How to be a good home seller

Selling your home can be uncomfortable, disruptive, and emotional. Sellers often have mixed feelings about moving. Some are even just “seeing what happens” and are not 100% ready to move. So, it isn’t always easy to sell your home, even in the best of circumstances. What can you do to improve this experience?

First, physically prepare your home. Go around with a checklist (or me) and make a note of the things that you will need to do to get your home ready for sale. Simple things like adding some flowering plants to the front of your home can make a difference. I can walk around with you to point out some simple and inexpensive ways to prepare your home. This step will also help you to mentally prepare.

Work with an agent (like me) who is flexible, listens to your needs, and will respect you and your home during this process. Some sellers think that a super aggressive real estate associate is the best – not true! An experienced agent that matches your style and communicates well is the best choice. There will be days that you do not want to show your home- having an agent who respects this and works around your needs will make the process a bit easier.

Work with an agent. Doing this yourself sounds great for saving money but, in reality, it often does not end up that way. Typically, homes that sell with a real estate agent sell for more (according to the National Association of Realtors: “FSBOs accounted for 9% of home sales in 2012. The typical FSBO home sold for $174,900 compared to $215,000 for agent-assisted home sales.” FSBO’s are For Sale By Owner homes). Buyers expect to also save money in purchasing the home since they know you are not paying a commission. To get less money and work harder is just not a great idea.

Once your home is on the market- leave your home during all home showings. I cannot emphasize this enough. Many owners make the mistake of staying home because they are nervous about strangers walking through their home. Have your agent accompany all showings if you are nervous. If your agent uses an electronic lockbox (as I do) instead of a combination lockbox, there will be a record of every agent who shows your home. I have shown many, many homes with the seller remaining in the home. That is never a positive for the buyer. Buyers always, always feel less comfortable and have difficulty “owning” the home. This means the chance of sale is reduced. Take a walk, go for a quick drive, at least sit in your backyard during the showing. It’ll be less stressful for you too. Watching a stranger walk around your home really is not comforting anyway.

I hope some of these tips are helpful. Most of us will be selling our home within the next few years. I hope you’ll give me the opportunity to help you prepare and sell your home.

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