How to Sell a Home: A Guide for First Time Home Sellers

Basic Tips for First Time Home SellersWhen going to sell a home, there are a multitude of steps that can boggle and overwhelm even the most adept mind. What if a home seller has no idea how to start? Is staging important? What does a real estate agent do? This home sellers' guide gives sellers the basic details needed to sell a home quickly with preparations to ensure they get the best bang for their buck.

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Although there are few instances in life when people really must have a professional to handle a certain situation, sometimes hiring a professional to guide and advise you is worth more than the money paid. In selling a home, hiring a real estate agent is one of them. Without an agent, sellers are alone to negotiate with the buyer, who probably has an agent to help them secure the best deal. A real estate agent is there to get the home ready for sale, make sure that buyers find the home, negotiate a good offer on the house seller's behalf and confirm that the home sale is following all relevant laws and guidelines. On top of all of that they are there to provide guidance and advice for home sellers.

What Is Home Staging?

One of the things a real estate agent can help with is the presentation of a home to prospective buyers as well as open houses. The process of getting a home in its best condition, with colors and designs that are most appealing to buyers, is called “home staging.” Sellers do not have to spend a boatload of money or take out all furniture in order to stage a home. All sellers really have to do is understand the purpose of staging and do at least the basics. With a staged home, buyers see all the benefits of each room without getting lost in personal belongings. It allows them to imagine what life might be like if they bought the home.

Which Documents Do I Need?

The thing that sellers may hear the most about when selling a home is the paperwork. Yes, sellers will sign quite a lot of documents before, during, and at the conclusion of the sale. There can be so much happening all at once sellers often left asking questions like - What documents do I keep after selling a home? A real esate agent can help with all of this to ensure sellers are fully involved and knowledgable on the process. At first, the agent needs the seller to fill out and agree to some forms related to the sale of the home and information that will be presented to buyers. These documents may include:

  • Listing agreement
  • Sales contract (after accepting a buyer’s purchase offer)
  • Seller’s disclosure
  • Affidavit to confirm that the seller has no liens on the property except the mortgage
  • Buyer’s contingency clauses

The real estate agent may ask the seller to look at specific plans to sell the home and get approval before putting a home on the market.

How Do I Show My Home?

Although sellers have a lot of flexibility in determining how to show a home, there are a number of etiquette rules and best practices that should be followed to encourage possible buyers. Tell the selling agent which times of day and when during the week works best, and do as best as possible to be accommodating. Leave during the showing and allow the buyer plenty of time to go through the home and inspect each room. Get the home in sale-ready condition before listing, and make sure that each room comes back to that condition before every showing and especially the open house. A little effort on the seller's part will make your buyer feel more at home, which is precisely what you want. But most sellers wonder, do open houses sell homes? And the short answer is, in a well staged home, absolutely! 

Selling a home can be a bit overwhelming for those who have never done it before. By enlisting an expert to help, and by following this advice, sellers will know what to expect and simplify the selling process.

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