Selling your first house is a time consuming and emotionally challenging transaction. This is your castle which you have invested in and ruled. Now, a hoard of people pass through, rummage in cupboards, insult your décor and then offer you less money than you know your house is worth.
The housing market is based on supply and demand – your house is worth what people are willing to pay. With no prior experience, it is common for first time sellers to make mistakes when it comes to selling their home. Here are some tips to help make the process a seamless one and get the best price possible within a reasonable timeframe.
Price your house realistically from the start
As tempting as it may be to overprice the house – just in case, house hunters generally have a good idea what is on the market in their area at any given time. They will also be savvy to the comparable market so will know what a fair offering price would be. Competitively pricing your house could be a strategy used to generate interest in your listing. This may attract multiple offers which could push it back up to the market value, but leave some breathing room for the negotiations.
Include items in the sale purchase
If you have wall mounted televisions or a built-in dryer that will be an inconvenient to move, consider leaving them as part of the sell price. It may not add much value to the house but will certainly be a selling point compared with other houses your buyer may be considering.
Prepare for the sale of your home
Before you even consider opening your door to house hunters, clear the clutter. What may be your prized treasures, could just look like mess to other people. Clutter in small houses could be the difference between cozy and cramped. Large items such as dressers in the bedroom could make the room feel smaller so remove them for the visits. Kitchen surface and bathroom countertops can also make a room look untidy and uninviting. Place all usual clutter in drawers. Get rid of any odours by airing the house before visits and use slow releasing plug in fresheners for a subtle yet welcoming smell. Open all curtains so the house is holding as much natural light as possible. Clean your house before every visit!
Fix the house for the potential buyer
Unless your buyer has expressed interest in a renovation, it’s unlikely they will want to spend every weekend fixing the jobs you avoided. Trim the bushes in the garden and fix the lawns. Clean salvageable carpets and paint tarnished or dark walls.
Invest money wisely
A modern rain shower and marble flooring will be costly but it may not add that much value to a house that is determined by its size and location. Invest the money in painting the walls a neutral, clean colour. Replace old carpets and curtains to make the house look updated and in a good condition. A professional set of photos is a worthy investment. Good photos should be clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available.
Enlist in the help of a good real-estate agent
Yes, estate agents take a hefty commission and can often leave buyers and sellers frustrated, but it is probably right to assume they have more knowledge on the housing market than a first home seller. Thoroughly research your agent beforehand and work with someone who has particular knowledge in your neighbourhood.
Make your house available
Tight restrictions around when people can be shown around the house will limit the number of people who can view. Be flexible and arrange with your agent for your house to be available at all times of the day. Where possible, avoid being at the house during showings so prospect buyers feel comfortable browsing and do not feel like they are intruding on your time.
Mentally and financially prepare for the unplanned. Your house may end up sitting on the market for longer than hoped or the potential buyer may want costly fixtures to be carried out in their purchase agreement. Your house may also sell in the first week and now you have a short window to buy to rent before settlement.
Your real estate can keep you up to date with the progress and advice you where necessary.