Selling your first home? Follow these tips

You love and cherish your home. You want the next owner to fall in love with it, too — through photos, words and the experience of walking through your front door. But, perhaps more importantly, you want to get the best price!

This isn’t a small task. Selling a home requires work and time. The journey isn’t always easy. There will be frustrations. But when you seal the deal and move on to your next chapter — it’s a great feeling.

Below are steps to know what you want: how to understand the market and ways to make a plan. And most importantly — how to create relationships with experts and trust them to help you get the job done.

Know what you want

First things first: You need to know what you want in order to sell your home with minimum frustration. Why are you moving? What do you expect from the process? When, exactly, should you put that “For Sale” sign in the yard?

Do your research

Unless you bought your home last week, the housing market changed since you became a homeowner. Mortgage rates fluctuate, inventory shifts over time — these are just a few of the factors that affect the state of this market. Educate yourself on what to expect.

Interview, select Realtor

This is the most important relationship you’ll form on your home-selling journey. Pick the right Realtor — are you comfortable with them, are they tech savvy, are they an experienced Realtor with the market knowledge and skill to navigate the complexities of the current market or are they a newer agent with the fire and drive to close the deal? — either way, you’ll likely get a better sales price for your house.

Price your home

How much is your home worth? That’s the most important question. Whatever the number, you need to know it. Price your home too high above the market and you will not get sold in your time frame and often, if you do sell, it will be for much less than you should have sold for. Price it too low, and buyers will wonder what is wrong with the house. There is a “sweet spot” in pricing your home to be in the market and not just sit ON the market. Your Realtor will help you pinpoint the correct price to maximize your return for the current market.

Prep your home

Today, home buyers have unfettered access to property listings online, so you must make a great first impression. That means you’ll have to declutter all the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, make any necessary repairs and get your home in tip-top condition.

Market your home

Home buyers look at countless listings online. The best-marketed homes have beautiful photos and compelling property descriptions, so they can get likes — which can amount to buyer interest — on social media. Realtors may also use videos, virtual tours, texts and audio messages. There are so many ways to promote your property.

Showcase your home

Your Realtor will help you get your home in show-ready condition, emphasizing its assets and helping buyers envision themselves there. To help keep sellers safe, agents are also using virtual showings, relying on Zoom or Facetime to walk a buyer through your home.

Receive offers

You might get several offers, depending on your neighborhood or community. Assuming you’ve collaborated with your Realtor, you’ve likely positioned yourself to receive attractive bids. Your Realtor will review each offer with you to determine the best one. Often, selecting the offer with the highest price is not the best option. Your Realtor can help you evaluate which offer has the highest probability of getting to the closing table. Don’t be tempted to accept the offer with the highest price as it may not appraise for the contract purchase price and never close. Keep your goal in mind: Getting SOLD!

Negotiate with buyer

To get the best deal for you, you’ll likely have to do some negotiating. Your Realtor will help you craft a strategic counteroffer to the buyer’s offer, factoring in not only money, but contingencies, etc.

Negotiate Home Inspection Repairs

The home inspection is as much a source of anxiety for buyers as it is for sellers. Nonetheless, most purchase agreements are contingent on a home inspection (plus an appraisal, which will be managed by the buyer’s lender). This gives the buyer the ability to inspect the home from top to bottom and request repairs. You will have some room to negotiate, including about certain repairs. Once again, your Realtor will be there to help you effectively communicate with the buyer.

Close the sale

Settlement, or closing, is the last step in the home selling process. This is where you sign the final paperwork, make it official and collect your check. Before that can happen though, you’ll have to prepare your home for the buyer’s final walk-through and troubleshoot any last-minute issues.

As Realtors, we’ve got you covered in all aspects of selling your home. Call one of us today and start your journey.