First Time Home Seller Real Estate Tips

First time home seller real estate tips can get a little overwhelming.  In fact, the internet is flooded with advice.

As a property management company in Fayetteville, North Carolina, we have assisted many landlords who decided to sell their homes.

For the first time home seller, at first, it can be exciting.  After all, you are selling what is probably your largest asset.  Perhaps, you are also planning on rolling the profit into another home or investment.

Hopefully you aren’t going through the foreclosure process and have to sell because the bank is about to take the home back.  That’s a topic for another conversation.

Our goal is to provide you as a first time home seller with 5 actionable real estate tips to at least alleviate some of the anxiety, and set you up for success.

While this is only a small snapshot of how to navigate the real estate market, if you pay attention to these 5 key points, you should be on the right path.

First Time Seller Key Point 1:  Price Your Home Accurately.

As a first time real estate seller, it may seem like common sense that you should price your home accurately.  While it is common sense, there is more to it than simply setting a price and putting your home on the market.

Your goal is to get the maximum potential profit , and boost value, from your real estate investment. After all, it wouldn’t make any sense to lose any money, or barely break even on your home.

First time sellers in the real estate market routinely overprice their property.  Looking at comparable properties, while a staring point, is simply not enough. Even cookie cutter properties in a development are priced differently, based on what each individual property has to offer.

The same holds true for first time seller in the real estate market who  who underprice their homes.  While overpricing can lead to your home staying on the market for a long period of time, underpricing will cut into your profit margins.

Additionally, even similarly situated properties have differences which may necessitate a higher or lower price point.

For example, does your property have damage beyond normal wear and tear?  Are the appliances different?  Do you have a deck?  A pool? Are you in a better school district?

Professional real estate agents in Fayetteville, NC are trained to help the first time seller in the real estate market.

As a professional, your real estate agent will look at not only the comparably properties, but also everything that will have an impact on the sale of your property as a whole.  These include the condition of your property, as well as the other items listed above.

Additionally, a real restate agent will help you as a first time seller understand how the current market conditions impact your home’s price point.

In the real estate word, we call what the agent does a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA.

First Time Seller Key Point 2:  Properly Staging Your Home

Remember the first time you walked into your home?  Was it love at first sight?  Did you rush to put an offer in, and anxiously wait for acceptance?

The same feeling you had then, you want a potential buyer to have now.  Your goal is to get a buyer to want to put an offer in the moment they walk through the door.

A key component of having the buyer catch butterflies is how you stage your property.

Don’t make staging too complicated.  As a first time home seller, you have enough to worry about in the real estate market.  Instead KISS it.  Keep It Simple Seller.

You can go about staging your house a couple of different ways.  First, you can ask your real estate agent what is the best way to stage.  Our advice is to not get emotionally attached.

If your real estate agent tells you to take down the pictures of 18th century dogs, do it. If they tell you to clean up the clutter, do it.

The point is, as a first time real estate seller, your home is not your home anymore.  It is now an investment.  You can be emotional about your kids growing up in the property, your first big home project, and receiving your keys.  At this point, however, your goal is to maximize profit.

Another option is to hire an interior designer.  There are plenty of interior designers that do work remotely, and can assist you in staging your property. Decorist is such an online service.

The good thing about it is, you don’t have to buy new furniture to set your home up for success, or you can just spend a little money if you have to.  These professionals, for a small expense, will be able to get your house in sale shape in no time.

Before we move on to the next key point, making sure your house is clean, freshly painted, and the exterior looks good, are still some of the most cost effective ways to boost the resale value of your property.

Hands down!

First Time Home Seller Real Estate Key Point 3:  Agent’s Commission

The largest single expense affecting your bottom line as a first time home seller, is the real estate commission.

The real estate commission for a property sale varies, but is usually around 5-6%.  If we look at a property that sells for $250,000, this means the real estate agent, or agents, will receive a total of $12,500 to $15,000.

The kicker is, the seller is usually responsible for payment of the agent’s commission.

Ideally, the financial incentive may be enough for the real estate agent to work hard on your behalf.  Sometimes, however, this isn’t enough.

One way you can assist your agent in being motivated is to base the commission on certain benchmarks of performance.  For example, you may run into an agent who says they can sell your home in 60 days.

Great!!!  But how do you hold them to the fire?  As a property seller, remember you have bargaining power not only in the sale of your house, but also with real estate agents.

You can start off at a X% commission, with an incentive that if the house is sold in Y number of days, the commission bumps up to Z%.

This method helps the agent stay motivated, and ensures the agent is putting in the work to get the job done.

Not all agents, however, will be willing to accept an offer like this.

A caveat to negotiating the commission with a real estate agent.  As tempting as it may be as a first time home seller to play hardball, I wouldn’t suggest you devalue the work your agent puts in on your behalf.

While you can learn a lot through self study, nothing can replace actual knowledge, training, and experience in the local market .

You don’t want to find out you screwed up royally by going with the lowest bidder.

First Time Home Seller Real Estate Key Point 4:  Open Houses and Showings

Open houses and showings go hand in hand with staging your property.  After all, it doesn’t matter if your house looks nice if there isn’t anyone to look at it.

A couple of things to remember are, advertise your open house where the notice will be seen, and hold your showings and Open House times when potential buyers will be able to come view.

In the Fayetteville Real Estate market, most open houses are usually held on the weekends.  In fact, this is the norm across the United States. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Some buyers have busy weekends, and less busy weeks.  You could set your open house for a weekday, and block off a couple of hours.  This gives buyers an opportunity to stop by and see your house during a time that is convenient for them.

The same holds true for showings.  Make the showing times convenient for the buyers.  Although they can be a little bit of a pain in the butt if you have a constant flow, remember, the traffic means people are interested in purchasing.  A lot of traffic is better than no traffic at all.

First Time Home Seller Real Estate Key Point 5:  Be Receptive to Offers

Now that you have eliminated the emotional attachment, got yourself a real estate agent who has properly valued your home, and had tons of traffic, the offers are now probably pouring in.

What many real estate agents say is that the first offer is the best offer.  This, in our opinion is hogwash.

Real estate agents who say this, are telling you this because they want to get the house sold quickly so they can get their commission check.

There isn’t any data that suggests that the first offer is always the best offer.

in fact, the first offer can be more accurately viewed as the point at which your negotiation process can start.  And your agent should be the one guiding you through this process.

Yes, this means more work for the agent, which is why they say the first is the best.

So what should you do about your offers?

No, you don’t have to quickly accept the first offer. We aren’t suggestion that.  What you should do, however, is respond back to the offer promptly.

Have your agent send a note to the buyer saying: “Hi Mrs. Buyer.  I have your offer and will get back to you as soon as I review it alongside the other offers.”

What you have done is acknowledge that you have received the offer, acknowledged that the buyer is waiting for a response, and showed the buyer you appreciate their offer.

You aren’t promising that you would sell to the buyer, but what you did was make them feel special.

The other thing you should be prepared to do, in addition to responding quickly, is provide the buyer with a counteroffer.

While it is common for the buyer to have anxiety waiting for their offer to be accepted or rejected, it is even more frustrating if you don’t have a counteroffer ready.

These tips aren’t the end all be all to set you up for success as first time home seller, but they can provide you with a starting point.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Also, make sure you sign up for our Landlord Newsletter, as well as the Linchpin Property Academy, where you learn to be a more educated player in the Fayetteville, NC real estate market. .

The Team at Linchpin Property Management