Bellingham First Time Home Sellers Take Note

Dated: 05/08/2018

Views: 370

Steps to make your selling experience memorable (in a good way)

1. Make a plan

The most important advice? Develop a plan. The selling process can feel out of control unless you take control, and having a plan is the key. That means making some important decisions:

  • Hire an agent (most of the work should be done by them)

  • Determining when to list

  • Set a price

  • Selecting what to keep and what to leave behind

  • Staging your home

  • Plotting your next move

2. Timing is everything

Knowing the right time to sell – financially and emotionally – can make a big difference in both your selling experience and the listing price.  Contact you local agent for questions you might have, remember it's their job to help you through the whole process.

3. 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.  Price it even a little too high and you could miss out on your best group of buyers. Price it too low and you risk leaving money on the table. Your real estate agent should know all of the comparable homes in your area and should inform you about a competitive price.

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. Unless you’ve got the kind of time and expertise that few non-professionals do, FSBO (for sale by owner) could lead to sleepless nights and costly missteps.

4. Look at your home with “buyer eyes”

Remember what made you want to buy your place, well before you created memories and made it “home.” 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, and insights into what improvements bring the biggest return on your investment.

And there’s a reason agents talk about “curb appeal.” 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.

5. 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. 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. It’s not always easy to have potential buyers – strangers – tromping through your space and looking at everything with a critical eye.

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. But the better it shows, the faster it goes and the sooner you can start living like a normal family again. Did I mention this part isn’t easy?

6. 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.  Add online curb appeal to your listing by using lots of clear, bright photos and a well-crafted description. 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!”)  Again, your agent should take care of all this.

7. 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, make counter offers and decide on concessions to the buyer. (Are you really that attached to your washer and dryer?)

8. 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.

It may seem daunting, but you have here more tools and data than previous generations of home sellers could have hoped for. Armed with this information and a top-notch agent to help you navigate, all your planning, tough decisions and hard work will mean fewer first-time seller mistakes. You’ll have your first “Sold” sign out front before you know it.

Brennen Brown
Real Estate Broker

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Brennen Brown

Real Estate Professional Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Relocation, Consulting Whether you're a first time home-buyer or an experienced homeowner trying to sel....

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