Selling your home can be an emotional and stressful process. You love your home and it is likely the biggest investment you have ever made. You want prospective buyers to fall in love with it as well – whether through photos, descriptions or in person. Being a first-time home seller, you have the distinct advantage of having gone through a purchase and sale transaction before, when you bought your first home. So, you know the large amount of prep work that goes into a real estate transaction, and you know how important it is to be prepared.
Identifying your motivation for selling is a crucial first step for any home seller, whether it’s needing more space, downsizing, relocating for school or employment reasons, whatever the reason, it will be an important factor in how you going to price and market your home. It’s also important to address your finances, contacting your current loan servicer to discuss your remaining mortgage balance can help you begin to understand how much equity you will have when you sell. Being informed of your current equity can help you budget for improvements you may need to make before listing your home for sale.
After figuring out your motivation for selling your home, and determining the equity you will be working with, sellers are often advised to begin researching the best time to sell in their area. Establishing if you are in a buyers or sellers’ market is necessary when establishing the best time to list your house on the market. Typically, the first half of May is commonly known as the best time to list a house for sale, however, COVID-19 has altered markets all over the country, particularly throughout Vermont. You will want to get the price you want, and the best first step is to be properly informed on what houses in your area have recently sold for, and educate yourself on what you can expect from the current market.
Deciding your representation strategy is a vital step when deciding how you plan on listing your house for sale. This mainly comes down to interviewing and selecting an agent to represent you. This is the most important relationship you will form while selling your house. Picking the right agent can help recognize what improvements would be best to make before listing, determining the most competitive price to list your house at, and the most effective way to market and promote your home to motivated buyers. An agent will also be instrumental in helping you navigate the closing of the sale and any last-minute surprises that come with it.
There are countless listings online, even right in your neighborhood. The most successfully promoted homes are ones that have been professionally photographed, contain a compelling property description and are advertised across a broad range of channels and platforms. The goal is to create as much interest from potential buyers as possible, and present your home in the best possible light. Home buyers have access to a multitude of online listings so it is important to find a way to make a great first impression, both online and in person showings. A trusted agent will explore a variety of approaches to expose buyers to your home, and ensure that you get the best possible price from interested buyers.
When negotiating an offer with a buyer, it is important to remain flexible and open, as well as maintain realistic expectations. Getting a great offer is one of the biggest hurdles in the home-selling process, and negotiating is of the upmost importance to guarantee you fulfill your initial goals. A dependable and experienced agent can be your greatest asset to make sure your best interests are represented. When you receive an offer you have a few options, accept the offer as is, make a counteroffer or reject the offer. If you receive multiple offers you may be tempted to take the highest one, however, if the buyer is relying on financing from a lender, the property has to be appraised. If the appraisal comes back lower than the offer, the buyer could pay the difference in cash, the sale price could be renegotiated or both parties could walk away from the deal.
Closing is the last step in the home selling process. This is when the final paperwork is signed, prepare your home for the buyer’s final walkthrough and troubleshoot any last-minute issues that might present themselves. A buyer’s home inspection can uncover all kinds of obstacles that the buyer may find too costly and chose to walk away from the deal. It is imperative to be prepared to negotiate after the inspection report is complete. Review your estimated closing costs ahead of the closing day in order to be prepared for the charges you are likely to see. If you are able to work through the inspection and the repairs, the only steps are signing the documents, handing over the keys, and celebrating successfully selling your first home!
Please feel free to call us at Geri Reilly Real Estate for a Free Consultation.