Real Estate Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

While there are plenty of tips and recommendations out there for first-time home buyers, there are far fewer dedicated to first-time home sellers. Yet most homeowners have no idea where, or how, to start the home selling process.

If you’re planning to sell your first home, consider working with a real estate agent who specializes in selling and is knowledgeable about your neighborhood, and follow these tips to ensure success.

Price Your Home Competitively

To avoid listing your home for too little or too much, you’ll want to perform a comparative market analysis, in which you compare your home to similar properties that have recently sold in your neighborhood, and make adjustments for things like square footage, age, upgrades and improvements. You’ll also want to consider how long these homes were on the market before they sold and note any differences between asking and sale prices.

While determining your home’s fair market value requires a bit more work than most sellers anticipate, hiring a listing agent who already has access to this information will make it much easier. As a Bolton Landing Real Estate Agent who not only works in Bolton landing but lives here, too, I’m able to provide my clients with unique insights into average per square foot cost of similar homes, median sale prices and local real estate trends to help them arrive at a fair asking price.

Prep Your Home to Sell

To ensure your home stands out in the competitive Lake George and Bolton Landing real estate market, you’ll need to prep your home to sell. Clear your home of unnecessary clutter, tidy up your yard, make minor home improvements, and, to really boost your selling power and appeal, consider professional home staging.

More than a clean house, a staged house can help potential buyers envision themselves living there. Check out these 5 Home Staging Tips, or enlist the help of a real estate agent with home staging experience. As an Accredited Staging Professional®, I provide all of my clients with free home staging tips and expert advice.

Use Professional Photos

For most home buyers the home search starts online, which is why it is so important to use professional photos in your listings. More than simply capturing the right angle, a good photo is rich in color, provides depth and, entices buyers to attend an open house or schedule a home showing.

If you’ve hired an experienced listing agent, he or she will likely provide professional photos, but it doesn’t hurt to approve photography or virtual tours before they’re published. Likewise, you’ll want to review your online listings to make sure they are correct. While agents do their best to ensure accuracy, no one knows your home better than you, so if you find an error or omission, notify your agent immediately.

Be Patient and Flexible about Showings

It’s almost unheard of for a buyer to purchase a house sight unseen, which is why open houses and home tours are crucial to your success as a seller. In fact, the best way to sell your home is to allow buyers to take private tours of your home with only their agent present. Unfortunately, if you still live in the home you are trying to sell, this will require a lot of patience and flexibility.

You’ll need to be prepared for a showing at any time, so make it a rule to keep your surfaces clear of clutter, the kitchen sink free of dishes, the beds made, your floors vacuumed and swept, and valuables tucked away to avoid last minute scrambling. You’ll also need to be prepared to leave your home during showings, and take your pets with you. If an open house is planned, consider going away for the weekend, so it’s less of an imposition.

Partner with the Right Real Estate Agent

Selling a home entails more than simply putting a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn. In fact, many first-time home sellers are surprised at how time-consuming the process can be. If you are selling a house in Lake George, Bolton Landing or surrounding Southern Adirondacks, it’s important to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the local real estate market.

As a full-time Bolton Landing real estate agent and resident, I can provide you with insights into the current market, including recent sale prices for homes comparable to yours, and current housing demand in your area. I also offer advice on how best to present your house, where to list it, and much more. If you’re thinking about selling your Lake George or Bolton Landing home, contact me or give me a call at (518) 321-1870.