Real Estate Tips for First Time Home Sellers

Richard Payne
Published on February 3, 2020

Real Estate Tips for First Time Home Sellers

If you are a regular to Real Estate blogs, you’ll know that there is a ton of information available for first time homebuyers, but not so much content for first time home sellers.

Selling your home for the first time can be fraught with confusion and in all honesty most first time home sellers are unsure where to start.

Let me help… I’ve put together the most important first time home seller tips and tricks to help guide you through the process.

First Time Home Seller Tip #1: Prepare Your Home For The Market

One of the biggest mistakes made by first time home sellers is that they do not know how important it is to prepare a home for the open real estate market.  Sure, the market is very active right now in Halifax and many properties are selling fast and for top dollar. The homes that are prepared for sale are the homes selling quickly and if you are looking for similar results, it’s so important to make your home stand out as soon as it is listed for sale.

Another profitable way for a first time home seller to prepare their home for the market is by making a few low cost home improvements before listing. Freshly painting rooms is a very cost effective way to make the house look great, white trim paint and a little bit of elbow grease can work wonders too. Professionally cleaning floors and carpets is also another way to help the home look its best. You can also update hardware on cabinetry and replace outdated light fixtures for a very reasonable cost. Clear out and de-clutter things you no longer need or use, you’ll make your home look tidier and bigger. It’s a little bit of extra effort but these small tweaks and improvements can really make a big difference in how the home shows.

First Time Home Seller Tip #2: Hire the Best Agent

First time home sellers need to understand the importance of having a top producer representing them during the sale of their home.  Selling a home is not an easy task, no matter how active the Halifax market is. It seems an easy enough task and one that could potentially save you a lot of money, but there is a reason why For Sale By Owners have a high failure rate. I know how tough it can be to sell your own home, I tried to sell our home years back (long before I was a REALTOR and it was the most stressful, difficult time, until we went with an Agent and it sold quickly and for top dollar).

But who should you choose to sell your Halifax home?

Our local market is saturated with Agents who have the ability to sell your home, but I will be honest and tell you that not all real estate agents are created equal. Some are part time, some are experienced buyers’ agents and other agents may just not have enough experience to guide you through the whole process in practice.

First Time Home Seller Tip #3: Understand Your Local Real Estate Market

Real estate markets can vary significantly from one neighbourhood to another.  First time home sellers need to understand what the current state is of their local real estate market.  Generally speaking there are three “states” of a real estate market, a sellers market, a buyers market, and a balanced market. And right now, here in Halifax we are in a sellers market (Feb 2020), making it a strong time to list your home for sale. A sellers market generally leads to lots of demand for property and the possibility of receiving multiple offers.

First Time Home Seller Tip #4: Decide What Your Next Move Is

First time home sellers often neglect to figure out what their next move is after selling their current home.  Will you be moving out of Halifax, Nova Scotia and relocating? Maybe you will be upsizing or even downsizing? Will you be building a new home? No matter what your reason for selling for the first time, try to figure out your next move so we can put your game plan into place when your offer is accepted. Buying and selling a home simultaneously can be tricky but it can be less stressful if you are working with the right agent.

First Time Home Seller Tip #5: Price Your Home Correctly

Even with our active sellers market in Halifax, there’s a reason why some of the homes listed for sale are not getting offers and the number one reason is because the property is incorrectly priced.

First time home sellers tend not to be familiar with how homes are priced. There are many different ways a listing price can be determined and the most common way is through a comparative market analysis (CMA). This essential piece of information breaks down local active homes for sale, past home sales and expired listings. A CMA is an accurate tool to produce a listing price of a home so that it sells quickly and for top dollar.

Many sellers have a number in their head as to what they think their home is worth. I get it, you obviously want the most dollar for your home but there is a very fine line between pricing your home to sell and pricing it to sit on the market.

First Time Home Seller Tip #6: Know What Your Closing Costs Are

Selling your home whether it’s the first or fiftieth time is a costly business. Many first time home sellers are often shocked by the costs involved. One of the hardest pills to swallow for a first time home seller are real estate costs.  First time home sellers often forget that the previous owner of their current home paid the real estate commission fees when they purchased their home.  Real Estate commission fees are normally the largest expense incurred by a home seller but other fees can add up too such as buyouts on equipment, betterment charges and paying the portion of yearly property taxes and/or condo fees during the period of time you own the home, etc.. If you have an existing mortgage, you will most likely have to pay a pre-payment penalty for paying off your mortgage early. 

Final Thoughts

Selling a home for the first time can be extremely stressful and exhausting.  A first time home seller who has an Agent working for them in their corner will have a much greater chance of a smooth and successful home sale.

Hope this helps. If you are thinking of selling, I would love to share my knowledge and expertise with you. Give me a call on (902) 489-1804 and let’s chat!

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