Much like buying your first home, selling it can be an intimidating process. Whether you are relocating or trying to find a property that will better accommodate your family’s needs, you probably have a lot on your mind. For most people, selling their home is also a time sensitive matter since they need to at least have an offer on it before buying their next one.
The good news is that the months of spring and summer are the best ones to list your property! With the kids out of school and the yards looking their best, most people want to move before the end of the summer. However, it is also the moment when your property will have more competition on the market, which is why you should have a strategic plan in mind.
Since internet seemingly makes everything so easy and accessible, you might be tempted to skip the realtor fee and go the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route. As a first-time home seller, it is a risky choice. Selling your house is a time-consuming process: you will need to market the property, stage it, and be present for all the showings and appointments. It also requires an in-depth knowledge of the real estate selling procedure, of the local market, and the legal implications and obligations as a homeowner. Finally, if the buyer uses a real estate agent, he or she will usually require a closing fee anyway.
Although real estate agents charge on average 6% of the selling price, you can often recoup that money since agent listings sell on average 20 days faster and for 20% more than a FSBO listing according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. Your real estate agent can save you a tremendous amount of time by taking care of the paperwork and organizing showings. He/she also has access to marketing tools FSBO sellers don’t to show off your listing to the largest number of potential buyers. Real estate agents are seasoned negotiators and are familiar with the local market so you can get the most bang for your buck. Finally, the sellers’ agent usually split his or her fee with the buyers’ agent.
Finding a trusted real estate partner can make or break a transaction, especially for a first-time home seller. It is always a good idea to interview several real estate agents before picking one that might the right fit for you. Don’t forget to ask them some key questions such as:
- How long have you been working as a real estate agent? Is it your full-time job?
- Are you familiar with the area? Have you helped sell or buy houses in my neighborhood?
- Which marketing tools do you use? How often and how do you communicate with your clients?
You can also save a significant amount of time and money by taking care of some of the steps to sell your home yourself before hiring a real estate agent. Staging and decluttering to make your home as appealing as possible is crucial. Better Homes and Gardens also recommends giving as much attention to the outside curb appeal to indoor staging: some low-cost improvements such as “sweeping the front stoop, cleaning windows, covering rocks with fresh mulch, or painting your front door a striking color” can improve your value.
Listing your home to sell can be a nerve-wracking process, but the right partner and a little elbow grease can go a long way. Spring is a great time to sell your home. Best of luck!