Our Real Estate Blog
The first time you sell a home, you're in entirely new territory. You may think you know what's what because, after all, you once bought a house, what's different now? Everything, actually!
Know the basics
The simple stuff from the buyer's point of view is not the same for the seller. Here are some notable missteps to avoid.
- Don't use a buyer's agent to sell your home. Many agents specialize as either a buyer's agent or a listing agent. While the buyer's agent looks at a house from the purchasing point of view, a selling agent works on your behalf to market your home on multiple channels and through personal contacts.
- Don't take your pictures yourself. The MLS images typically follow a pattern that includes specialized lenses and panoramic views, so let the pros handle it. And, it's usually included in your marketing plan so that it won't cost you anything extra.
- Don’t skimp on staging. If your agent suggests staging it's because she knows the market and the potential buyers. While many home stagers will use your furniture where they can, allowing them to see your home with a critical eye is useful for seeing what sellers need to see.
- Don't hang around. You want to hover, be handy to answer questions, listen to what they say. But that makes the buyer uncomfortable. If someone is purchasing your home, they need to be free to express whatever they want to their agent without worrying that they might offend you. After all, it's not really about you; it's about them.
- Don't be offended by a lower-than-expected offer. When a buyer offers a low-ball price again, it's not about you or even your home. It is about what they can afford or for what they qualify. Or, they may just come from a family that haggles. So work out a plan with your agent ahead of time about how to handle those extra low offers.
- Do have a contingency plan. If the buyer must move in before you're ready to move on to your new home, have a plan in place for temporary housing. You don't want to lose the sale because you weren't ready when the buyer was.
- Do learn about all the closing costs and who is expected to pay what. Remember that you’ll have utility bills, insurance, warranties, and any repairs the buyer requests after the inspection.
Most of all, trust the professionals. You’re hiring them for their real estate expertise, so use it.