• There is so much information out there about first-time home buyers…. But what about first time home SELLERS?  Although first time home sellers have been thru a real estate transaction, it looks very different from the other side.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see first time home sellers make is forgetting the market is very different than when they bought. The market is constantly changing – whether it is 6 years later or 6 months later.  You can’t just stick a “for sale” sign outside your house and put it on Zillow, then hope for the best if you want true top dollar for your home.

Right now, buyers have more tools than ever.  As a seller, you need to be strategic and use this to your advantage.  For example, many buyers have a price range set for their search… although you have a set buyer pool, if you price your house at 501,000 or 499,999, you could see a large difference in the number of showing and in turn, number of offers.

The largest number of showings occur in the first week of hitting the market.  As soon as a home hits the market, serious buyers want to see it.  To take advantage of this, it’s so important to price the house right from the start.  If it’s overpriced, you will lose traction in that first week.  Don’t be that first time seller who insists appraised values or your tax assessor’s estimate are the same as the market value of your home.

In today’s world, we look at comps and other data points for value, but we cannot underestimate the market value. Many buyers put significant value on a perfect turnkey home.  Part of a turnkey home is making your home feel spacious and clean.  An expert real estate agent can help make suggestions.

Lastly, be sure to interview and hire an agent. My last first-time home seller decided that they had the internet at their fingertips and they could do it alone.  They listed their home at 599,000 and couldn’t get a showing for weeks…. they blamed the summer season.  I took over the listing for them and within 3 days, we have multiple offers over asking.  A good agent will help you set the best price for your home and come in with a marketing plan to bring the most traffic to you – typically resulting in more and better offers.  An agent will also give you the advantage in the negotiation process, which can be quite tricky.  An experienced agent has been thru this many times and knows exactly what to do.  Likely, your home is one of your largest investments to date… be sure to treat it that way.