Essential Tips for the First-Time Home Seller

Everyone knows that buying a new home is an exciting—though sometimes stressful—experience. However, unless you’ve been through it before, you may not realize that the process of selling your old one can be equally thrilling—in both positive and negative ways. Fortunately, the more informed you are about what to expect, the smoother the journey will be. Consider these essential tips for first-time home sellers.

Start with a realistic asking price.

Sure, you could ask for more than you’re willing to sell your home for and then reduce the price if you don’t get any offers. However, if you do so, you’re unnecessarily going to extend the time your property spends on the market. Realistic pricing—based on what comparable homes in your area are going for—is necessary if you want to attract the greatest number of potential buyers in the shortest period of time.

Find an agent who will market the property appropriately.

Yes, some potential buyers still drive through neighborhoods of interest when looking for a home, so a “For Sale” sign in your yard is essential. But you need an agent who will go further than that. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90 percent of homebuyers search for a new property online. This means you need a seller’s agent who will feature your home on the Web with lots of gorgeous photos that show the residence at its best.

Move half of your stuff out.

You’ll obviously want to make sure your home is clean and tidy when potential buyers come to check it out—but don’t stop there. Ask your real estate agent what else you can do to make it more attractive to visitors both in person and in pictures. He or she is likely to suggest eliminating all clutter and possibly even paring down the furnishings in your home to make it look more spacious. You can box nonessentials and store them in your garage or, even better, stash them in a storage unit so they’ll be off the property entirely.

Make smart upgrades.

Most buyers look at multiple properties before making an offer, so your home could face a great deal of competition. Ask your real estate agent about upgrades that will help it come out on top in the current market. In general, new carpet and interior paint are a safe bet—especially in soft neutrals that appeal to a wide range of tastes and can integrate with a variety of decorating styles. Your agent may also recommend kitchen and bathroom updates and other home improvement projects that add value and attract buyers.

Think about throwing in extras.

If you’ve priced your home to sell from the beginning, you might not have much room to negotiate with potential buyers without taking a loss. However, including extras is one way to get your asking price while still sweetening the deal. Consider throwing in an appliance or two (like the washer and dryer), paying for a portion of the closing costs, or other perks you can offer to get a potential buyer off the fence.

If you’d like to learn more about selling your home, give us a call. We’d love to answer all your real estate questions and put you in touch with an agent who has expertise in your market.

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