Today’s real estate market is very competitive. As a first-time home seller, it’s easy to find the whole process overwhelming. Does it have to be that way? Short answer: NO! In fact, with the expert advice of a real estate professional and by following the guidelines below, you’ll avoid potential pitfalls and pave the way for a successful first sale:
- Prepare Your Home for the Market
Today’s buyers have listings at their fingertips, they have plenty of options, and they’re one simple click away from the next home in their online search. While someone shopping for a car may forgive a bit of dirt or the odd scratch, don’t expect the same reprieve when it comes to your home.
In addition to having a spotless home, you may elect to spend a little more time and money getting your home market-ready. If you can afford it, make some low-cost improvements that can really increase your home’s aesthetic appeal. For example, consider replacing outdated hardware on the cabinetry, broken baseboards, ripped screens, leaky faucets, and make carpentry and masonry repairs. Apply a fresh coat of paint on both the interior and exterior, clean floors and carpeting, and also replace outdated light fixtures. Update the landscape by trimming lawns and hedges, renovating the driveway paving, weeding the garden and making the necessary repairs on the fence.
You have one shot at a first impression – make it count.
- Enlist the Help of a
GoodGreat Real Estate Agent
As a first-time home seller, you need to understand the importance of having a professional real estate agent to represent you during the sale of your home. There are thousands of agents out there and therefore it’s crucial that you choose one with considerable experience in the home-selling process.
While you can easily get an agent based on referrals from your friends and family, it’s important to widen your search scope – or at the very least interview the referred agents – to ensure that you end up with an expert in the field. Think of it this way: if you were in court and $500,000 of your money was on the line, who would you want on your side: the best lawyer, or one appointed by the court? It matters who you work with. Interview at least three agents and choose the best one.
- The Brokerage Matters – But the Agent Matters More.
While it’s ideal that your agent of choice works under a brokerage with a strong market presence, remember that it’s the specific agent that will be marketing your home, communicating with other agents and negotiating the terms of your sale. When you see an agent on the back of a bus, on a billboard, in the newspaper, featured in a magazine, on a park bench – it’s the agent that paid for the advertising, not the brokerage. Again, interview agents, get to know them, choose wisely.
- Understand the Real-Estate Market in Your Area
Before listing your home for sale, get to understand the current situation in your local real-estate market. Typically, some real-estate markets boom with sales during specific months. For example, the Southern Ontario market sees increased activity during the spring and fall months. Your agent should provide this information ensuring that you sell your home timely and at an optimal price.
- Correct Pricing is Crucial
Price is an important consideration for potential buyers. A agent worth their salt will conduct a thorough market analysis and suggest a listing price that is both attractive to both you and buyers, thus maximizing your home’s potential sale price. It’s important to get the price right from the start to avoid future price reductions, stagnation and, ultimately, frustration for all involved.
- Separate Emotion from Reality.
This is closely related to the subject of pricing. If this is your first home, you’ll likely have an emotional attachment to it. As a result, many in this situation tend to place a higher value on their home than the market suggests. If you’ve chosen a real estate agent with a strong reputation for getting superior results, trust their expertise and recommendations when pricing and negotiating the sale of your home. They want you to get the best possible result. After all, that’s how they build their reputation and earn repeat business.
Considering the physical and emotional stress that comes with home selling, it’s crucial that you are prepared to ensure a successful sale.
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