Selling a house is nothing like buying one.
Many people have experience buying a house, but when it comes time to sell it, they have no idea what they’re doing. How do you make sure you get the price you want? How do you prevent it from sitting on the market for months?
Take a look at these seven money making tips for first-time home sellers.
1. Come Up with a Plan and Set Your Priorities
If you don’t know what you’re doing, the process of selling a house can feel overwhelming and out of control. Having a plan will give some of that control back to you.
A big part of creating a plan is coming up with your priorities.
What’s the most important part of selling your house? Do you want someone to take it off your hands as fast as possible? Do you want to avoid as many closing costs as you can? Do you want to get your asking price?
Prioritize your goals from most important to least important. This will make it easier to consider offers or return with your own counteroffers. Odds are, you won’t end up reaching all your goals.
2. Hire a Quality Real Estate Agent
Your home isn’t going to sell itself. But many homeowners don’t have enough experience to sell it either. Only 10% of houses that are for sale by owner actually sell.
Listing your home for sale requires a lot of understanding about the real estate market, competitive prices, and your neighborhood. Unless you want to put in a lot of time and money and end up without any results, you should always hire a real estate agent.
Some real estate agents are better than others. So how do you make sure you get a good one with a high return investment? It all comes down to knowing how to ask the right questions.
You’ll want to ask them how long they’ve been selling real estate, what kind of results they’ve had, how long the houses they sold sat on the market, what marketing strategies they use, and their average list price to sale price ratio.
Always ask for references. This will give you a good idea of how the real estate agent works and communicates with their clients.
3. Get Your Home Ready for Potential Buyers
Getting your home ready for the market might include a number of different things. To start with, you might want to hire a professional to inspect your home. This will make you aware of any problems on the property.
Many potential buyers will want to inspect your house before giving an offer. Even a few minor problems could scare them off. Finding these problems yourself and taking care of them will prevent you from losing potential buyers along the way.
You may also want to make some low-cost improvements. Replace old or broken appliances, hire a professional to clean your carpet and hardwood floor, and screw in some new lightbulbs. Don’t overlook your walls. Small flaws can turn buyers away, so give your walls a fresh coat of neutral paint.
When it comes to staging your home, you’ll want to declutter and depersonalize each room. When a buyer walks into your house, they should wonder if someone still lives there.
This might involve removing a good portion of your furniture, storing a lot of your personal possessions off the property, and taking family pictures off the walls. Removing your belongings make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living in the home.
A lot of work goes into getting your house ready for the market. Don’t overlook this part of the process.
4. Give Your Home a Realistic Price
Pricing your house too high will cause a lot of people to skip over it. They can’t afford it, so they’ll move onto the next house. Because of this, you might think you should price your house a little bit low instead.
But a low price isn’t going to get you a lot of interested buyers. People will assume the low price means there’s something wrong with your house. There’s a small balance between these two price ranges you need to find.
This is where you’ll need the help of your real estate agent. They’ll evaluate other competitive prices in your area and give you a realistic price for your property.
5. List Your House at the Right Time
The best time to put your house on the market depends on a variety of factors, including things like the time of year, the weather, your community, and the condition of the real estate market.
Your house will get the most attention from potential buyers the first few days after you list it. If you put your house on the market at the wrong time, you can miss out on a large portion of buyers.
Picking the right time can make a big difference in the selling process and the end results. Again, your real estate agent will help you decide what this time is based on your location.
6. Work on Your Curb Appeal
The first image a buyer sees of your house is often a photograph of the front exterior. They pop up first on many for-sale listings, so it has to be eye-catching. Because of this, you should spend some time cleaning up your front yard.
Trim overgrown bushes and trees. Plant some bright flowers. Make sure your lawn is healthy and mowed. Powerwash your driveway and front porch. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint.
Make sure you get professional photography. Many agents provide professional photography as part of their services but don’t make the mistake of thinking this isn’t important. Professional photos will show off your homes best angels, colors, and depths.
7. Respond to an Offer Fast
Buyers hate waiting around for you to respond to their offer. Though many offers come with an expiration date, you should always respond long before that. This will give buyers a better impression and keep them interested in the house.
It will also allow you to move out and buy your new home faster.
Money Making Tips for the First-Time Home Seller
Being a first-time home seller can be stressful. If you hire a reputable real estate agent and come up with a selling plan, you should be able to sell your house for the price you want. Make sure you spend enough time getting your house ready for the market. When you do get an offer, respond to it fast.
Ready to move into your new home? Here’s a list of things you can do that’ll help you prepare.