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As you prepare to put your first home up for sale, you probably have a lot of questions upon your sleeves. We’re here to help you understand the selling process, get your home ready to sell, evaluate offers, deal with closing and make your move to your next home.
- Make a plan
The most important factor is to develop a plan. Having a plan is the key to not get yourself out of control and always have the process on track. This means you will have to make some important decisions:
- Hiring an agent or going it alone
• Determining when to list
• Setting a price
• Selecting what to keep and what to leave behind
• Staging your home
• Plotting your next move
- Timing is everything
Knowing the right time to sell can make a big difference in both your selling experience and the listing price.
- Set a realistic price at the beginning
Your home will get the most buyer exposure immediately after it’s listed, so pricing it right at the start is important. By pricing it even a little too high and you could miss out on your best group of buyers. If you price it too low, you are risking to leaving money on the table.
Think of your agent as a trusted adviser, especially about pricing and marketing your home. You want someone smart, communicative and with extensive understanding of the local market.
If you’re thinking about selling your home without an agent, be prepared because all the decisions will be yours alone.
- Look at your home from buyer’s perspective
Remember what made you want to buy your place. You’re going to need to leave behind your emotions and make tough, reality-based decisions about improving, pricing and marketing. Your agent will likely suggest things to fix or refresh.
Exterior photos are usually the first ones to pop up on for-sale home listings, and it’s the first thing a buyer sees. To make that all-important first impression, power wash the driveways and sidewalks and add some seasonal plants to pots and garden beds.
- Get ready for visitors
Shifting your mindset from homeowner to home seller will also help you decide which belongings to keep, store, sell or give away. You may have some pieces might be perfect for staging your home; your agent can offer advice and even connect you with a professional home stager to help make those decisions. Decluttering and de-personalizing your space are essential so home shoppers can envision making the space their own.
If you plan to live in your home while it’s on the market, you’ll have to keep it spotless and show-ready. That’s trying, especially for young families. Although, the better it shows, the faster it goes and the sooner you can start living like a normal family again.
- Attract and track interest in your home
Your place is likely one of your biggest financial assets, so you’ll want to know right away if it’s catching buyers’ eyes. Choose your words carefully. The right words can boost your final sales price while some innocent-sounding phrases are a big turn-off to buyers. (Hint: Think “captivating” or “impeccable” and steer clear of “nice!”) Adding a quick video walkthrough with your smart phone lets buyers take a virtual tour and piques interest.
- Set your priorities
Make sure you and your agent know what’s important to you: Closing quickly? Getting your asking price or more? Keeping your closing costs to a minimum? You might not be able to have it all, so prioritizing your wants before you list your home will make it easier to evaluate offers.
- Think about what’s next
If you’re planning to buy your next home, remember to get pre-approved early so you have an edge in the market. And know that there’s no easy answer to the question of which comes first, the buying or the selling.