6 Do’s & Don'ts of Selling A Home For The 1st Time
It would be difficult to deny that selling your home is a stressful process. For first time homeowners, selling your first house can be even more daunting of a task. We know from experience that seller's regret is a real thing - wishing you had chosen a different agent, listed at a different price or waited until a different time of year. For those of us who are thinking of selling our first home, many of those things can be avoided if you just know how to discern myth from fact. TPO's first three-part series will break down what's true and what isn't and how you can walk away from your house with a smile on your face and hopefully a little more money in your pocket.
MYTH: Pricing your home on the high side will ensure you get as much as you can from a prospective buyer.
FACT: Even in the best-case-scenario seller's market, overpricing your home can deter potential buyers from wanting to see your house. The clock starts on the day you first list, and you want to take advantage of the momentum as quickly as you can. Instead, pricing your home competitively with other homes in your area will draw more buyers. Smart pricing means more eyes on your listing and that could lead to multiple offers. It is not uncommon in our market for homes to sell for over asking. Make sure you're set up to be one of those homes! Hiring an experienced real estate agent you can trust is key.
MYTH: Thinking you know exactly how to prepare your home for sale including setting up rooms and furniture and spending money on updates on your own and not listening to your real estate agent's advice.
FACT: You love your home and we love that you love it but not everyone has your taste and even more of them don't want to be distracted by bright paint colors and knick knacks. LESS IS MORE when it comes to staging your home and while you may think you know what you're doing, your real estate agent probably knows more. When people come to look at your house, they need to be able to envision their own things in your space. They also need to feel like they can make your home their home. Removing family pictures, extra furniture and all-around clutter is a huge first step to preparing your home for market. Your home needs to look its very best to attract buyers. While not everyone has the money to replace floors, update bathrooms and kitchens or put on a new roof, there are plenty of budget-friendly things you can do (ie, paint and updated lighting fixtures) that can give you a big bang for your buck without breaking the bank. That way, buyers have a better chance of being able to focus on your home and not your stuff.
It's good to know what you know but even more important to find out what you don't know. Don't fall for real estate myths and stay tuned for more MYTH vs. FACT from The Price Opinion!
Selling your first home is a big undertaking no matter what your price point. Part two of TPO's MYTH vs. FACT explores setting some ground rules for yourself before you even list. We encounter these two a lot and hope you find them helpful!
MYTH: Jumping on the first decent offer you receive so you don't have to keep showing your home is always the best way to go.
FACT: One of the best ways to ensure you home gets its due time on the market is to establish an offer deadline date. In order to get a great price for your home, you ideally want more than one offer. Having to compete with others for your house not only reveals the most serious buyers, but can also bring the offer with the best terms to the table sooner. A good strategy can be to price the home just slightly lower than the market would expect and then wait, say, 7 days, to start accepting offers. In that time, you can do a few open houses and open your home up to more appealing bids (cash buyers, more flexible timelines and higher purchase prices are all possibilities).
MYTH: Listing your house with a contingency that you have to find your own new home in order to sell is the best way to let buyers know what's going on.
FACT: I can't tell you how many times I have had buyers say "let's skip that one" because the language of the listing mentioned a seller's home purchase contingency. Seriously, it's happened enough times that I would not recommend going that route. The seller's market in our area is tight and that can make finding a home on a time crunch tricky, However, the fact remains that if you need the money to sell your house in order to buy another one, you're going to have to have your home under contract for another seller to take you seriously. Instead, you can use a 60-day use and occupancy clause which can be mentioned in the GSMLS listing. Also known as a leaseback, this option gives you as a seller the ability to basically rent your house from the buyer for 60 days (if needed) to bridge the gap between your two closings. It also ensures that any hiccups with the buyer's financing will be taken care of during the buffer of time. And in the worst case, it will give you time to find a rental or other housing while you continue your home search without needing to worry about temporarily being without a home. A leaseback isn't the most ideal choice, but it is there in case you need it. It's always good to know all of your options.
Picking the right agent can also eliminate a lot of stress and confusion during this stressful and sometimes confusing time. Part 3 of TPO's MYTH vs. FACT touches on having a listing plan with your real estate agent and the myth that Spring is the only good time of year to sell. Stay tuned!
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about when to sell your home and how to do it. Part 3 of TPO's MYTH vs. FACT is about listing plans and the famous Spring market.
MYTH: Spring is the only great time of year to sell your home to get the best offer.
FACT: As long as the buyer to listing ratio is still favoring a seller's market, Fall and Winter can be great times to sell. If trying to sell in Spring isn't on the schedule, don't worry. Buyers are still looking in Fall and Winter and there are typically fewer newly listed homes available for sale during that time. A home that is presented well and listed at a competitive price (see our first and second editions of MYTH vs. FACT) can sometimes go faster in the slower markets because there are less homes from which to choose. Counting the markets later in the year out can be a mistake - don't Fall for it. Ok, bad joke. Moving on...
MYTH: You know how to sell your home better than your real estate agent and having a plan in place isn't necessary. Just throw it on the market and watch the buyers run in.
FACT: You need a plan. You always need a plan. Unless you are highly experienced with selling homes, you also need an expert real estate agent to help you with that plan. You are responsible for the sale of your home by way of choosing the right agent to meet your needs and making necessary updates that add value and/or function. After that, please trust who you've chosen and let them do their job. Each market is different and each home is different within its respective market. Selling homes effectively is not as easy as it seems and for anyone who has seen a "For Sale by Owner" go South, you know this is true. Hire a professional, trust them and as stressful as it can be, take their advice. With the guidance of the right agent, you'll be glad you did!
The Price Opinion is your resource for real estate news, advice and great things to do in your community. We love your feedback and welcome requests for more editions MYTH vs. FACT. If there is something you'd like to see featured, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!