Remember the first time you bought a home? Were you excited but overwhelmed? It’s not unusual to feel that way as a first-time seller either, and the process is just as involved, if not more so. But knowing what to expect can make the selling process go smoothly. Here are five ways to be a smart first-time seller.
1. While it may sound appealing to try to sell your home on your own, keep in mind the challenges you could face if you’re not a real estate expert. Hiring a Realtor can save you time, reduce hassles and will help you avoid the legal risks that come with selling property. Pricing your home is easier when you have a Realtor who can provide you with information on comparable property prices and current market conditions. Asking too little for your home is a costly mistake, but pricing it too high can cause your property to languish and ultimately sell for less than it might have had it been priced right.
2. Selling a home often involves buying one, too. As a first-time seller, understand that timing your sale and your new purchase can be tricky. Your Realtor can walk you through your options and help you make a decision on timing that is in your best interest. He or she can also help you keep track of progress made on the sale of your home and the purchase of a new one.
3. If you find a new home you want to buy, you might include a contingency clause in your offer. This means your purchase of the new home depends on the sale of your current home. But using a contingency clause can also put you in a weaker position as a buyer, since another buyer without a contingency may be more attractive to a seller. Again, your Realtor has the experience to guide you through difficult decisions such as this.
4. If your selling agent doesn’t serve the new location you’re moving to, he or she may be able to give you a referral for a Realtor who can help you locate your next property to purchase. That referral can save you time while matching you up with another professional ready to help you achieve your goals.
5. Remember when you bought your first home and had a lot to learn? Selling also has a learning curve, since your to-dos during the home-selling process won’t be exactly the same as when you bought your home. Even though there is much to learn on the selling side, your buying experience can still be valuable. Putting yourself in a buyer’s shoes can help you position your home as an attractive property to purchase and help you make that first-time sale.
For real estate resources at your fingertips 24/7, visit HAR.com.
John Nugent, with RE/MAX Space Center, is 2020 chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors/HAR.com.