The idea of selling a home does not typically cross a homeowner’s mind until they make the decision to buy a new home. The need to relocate – whether it’s work-related, to accommodate the needs of a growing family, or some other reason – is always associated with purchasing another home.
Homeowners usually realize they’re now a first-time home seller after they’ve put some serious thought into moving, as they need to sell their current home. As a seller, your goal is to maximize your profit potential within a timeframe that works with your plan to move. This will require you to stay organized and have a solid strategy in place, so you can make the best, most informed decisions after putting your home on the market.
Here are some helpful tips for selling your home:
Set a competitive price
It’s very important to price your home accurately. One of the best ways to achieve this is by seeking professional assistance from an experienced listing agent. Look for a reputable real estate agent who specializes in your neighborhood and has sold a fair amount of homes.
Your agent will gather and analyze comparable sales and provide you with an estimated value, also known as a comparative market analysis or CMA. Many first-time sellers make the mistake of relying too much on online resources like Zillow.com’s “Zestimate” (which is fine if you’re looking for an easily accessible rough estimate of your home’s value), but it’s still better to depend on the knowledge and experience of a listing agent when looking for an accurate opinion of value.
Stage your home
Staging a house for sale is an effective way to increase its overall appeal and selling potential. You can start by storing or getting rid of any bulky pieces of furniture you might have – homes with about half of its furniture removed tend to show better.
You can go with several options: you can stage it by yourself, look for a professional stager, or ask your agent for some assistance.
In case you choose to do it yourself, reposition your remaining pieces of furniture (after removing the bulky, worn-out ones) to make interiors look spacious. Add simple yet elegant touches such as artwork, rugs, throw pillows, and other décor to enhance the atmosphere. You can also consider adding new lighting fixtures to darker sections of your house and opening up your windows during a viewing to create more light-filled living spaces.
Be flexible with viewings
For some first-time sellers, allowing strangers to walk through their private property can feel a bit too intrusive. If this seems uncomfortable, you might want to consider going on an out-of-town trip during the first weekend of putting your home on the market.
Keep in mind that the best way to sell a home is to let a buyer inside with their agent and allow them to completely explore it without any interference. Vacate your home when buyer’s agents show up and be careful with anything you might mention about your home, as anything you say can and will be used against you as a seller.
Don’t skimp on professional photography
Some listing agents have professional photography included in their services, but in case you’re considering the do-it-yourself route, you’re better off hiring a pro.
It’s not enough to get the right angle and get clear, well-lit photos of your home’s living spaces. A professional photographer will know how to highlight a house’s best features and take enticing photos that attract the attention of prospective buyers. After the photographer has created the photo tour or virtual tour, you can ask to approve it before it’s published.
View your online listing
Remember to review your home listing on the websites it appears on to make sure all the information is accurate. While agents will do whatever they can to ensure accuracy, as the homeowner, you know the property better than anyone.
In case you notice any inaccurate details or missing features in the listing, get in touch with your agent immediately to request a correction.
Respond to purchase offers promptly
Never take your time when responding to purchase offers. Most offers include an expiration date, and buyers won’t appreciate it if they need to wait for an extended period before a seller decides to accept their offer or come up with a counteroffer.
Again, remember that you’re selling your home because you also need to buy a new one, so you’re in the same boat with other home buyers.
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