If you are a first time home seller or haven’t sold a house recently you probably have a lot of questions and wondering what is involved. I have put together what home sellers need to know to successfully sell their home.
There are many aspects that go into selling a home. And, for the first time home seller or for someone that hasn’t sold in awhile there is much to know. In the 18+ years I have been in the business there has been some major shifts in how buyers buy and accordingly how sellers need to market to reach those buyers.
Probably the biggest thing sellers need to understand is that selling a home takes some time and is inconvenient. But, how you go about listing the home can definitely cut down on the inconvenience, time and stress it takes to sell a home.
Here are some points to consider before you sell your home so you know exactly what is what is ahead of you.
What Home Sellers Need To Know To Successfully Sell Their Home
Successfully Selling Your Home Is Work
Of course you can slap your house on the market without putting consideration into preparing your home for today’s buyers. But if you are like most home seller’s you want top dollar for your home.
But to truly have a successful home sale, it requires work. Very few houses can be put on the market without a little preparation. And, often homes need more than a little preparation.
If you want to make the most of the sale of your home expect time preparing your home pre-listing as well as keeping your home well kept and ready to show during the listing itself.
In most cases, you will get out of it what you put into it.
It Takes Time To Sell Your Home
There are many factors that go into how long it will take to sell your home. Much of it depends on current market conditions.
As I write this article, the market is still a seller’s market and home on the whole are moving very quickly. But in a more neutral market, you can expect any where of 45-90 days from the time you list your home to an accepted offer.
Don’t forget it is going to take another 30 to 60 days to close on the property after getting an offer on your home.
Even prior to listing your home, you need time to interview agents and prepare your home properly. This could be a matter of weeks to several months.
So from having the first thought of selling to actually closing on your home can at a very minimum in a hot market minimum of 3-4 months but as much as 9 months to a year in a slower market.
Start Working With An Agent At The First Thought Of Selling
Rather than waiting until you are ready to list your house contact and hire an agent to work with at the first thought of selling.
A listing agent can offer plenty of value, pre-listing ,that will save you time, money and aggravation.
First they can help you set realistic expectations and inform you of what is going on in the marketplace currently.
Secondly a good listing agent can help you decide where to spend time and money on your home preparing it for the market. Often a seller making these choices on their own waste time and money concentrating on the wrong areas of their home.
Selling Your Home Can Be Inconvenient
Along with being work, selling your home can be inconvenient.
First, the time to prepare and make your house market ready can be time consuming. But, also, when your house is on the market, you need to keep your house show ready at all times. If you decide to have open houses every weekend, than cleaning up and packing up the family every weekend is going to wear on you after the first few weeks.
Showings may not always be convenient for you. For a successful sale, you need to make your home available to home buyers that are convenient to them not them.
Showings Can Occur At Anytime
As I just said showing your house can be inconvenient. Be prepared to accommodate your buyers. While a certain showing time can be inconvenient for you, it may be the only time your buyer can show up.
Remember home buyers come in all shapes and sizes, meaning the they have a different schedule than you. They may only be able to only view house one or two days a week, maybe they work nights, maybe they took the afternoon off just to see your home…..
Try to accommodate every showing that is reasonably possible. Showings = Offers. No Showings = No Offers
Your Home Will Be Competing For Buyers
Your home will most likely be competing for a buyers attention. Yes, you are not the only house out there.
This means much of your competition will have taken months to declutter and prepare their home, had a home staging consultation, use the services of professional photography,etc…
Familiarize yourself with the market and make sure you house is a market leader based on one or more factors, like price, location, condition, etc…
Just because a buyer didn’t buy your house, doesn’t mean they stopped looking. They went on to buy a house that was a better value for them than your home.
Price Is The Single Biggest Component In A Successful Home Sale
Properly pricing a home is part art and part science. It is not always easy getting the price right. That does not mean you arbitrarily pull a price out of the sky. Getting the price right on your home is about comparing recent sales history of similar homes to yours.
Over price your home and you lengthen the marketing time of your home as well as the buyers perception of your home, making your sale an uphill battle.
No amount of marketing will sell an overpriced home. Get the price right from the get go and you will find you will have a much smoother transaction.
Your Online Presence Is Huge
There has been a huge shift in how real estate is sold in the past 10-20 years. It is all about the internet and the image your home presents online.
Between 1995 and 2010 or so, how buyers find homes has had a gigantic change. In 1995 buyers were mostly reliant on their real estate agent to find them homes to view. Now fast forward to now… Almost 80% of Americans have smart phones and can access every home on the market on their smart phone. They can view homes for sale at work, while sitting in the passenger seat of a car, basically anywhere they can catch a signal.
Home buyers today are choosing the homes they want to view. Take it a step farther. We have become an image driven society with smart phones, the internet, cable tv and more. Buyer’s are now expecting homes that are fully prepared and the professional real estate photography. The game has been upped.
Its not about newspaper ads or slick real estate magazines or even open houses anymore. Its about the image your home projects online.
In the past the real estate industry talked about curb appeal, which is still important. But now selling a home starts with web appeal.
Your Listing Agent Pulls It All Together
When selling your home you have too much at stake. Now is not the time to hire your nephew who just got his real estate license, your best friend who does two deals a year part-time, your mothers best friend, etc…
You need an experienced agent to pull the sale together. I just talked about pre-listing and marketing the home. There are still offers to be negotiated, paperwork to be tracked, and dates to be met. It is time to hire an experienced professional.
I am not saying Aunt Mary isn’t the perfect choice but do yourself a favor and interview a few agents. Get an idea of what they do to market your home, read reviews and ask questions. Give your listing to the agent that makes sense not to just the person you know.
Selling your home isn’t always easy. Some care and time needs to be put into a successful home sale. You will get out of your home sale what you put into it.
Taking the time to choose the right real estate agent and prepare you home is critical. Often sellers try to do the pre-listing piece alone and call an agent at the last minute. But a good listing agent can certainly help you maximize your opportunities.
Go into selling your home knowing there is some work and inconvenience and you won’t have any surprises during the process.
Other Home Selling Resources:
- Bill Gassett Be Safe When Selling
- Xavier De Buck Selecting The Right Real Estate Agent
- Sharon Paxson Are Open Houses Necessary?
- Eilleen Anderson Home Pricing Myths
What Home Sellers Need To Know To Successfully Sell Their Home was provided by Kevin Vitali of EXIT Group One Real Estate. Kevin Vitali is a Tewksbury MA REALTOR® that services northern Middlesex county as well as Essex county in Massachusetts. Are you thinking of listing your Tewksbury MA home or a home in the surrounding communities call Kevin at 978-360-0422