Top 25 Important Things for First-Time Home Sellers
Selling your first home might seem a little like watching your oldest teenager move away to go to college.
It’s a big change for you and for them and anxiety is a normal reaction. After all, this is the first one and you’re not sure of the road ahead. Whether you’re well set or are facing foreclosure upon your mortgage renewal date, it’s wise to strategically power up your home for selling — to get the best selling price.
What’s the real source of your anxiety? It’s the future, about where your life is headed and whether you’ll like your new home. Yes, there are a host of other reasons why a homeowner won’t sell their home.
If you love where you’re going, then you won’t be fretting over “should I sell my house?” doubts. You’re ready to sell your home and move on to something better, a better lifestyle, and you just want to get a good price and sell your house properly.
In 2023/2024, you’ll be getting an excellent price and you’ll be onto better things in a new home that lets your new life unfold. If mortgage rates fall, you’ll be getting a flood of offers, but they might not be a great price if so many other homes in your neighborhood are on the market.
Now that you’re ready to sell, you only have to prepare for the sale and follow a sound selling process. And if the market should crash, you won’t be a part of that. You’re getting out while the getting’s good!
Finding a Good Local Realtor
This sale is likely better handled by a seasoned Realtor. For the amount of their commission, you’ll receive good real estate advice from a licensed, insured professional, effective listing of your property, along with help with legal compliance and the sales transaction process. You’ll have time to strategize your taxes too.
And most likely, if they are competent marketers and negotiators, you’ll receive a 5% to 10% higher price than you would selling by yourself FSBO. This more than pays for their commission, and you’re then getting all their services for free.
How to Prepare to Sell Your House
These are the top 25 important preparations/needs of the selling process which you and your Realtor will be managing:
- Sales Timing: Consider the best time to sell, which may vary depending on market conditions and your personal circumstances.
- Local Housing Market Research: Understand the local real estate market, including current trends, pricing, and competition.
- Realtor Selection: Choose an experienced and reputable Realtor to guide you through the process.
- Home Valuation: Get a professional appraisal or market analysis to determine your home’s value.
- Pre-Sale Inspection: Consider having a pre-sale home inspection to identify and address any issues before listing.
- Curb Appeal: Improve your home’s exterior appearance to make a great first impression.
- Decluttering: Remove personal items and declutter to make your home feel more spacious and appealing.
- Staging: Consider professional staging to showcase your home’s potential.
- Repairs and Upgrades: Address necessary repairs and consider making strategic upgrades to increase value.
- Professional Photography: Hire a professional photographer to capture high-quality images for listings.
- Pricing Strategy: Work with your Realtor to set a competitive and attractive asking price.
- Marketing Plan: Develop a comprehensive marketing plan, including online and offline strategies.
- Legal and Financial Considerations: Understand the legal and financial aspects of selling a home, including taxes and closing costs.
- Home Disclosure: Provide accurate and complete disclosures about your home’s condition.
- House Showings: Be prepared for showings, including keeping your home clean and ready for visitors.
- Negotiation Skills: Prepare to negotiate offers, terms, and contingencies with potential buyers.
- Home Appraisal: Anticipate and be ready for a professional appraisal if a buyer is obtaining financing.
- Contract Review: Carefully review and understand all offers and contracts.
- Contingencies: Be aware of potential contingencies such as home inspections, financing, and appraisal.
- Home Inspection: Expect a buyer’s home inspection and be prepared to address any issues that arise.
- Closing Process: Understand the steps involved in the closing process and the timeline.
- Moving Plans: Plan your move in advance, including packing and hiring movers if necessary.
- Title and Escrow: Work with a reputable title company and understand the escrow process.
- Final Walkthrough: Accommodate a final walkthrough with the buyer before closing.
- Emotional Preparedness: Be emotionally prepared for the sale, as saying goodbye to your home and neighborhood can be tough emotionally for members of your family.
Selling a home for the first time is a significant undertaking, but with proper preparation and guidance from a qualified Realtor, selling can be a smooth and successful process. Be open to your Realtor’s and lawyer’s advice, stay organized, and maintain clear communication with your Realtor through pre-sales to final contract signing.
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