Real Estate Blog

Confessions Of A First Time Seller – What You Wish You Knew


Being a first-time buyer is exciting, being a first-time seller is often bittersweet.  Your home has become an extension of you, and it can be hard to let go.  I am outlining in this blog the things that are hard for sellers to understand and often a difficult conversation for a realtor but albeit a necessary one.  Here at the top 10 things that sellers feel the strongest about.

  • What agent to use?  Maybe you love the agent you used to buy the house and that is a good place to start but do your homework.  Was that agent a buyer’s agent or are they a top producing “listing agent”- you need someone with market knowledge, experience, and a track record of how to market properties.
  • Staging a home is an extravagance. It is truly a necessity.  Whether your agent helps you or you use a professional stager, their expertise is invaluable, and the results make it worth the expense.
  • You should take your own MLS photos.  The photos are the most important aspect of the marketing of the property.  Great photos online where most people shop first is imperative. Most realtors have professional photographers to handle the work and the cost if often factored into their marketing plan.
  • Comparables of other home sales do not count for us. Most sellers have an opinion on price but often it is misguided by the emotional value you have in the house.  You may believe its value is related to the factors you consider important.  The reality is different as the neighborhood stats dictate the price.
  • Not doing the recommendations from the realtor or stager before you list.  If you feel like what a realtor is asking you to do does not need to be done until you get an offer you are way off base.  Many clients have personalized space that they do not want to change “in case it does not sell” maybe it is the height marking for your children’s growth or a half-finished project that you will finish if you sell. These things will deter buyers from offering.
  • I got angry at a low-ball offer. Most sellers feel after all the effort they put forth to get a house ready for sale that it is insulting to them for someone to come in and not appreciate the time, effort and money that have gone into the home. You must remember the offer is not a reflection of your home it is most often an indication of the buyer’s finances or need to negotiate that drives the number.  An offer is a great starting point even a low offer.
  • Not wanting to lower my price. Your home is your product when selling.  There are only two things you can change.  Since you cannot change the location, it is either the condition or the price.  However costly upgrades may want you to raise the price and often that can backfire.
  • I should stick around during showings.   Truly no one knows your house like you, but it is a mistake to take the buyers on a grand tour of your home.  Sellers make buyers overly cautious and they often focus on you the seller, and not how this home is a great fit for them. It is best to vacate during a showing. Staying often leads to hurt feelings and negative feedback.
  • I had no contingency plan for closing dates.  Often the date you expect a buyer to use for closing is not what the buyers choose.  Maybe it is before the school year is over or before your new job starts or the construction on your new house is completed.  Do not expect a buyer to change their date to suit you.  Have a plan if this happens where you will go.
  • Selling a house costs the seller money.  You may be prepared for the commission on the sale of your house, but other costs are involved. Your paperwork fees, your municipal fees, notary fees, home warranty expense, fixing post inspection problems, transfer taxes and potentially additional fees you did not count on.

FINAL THOUGHTS …Selling a house brings up a roller coaster of emotions.  First and foremost, your home is often your biggest investment and treating it as a financial transaction is difficult but necessary. Your realtor is a professional ready to guide you through the pitfalls of your first home sale.

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