If you are a first time homebuyer, there is a ton of information literally at your fingertips. A quick Google search lists pages of results on how to prepare to buy your first home. But there’s another “first” in homeownership that doesn’t get the same magnitude of attention: first time home sellers.
Selling a first home can easily be just as exciting and emotional as buying your first home – and maybe even doubly so! Not only are you looking for your next home but you are also parting with your very first home, which oftentimes is filled with happy memories. If you find yourself in the situation of selling one home and buying a new home at the same time, know that it can get tricky and is oftentimes unique to each person. In this blog, we'll focus more on universal tips and suggestions to selling your first home that can be the difference in selling your home in three weeks or three months.
One of the most important tips that stays constant in both a buyer’s and seller’s market is to make sure your home is ready to sell. This has become more important as we’ve moved into a digital world where information is readily available on laptops, tablets and smart phones, even as a buyer is driving through your neighborhood. Buyers must make sure not only that their home is in great condition, but also, that it is priced right. If a home is overpriced and sits on the market, sellers run the risk of high DOM, or days on market. A buyer may see this as a negotiating tool to offer less, or worse, as a sign that there is something wrong with the house. If they love a home that has been sitting on the market for months, they may wonder what other buyers have seen that they are missing. For this reason, it is important to do your research and list your home at a price to sell. Pricing a home is one of the biggest advantages to hiring a real estate professional.
Marketing is key to selling your home. Did you know that sellers who have professional real estate photos of their home for marketing purposes sell their home 32 percent faster than other listings? There are other marketing options available in addition to online listing sites, such as open houses and direct mailings. If a seller is planning to use a real estate agent for the sale of their home, it is helpful to ask the agent what marketing methods he or she will use to sell the home.
Once a home is listed, it needs to be available for showings. Having too many restrictions on when a buyer can view a home can only hurt the process. If a buyer is unable to view your home, they will likely move on and tour another home in the meantime - and they might buy that home and not yours! Be flexible with showings of your home.
Along those lines, a home should be in move-in-ready condition when put up for sale. Consider enlisting the help of a real estate professional prior to listing to get advice on what updates or repairs should be made to a home to get it in a condition that will get the most return for your investment. Agents can make suggestions based on a seller’s budget while considering what improvements would be most important to buyers. Real estate agents also suggest beginning the staging process at this point. Remove any personal items like photographs, kids’ artwork on the fridge, and clutter. Rent a storage unit and begin the move-out process. This helps buyers envision the home as theirs and can speed along the selling process.
We are currently in a sellers’ market, meaning there are fewer homes for sale then there are buyers, so if a home is listed at the right price and is in good condition, there’s a great chance that it will sell quickly. While a seller should always be prepared to move when listing a home, it is ever more important now. A quick sale of a day or two (which has been happening in many of our divisions) could mean the seller will need to be out of the home about a month after listing their home! Sellers should already have a plan for their next residence (whether temporary or permanent) before listing their home and shouldn’t list their home until they are truly ready to sell and move.
Sellers should also consider what they can negotiate with potential buyers. Can you come down on your price? Are you willing to make repairs, throw in the appliances, or offer closing costs? These items will likely come up during an offer to purchase, and it is helpful for a seller to have already considered what concessions they would be willing to make for the sale.
Once you make the decision to sell your first home, we hope that you will consider Eastwood Homes for your next home. We are currently estimating about a six month build time. Stop by and see a New Home Specialist or message our online team for more information on the next steps to building your dream home with Eastwood!
Did we miss anything? If you’ve sold your home and have some additional tips for homeowners getting ready to list their first home, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!