those offers and think of them more as real-life feedback about your property. Perhaps numerous buyers point out something on your property that is an issue, so you now have an opportunity to address that problem. Or those lower offers could indicate that you’re listing your home at too high of a price point, which many first-time home sellers tend to do.
Try to not get discouraged by those lower offers. Instead, see if there are any lessons that you can learn to improve your listing for a better home sale.
First-Time Home Seller Tip #5:
Don't Be Afraid To Negotiate Anything And Everything
One of the common sticking points in any real estate transaction is the contract negotiation phase. Following the home inspection, buyers may come back with multiple contingencies or request numerous changes to the contract. You need to keep in mind that you have power as the seller (even in a buyer’s market). Many first-time home sellers may shy away from the opportunity to negotiate a better deal for them, but you need to speak up, voice your opinions, and take a stand. Remember: It’s your property, so you can always reject an offer or counter it with an alternative.
During this final phase, everything is negotiable. And we mean everything. Is the buyer asking for a home warranty prior to the sale? Then you might be able to raise the price of the sale slightly in return. Did the dining room chandelier or backyard patio furniture catch the buyer’s eye? If so, you can tack on those items to the sale for a greater final price. Are you interested in a quicker closing date to avoid making an extra mortgage payment? Then you may need to give in to one or two of the buyer’s needs. The negotiations can make a monumental difference for you and your family.
And it’s okay if you’re not a great negotiator! If you hire an expert real estate agent, they can leverage their negotiating skills to get more out of the real estate transaction for you.
In the end, selling your home for the first time is an opportunity to learn about real estate. The more you know before you sell, the bigger the advantage you’ll have in the end. You’ll be calm, focused on decisions that benefit your sale, and even more knowledgeable about what concerns you can bring to your realtor.
We're Here to Help
If you’re concerned about potential issues unique to your home or market, we’re here to listen and help walk you through the process. We’ve worked with plenty of first-time home sellers and we’re always ready to leverage our industry expertise to benefit first-time sellers just like you.
Contact the Grant Muller Group today to learn how we can benefit your first-time home selling experience.