Very few endeavors can become as overwhelming or as stressful as uprooting your entire family and stepping forward to a new phase in your life. If you’re already a homeowner but a first time home seller, you’ve probably been in your first home for a decent amount of time. You may have already started a family and have grown some deep roots in your current home.
We at Hoffman Homes Tucson have a combined experience of 20 years. To kick off the new year, we’d like to speak from the heart and share some personal advice for the first time home seller.
It is often said that to pour yourself into something completely, to fully value a thing, you have to put in your time, your treasure, and your talent. Let’s use those 3 words to help you remember and prepare for a great 2022 first home sale!
There are several aspects of time that apply if you want to reach your full potential as a first time home seller. First, it’s the time your home is on the market, days it is in pending status after an offer is accepted, etc. Understand that you will get the most activity in the first two weeks of your listing. That’s the magic window of time. Once you hit that 14 day mark, the amount of buyers expressing an interest in your home will dip! In our current highly competitive market, after about a month, your listing would be considered stagnant.
Second, your time is also critical. You must make sure your home is available day or night during that starting window. You must always be available to allow for a home viewing. That means you have to arrange your schedule so that you are utterly absent from the home if a buyer would like to schedule a walk through. As harsh as that may sound, remember, we’re asking buyers to pay a premium for what will soon be their home. Therefore, we want to present your home as an empty but beautiful and ready to be inhabited vessel.
Ready to start? Read our How to Get Ready to Sell Your House for a deeper look.
Someone once said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” For many first time home owners, their first home is probably one of their first big investments. It’s also where they spent their first years as an official bona fide home owner.
Now you’re about to become a first time home seller. Your heart is in this home. And you want the most return on your investment possible. This is where some key mistakes can be made.
We can’t emphasize this more strongly… Do Not Be Greedy. The market will determine what your home is worth. Our job as realtors is to help you get the full market value of your home, not the full heart value. Or put another way, your perceived home value.
Like with timing, you have to price your treasured home accurately right at the start. If you over-price your home, even as little as 5% over market value, you could lose out on your home’s full potential value. It’s easy to see an inflated market and try for more. But that’s not rational.
So, our advice is to put your treasure (your heart) on what lies ahead, after you sell your home. Don’t get hung up on demanding more for your home than what it’s willing to pay. The market will penalize you. In other words, be realistic.
Try to remove your heart (or emotions) out of the entire equation.
Your perceived value of your home is not your only treasure we’re asking you to remove. We’d also advise removing the personal treasures that you have collected over the years. You want to live on the bare essentials during that magic selling window. Remove all family photos, specialty appliances, countertop clutter, access personal items, workout equipment, etc. The home needs to feel like no one has ever lived there, ever.
As soon as you decide to sell, you must act and think as if the home is no longer yours. Make your home someone else’s! De-personalize.
Check out our article on 7 Steps to Selling A House for the Price You Want.
Best way to price your home right is to have the right talent, your realtor. You want a high quality agent. A talented agent. Your realtor, if experienced, will do 3 things for you.
First, your agent will qualify your buyers. You obviously don’t want to get duped and neither should your agent! You have to make sure your offers are good. Remember the “don’t be greedy” advice? Well, buyers can be just as greedy. A good agent will make sure the realtors representing your offers aren’t inflating repair needs or ways of trying to force you to lower your price. Buyer’s will fabricate things to create an emotional response to get you to back down a bit.
Second, your agent will protect you during the inspection process. Many inspectors will come up with unnecessary things they would call red flags. We call it the “holy cow” effect. If an inspector said it, it must be bad and therefore is in need of repair or replacement. Honestly, many of these inspectors are trying to get work for contractors. We are more than experienced enough to know when we are getting fleeced. We also know how to calm the tension, as any agent worth their salt ought to be able to do for any first time home seller.
Third, a good realtor will know how to vet your home, as well as the buyer and the agent who represents them. A good realtor will know what items in your home are positives and negatives. Things that a buyer will love and hate and how to negotiate during that dreadful inspection.
If you’re in a place to start vetting realtors, here is some helpful info: What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent for Home Sellers.
Ready to Be a First Time Home Seller?
We at Hoffman Homes Tucson not only have our fingers on the pulse of today’s Arizona home market, we can walk you through the entire home sale process, step-by-step, for your peace of mind.