Selling a home for the first time can be just as overwhelming and stressful as buying one for the first time. Here are some tips for first time sellers from Cara Ameer, a broker associate and global luxury agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida and her recent article in Inman. 

  1. Selling a home is not a DIY project. Licensed real estate agents are trained and experienced in market research, comparable pricing, marketing, contract negotiations, zoning and regulation issues, etc. There truly is not a YouTube video on how to sell a house. Make sure to have a real estate professional you trust representing you and your home.
  2. Get educated. Do your own research about your own micro housing market and get a thorough overview of your micro market from you agent concerning comparable home prices for both existing resale homes and newly constructed homes in your area.
  3. Familiarize and understand the costs involved in selling your home. Consider closing costs, loan payoffs and any/all pro-rations for taxes, homeowners’ association fees, etc.
  4. Develop a plan about where/when you’ll be moving once your house sells. Will you need to rent? Will you need to sell your current home before buying your next home?
  5. Put your home on display. Some people say that a home’s first showing happens online and the home’s second showing happens in person when an agent and/or potential buyer walks into the house. Anyone can Google your house and find out the street, what is behind and next door to the house, when you the seller bought the house, what you the seller paid for the house, the taxes, the renovations you did to the house…ie. everything about the house. Essentially, once the house is posted online, the house is an open house 24/7. Make sure the house is “show ready” 24/7.
  6. Selling a house is business; it is not personal. Sellers have to deal with last minute showings, last minute showing cancellations, strangers roaming around, etc.
  7. There is no magic number for the number of showings needed to sell a house. Since most people are on a budget regardless of price tier, selling a house most often is based upon pricing and competition.
  8. Greed is not good. Forget about aspirational pricing. The market is currently favoring buyers and buyers are increasingly cost conscious.
  9. Do all reasonable repairs before putting the house on the market. Home inspectors will point out necessary undone repairs and you may find your agent negotiating those contingencies. Most states now require that sellers disclose such contingency repairs and non-fixes.
  10. Some real estate professionals say that the first offer you get is the best offer you’ll get. As long as the offer is reasonable, massage it via your agent in order that it can work for everyone. In this market, now is not the time to play hardball or to be inflexible. Know that contingencies are rising, days on the market are increasing, inventories are surging and that the majority of homes sold are now being sold below original listing prices.