Selling a home is a lot of work, especially if you’re selling one for the first time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the process, so it’s best to take things one step at a time and determine exactly what you need to do to make sure that your property sells. Every house is different, but there are still some constants. With that being said, here are 8 tips to sell your first home.
1. Address Your Finances
Before you decide to put your home on the market, take stock of your finances, particularly what you owe on your remaining mortgage balance. This will give you an idea of how much equity you’ll have when you sell and what you can afford for improvements.
2. Sell at the Right Time
A real estate market can fluctuate wildly, so you want to make sure that you list your home during a seller’s market. This means that there are more buyers than there are homes available. It gives you more room to negotiate and sell your home at a higher price. The best time to sell a home is traditionally in the first half of May, but this varies from one market to the next. If you want a better idea of when to sell your home, check your local listings to see what the other homes in your area are currently going for.
3. Hire an Agent
Hiring a real estate agent isn’t necessary for selling a home, but they can lift a huge weight off your shoulders and ultimately be a big help. An agent can handle things such as staging the home, scheduling showings, and researching comparable homes in your area. Ask for agent referrals from friends and family members, and interview anyone you would like to work with.
4. Finish All Improvements
While you can sell a home as-is, you’ll have better luck if you finish any improvements and make any repairs that you’ve been putting off. Some improvements such as updated kitchen appliances and heated floors will increase the value of your home, so see if you can fit them into your budget.
5. Look at Comparable Homes
You’ll want to price your home competitively, which will mean getting familiar with other homes in your area. Take a look at homes that are similar to your own to see what they are going for and use that as a guideline when pricing your home. You don’t want the price to be much higher than the comparables near you, but you also want to make sure you turn a profit after you’ve made all of your improvements.
6. Stage Your Home
Staging your home involves arranging your furniture in a way that is appealing to potential buyers, clearing out any clutter, and otherwise making your home as attractive as possible. Don’t neglect your home’s curb appeal, either; your home should be just as appealing on the outside as it is on the inside.
7. Market Effectively
People need to know that your home is for sale if it’s going to sell, so you’ll want to market it effectively. Post listings on multiple platforms, have professional photos taken, and write a description that highlights the most appealing things about your home.
8. Be Prepared to Move Quickly
It took the average home between 65 and 93 days in 2018. That might sound like a long time, but it really isn’t when you’re planning to sell a home and move someplace else. You’ll need to be ready to move out practically at a moment’s notice, so factor that into your budget. Once you have a buyer, you need to be out of your home by the closing date.