Recently, I’ve been working a lot with first-time homeowners who are now looking to become first-time home sellers. As such, I wanted to share some common seller setbacks I’ve seen and how you can best prepare for them.
If you think back to the purchase of your current home, you’ll likely remember that there were several things that sent you into a panic but which turned out to be totally normal parts of the process. In hindsight, you may even laugh at how you thought something like that scary inspection report would prove to be a colossal setback. Nevertheless, knowledge is power, so here is what you’ll want to know about the selling process:
1. Leave emotions out of the transaction. As a home seller, you’ll likely experience surprisingly strong feelings about your home. Emotions may make you feel better in the short term, but feelings won’t last; always think about the big picture and your personal goals before changing course.
2. Make sure your home is impeccable, even before staging. You may feel very confident in your taste and decor, but it’s important to remember that anything that fills your home is a potential distraction for buyers. It’s nothing personal, though it may feel that way.
3. Consider a pre-inspection before you list. A pre-listing inspection will turn up things you should definitely repair, potential problems you might not even know exist, and provide clear answers on the exact condition of your home. If you’re concerned about cost, I’ll advise you on the changes that are worth the money and the things that are likely okay to leave as is.
4. Handling lowball offers well. Though we’re not seeing many of these in the market of the moment, they do still occur, so it’s good to be aware of them. There’s a difference between an offer that’s slightly below asking price and one that’s tens of thousands of dollars below it.
Lowball offers can be a form of real-time feedback about your home; if a range of buyers submit low offers, it may point to a clear issue that you’ve overlooked, and therefore it forces an opportunity to address that.
5. Understand that everything is negotiable. Buyers may want all sorts of concessions and contingencies. It might be helpful to think of your home sale as another ordinary transaction, like buying a car. Negotiation in a car sale is a no brainer, so transfer that mentality to your home sale. Just as an auto dealer wouldn’t accept any ol’ offer, you don’t have to give in on every ask, either.
Selling your home for the first time is an opportunity to learn about real estate. The more you know before you sell, the bigger the advantage you’ll have in the end; you’ll be calm, focused, and determined when it comes to decisions that benefit your sale.
If you have questions on this or any other topic, please feel free to reach out via phone or email. I’m always here to be a resource for you, so let me know how I can be of assistance!