What makes Christmas and New Year’s better than friends, family, and savings? How about owning a home? The holiday season is a cheerful time spent with family, but for those of us with families
7 Tips For First Time Home Sellers
It’s your first time selling a home. Your to-do list seems fairly basic; clean it up, snap some photos, put it on the market, await offers. While this strategy might have worked a decade ago, it’s not as fruitful in today’s real estate market. Selling a house is a marathon, and the only way you’ll reach the finish line is to put in the proper training and stick to a proven plan. Where do you start? With these seven tips for first-time home sellers:
#1: Price It Right from Day One
It sounds like a no-brainer, right? Of course you need to price the house right! You’ve lived in your home for years, and you know exactly how much value is packed into those walls; $250,000 worth! Who cares if the house across the street is going for $175,000 and not a single home in the neighborhood has sold for more than $185,000. Your house is worth every last dime of that $250k.
If you follow this line of thinking, you’ll sink your home sale from the start. The largest number of showings usually occur within the first two to three weeks of listing. Price your home too high, and you’ll lose out immediately.
Your goal is to find and take advantage of the sweet spot immediately, which means pricing your house competitively from day one. Competitive pricing involves following the micro-market trend of your neighborhood and considering local market factors within your city and county. Your best bet is to talk to a local real estate agent before setting a price.
#2: The Truth Hurts – Be Ready to Lose Some Money
Ouch! That heading stung, didn’t it? Before you throw your hands up in dismay, let us explain.
One of the biggest mistakes first-time home seller make is insisting they can get the appraised value or the same amount they paid for the house. If you want to sit on a house that will not move, feel free to think this way. If you want a sale so you can move on with your life, then the truth hurts and you had better be ready to lose some money.
Here’s the painful truth: Your house is only worth what buyers are willing to pay for it. No more is the market based on true market value and estimations – it’s based on supply and demand. If there aren’t many people buying, you’re likely to take a loss to sell. If the market is saturated with buyers, you’re more likely to find someone willing to pay a heftier price tag.
#3: Promotion is Key
One of the keys to a successful business is advertising. There isn’t a single successful business on the planet that hasn’t invested something in promotion, and selling your house is no different. You have to ask yourself: how will I reach my home’s target market?
A local real estate agency is about to become your soulmate in the selling process. They are experts in promotion, from how to stage your home to how to market it. They know how to target potential buyers and grab their attention. They do it for a living, and if they’re worth your investment, they’ll have a track record of success.
#4: Throw in Some Extras
Moving is hard. There’s the packing, the loading, the transportation, the unpacking; it’s not pretty. As you plan your move, you may realize there are some things you can’t (or aren’t willing) to take with you. So offer these items up as extras.
For example, you have a top-of-the-line list of appliances that are going to be too troublesome to move. You’ve done the math, and you’re better off buying new with professional installation. List those appliances staying with the house as extras items designed to bring a little more money to the asking price. You can trade some of the moving headache for good selling points that benefit your bottom line.
#5: Clear the Clutter
Cleanliness is critical when it comes to selling your home. No buyer is going to be impressed when they step into a house for sale that smells of wet dog and showcases muddy footprints over half the flooring. Dust bunnies are also less than attractive. And let’s not forget clutter.
If you’re a first-time seller, chances are you’re selling a small house. Clutter has a way of maliciously building up in small spaces, even when we do our best to weed it out. The best course of action is to clear the house of all non-essentials. Give buyer’s the chance to see the home with the basics; they can imagine the rest. And trust us, buyers have vivid imaginations when it comes to making a space their own.
#6: Grab the Attention of the Lazy Buyer
Can you keep a secret? Most homebuyers are lazy.
They don’t want to buy a house that comes with an instant to-do list of fixing a leak in the roof, tearing out the flooring, or cleaning up the yard. They want on demand, move-in ready real estate. So cater to their needs. Make them feel your property is a turnkey property, ready to go as soon as they sign on the dotted line.
#7: Upgrade Where It Counts
You can make your house more memorable by upgrading where it counts. While you might not initially want to invest money into upgrades or repairs before selling, it really is the smartest choice. But the trick is upgrading where it counts.
For example, if an expensive kitchen upgrade pops the home value above the selling trend, chances are you’re going to lose money. So opt for the cheaper, smarter upgrade – a fresh coat of paint that modernizes the look of the space. Fresh carpet and the smell of fresh paint are catnip to homebuyers.
Invest in Professional Help
If you’re a first-time home seller, don’t make the costly mistake of going it alone. Instead, invest in local, professional help. If you’re selling in Virginia Beach, let us list your home in our easy to use neighborhood search. We’ll help you every step of the way to ensure you get the most out of your sale.
Having lived in other cities, such as Cleveland and Idaho Falls, I only appreciate Hampton Roads that much more. Why? Because from almost anywhere in our area, a beach is only about a 20 minute dri....