Selling your home for the first time is a big step. And if you're at least a day into the process, you've probably already found out there's a lot you don't know. It's your first time around though, so you're not expected to know it all. But what you don't know could cost you. Here's a look at three of the biggest ways a first time home seller can sabotage their deal.
#1: Leaving personalized decor
Leaving any personalized decorations (like things with the family name or family photos) around can actually be a big misstep for a seller. You want a potential buyer to be able to imagine themselves in the space. And if your face and name are everywhere, that's tough to do. Also, decor like this serves as a personal reminder to the seller and could make negotiations much more emotionally driven.
#2: Selling in the winter (if you have the option to wait)
In general, the winter months are slower for real estate. People are busy with family and friends, money may be a little tighter because of the holidays, and it's cold, so people just want to stay inside. It's certainly not impossible to sell a home in the winter, but just be aware that the market will be significantly slower. You'll have less competition, but you'll have fewer interested buyers as well. If you don't have to sell in the winter, don't.
#3: Not bending over backwards to accommodate buyers
If you're trying to sell a house, be prepared to bend over backwards for buyers. That's just the way it goes. It may mean cleaning the house frantically on an hour's notice when you just deep cleaned it for a visit two days before. It may mean staying at home to show the house on a Friday night when you had dinner plans. And it might mean living out of hidden boxes while your house is on the market. The buyer doesn't know any of this. They just care that the house looks good when they see it. If you're not doing everything you can for potential buyers, you'll likely lose out. It costs nothing to clean your home, but it reaps huge benefits.
If you're selling a house for the first time, the best thing you can do is to invest in a realtor. Sure, people do sell their homes on their own, and the realtor does take a percentage of the sale, but a realtor can think of things you'd never dream about when it comes to staging and selling your home. It's an investment that's easily worth the price.
Searching for a home a hundred miles away from where I was previously living was hard. There was no way for us to take a trip up to see every single house that we found online to see first-hand the condition that it was in and how big it truly was. I had to find a real estate agent that I could trust to help us find several houses to make a trip up to see in a single day. I created this blog after going through the buying process and making the move. It is my hope that if you are buying a new home far from your current one, that the tips here will help to make it an easy transaction for you.