6 places to start when selling your home for the first time
Your first home sale can be exciting and lucrative if you know where to start. If you’re a first-time home seller, this article will show you 6 of the best places to start when selling your home.
- Address any maintenance issues your home has
- Hire a real estate agent to guide you through complexities
- Set a realistic price on your home
- Sell your home at the right time
- Prepare and stage your home for potential Buyers
- Hire a professional photographer
1. Address any maintenance issues your home has
Addressing maintenance issues is one of the most important places to start as a first-time home seller. The best Buyers will almost always get a home inspection soon after you accept their offer. If the inspection doesn’t come back clean, it can delay or even destroy the deal.
Proactively paying for a home inspection is a smart move, but it can also be scary. A home inspection might unearth major HVAC system issues or plumbing problems, for instance.
It might be tempting to avoid these issues and hope the Buyer declines an inspection. But that’s an extremely big risk for what could be the biggest transaction of your life. Knocking out all of the maintenance issues before they derail the sale protects your first home sale. It also helps you build more trust with the Buyer and streamline the sale.
Another thing to consider is purchasing home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) for your home’s systems and appliances before they have issues. This can protect your home against breakdowns to certain systems like your HVAC or appliances like your refrigerator. If you don’t have a 2-10 HBW home warranty going into your listing, your real estate agent may be able to provide one for you.
2. Hire a real estate agent to guide you through complexities
There’s good reason why 89% of Sellers worked with a real estate agent in 2019. Real estate agents can help you avoid costly mistakes as you make your first home sale.
A good real estate agent knows the most important factors that go into the home-selling process. They understand and can translate important legalese. They have unique and comprehensive access to data that can help you set a competitive sale price. Using comparative market analyses, they can give you peace of mind that you are starting at a realistic price.
3. Set a realistic price on your home
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using your heart to set your price during your first home sale. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, done any extensive work on it or experienced major life events in it, you might place more value on it than you should. Your real estate agent can help you set a realistic and objective price, which can help you sell more successfully.
Setting the right price from the beginning can shorten how long your home stays on the market. It can also give you more leverage and choice in the transaction. Understanding what your local market will bear is key.
Overpricing your home can limit the number of prospective Buyers and force you to make multiple markdowns. Additionally, Buyers can leverage your markdowns to lower the price even more. Smart buyers will also use comparative market data to determine a home’s value.
4. Sell your home at the right time
Seasonality can play a role in housing demand. In most markets, December through February is the slowest time of year for home sales. Holidays and cold weather can impact foot traffic and overall demand. Homes listed in other months of the year—especially spring and summer months—tend to sell more quickly and for more money.
You’ll also need to consider the status of the market. For instance, in a Buyer’s market, you may need to wait longer, prep your house more diligently (e.g., deep cleaning and extra maintenance) or be sure you aren’t overpricing.
Finally, you should consider your tax implications when timing your sale. To avoid capital gains taxes, you may need to show that you have lived in your home for at least 2 of the last 5 years.
5. Prepare and stage your home for potential Buyers
Spending the extra time to clean and stage your home can pay big dividends for first-time home sellers. According to realtor.com, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.
Staging also extends to your home’s exterior. Having good curb appeal makes a good first impression on Buyers. So, tidy up the lawn and clean your windows. Make it look like a house that, if you were taking a walk around the neighborhood, would make you say, “I’d love a house like that.”
At the very least, consider decluttering rooms as much as possible. Having too many things in one place can make your home seem smaller than it is. Prospective Buyers like to picture their belongings in your space. If you have too much clutter, it can make that more difficult.
6. Hire a professional photographer
This might not seem like a big deal, but having a professional photographer can help you sell. First-time Buyers are younger, and almost all of them look at pictures of potential homes before they visit. In fact, 93% of all Buyers use a website in their home search (according to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). So, putting your house in the best possible light has never been more important.
A professional real estate photographer can produce high-quality photos to put your home in the best light. For a little more money, the right photographer can shoot 360-degree views and add video tours to generate further interest.
Knowing where to start gives you the best chance to sell your house on your terms. Providing your potential Buyers a home warranty from 2-10 HBW is another way to add value and attract Buyers to your home.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive home warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.