5 "Challenges" First-Time Sellers May Encounter
Here are some Common Challenges & Solutions To Prepare For Them.
Think back to when you bought your current home... There were things that may have happened during the transaction which sent you into a panic but ended up being a totally normal part of the process of buying a house. Now you can probably even laugh at how some of those things that seemed like such a major issue (like that big inspection report) but were resolved relatively quickly.
Now that you’re ready to move again, you’re about to go through something similar. Selling a home for the first time isn’t as easy as sitting back and having your Realtor collect offers. Similar to the home buying process, there will be matters that require your immediate attention, appointments that have to be made, and some issues that just might trigger unexpected emotions.
While this may sounds overwhelming, these situations all are perfectly normal & preparing for them now will make selling your home go so much more smoothly. Here are the five most common things to expect when you’re a first-time seller.
First-Time Seller “Challenge” #1
You’ll Experience Surprisingly Strong Feelings About Your Home
How to Prepare:
Focus on the end result & leave Emotions out of the Transaction
It may be time to book a massage, double down on your favorite stress-relieving exercise routine, &/or have your best friend on speed-dial. Even when you’re excited about your new home & have been counting down the days to move out, selling your home is a life change that can stir up emotions you didn’t necessarily expect to have.
Whether you’re nostalgic about the memories or perhaps questioning if you really want to sell, a potential buyer’s comment about renovating the kitchen you loved dearly may make you feel annoyed...Take a deep breath, let it go, and hold off on impulsive decisions. Emotional reactions might make you feel better in the short-term but that feeling won’t last. Remember to think of the big picture and your goals before considering a change in course.
First-Time Seller “Challenge” #2
Your Home Will Need Some Staging.
How to Prepare
Knock out deferred maintenance, declutter, deep clean, & showcase your property!
Even if you feel very confident in your taste in decor, anything that fills your home is a potential distraction for buyers. It’s nothing personal though it may sometimes feel that way. Your Realtor is likely going to suggest some staging to show your home in the very best light to a buyer so you will receive the highest & best offers!
Any work you can do on your home ahead of time will save you the hassle & frustration of doing it later on a tight timeline. Knock out the big decluttering project you’ve been meaning to do, rent a storage unit for that big sectional that takes up most of your living room, organize your wardrobe so your closet looks picture-perfect, and start selecting neutral paint colors for rooms that need freshening up. Hire professional cleaners to do the deep-cleaning you would love to have completed as you're moving into your next home.
First-Time Seller “Challenge” #3
The Buyer’s Inspector Will Turn Up Many Issues
How to Prepare
Get a Pre-Inspection & take care of the easy fixes!
You may remember the lengthy inspection report that you received from your inspector when you bought your home. Their job is to find defects & they will also recommend some improvements too. That’s exactly what a buyer is going to do when they buy your home so take care of some of the easy fixes on the front end & limit the list of to-do's they'll need to consider. It will make the whole process much easy for both of you & reduce the chances of an interested buyer become overwhelmed.
Acting now will not only save you the headaches that pop up later but will also give you the heads up about issues you may not have known about too. Nobody likes expensive surprises in a transaction & taking care of issues on the front end will make the repair negotiations go much smoother. A pre-listing home inspection might even be acceptable to a buyer & completely eliminate the inspection process and negotiations altogether!
First-Time Seller “Challenge” #4
How to Prepare
Realize That Not Everyone Sees Your Home Like You Do
There is a difference between an offer that is slightly below asking price and one that is significantly below that. The latter may trigger a strong emotion (so go to #1 on this list) but an unrealistic offer will ultimately be rejected too. Sometimes buyer's feel like they have to "make an offer" at first but then agree to pay a fair price. A bad offer is usually better than no offer so at least give them a counter offer to consider even if it is your listing price.
Sometimes low offers are real-life feedback about your home. If there is something that several buyers consider to be an issue, it may be important to address it. Often times, buyers may think repairs will cost considerably more than it will actually take to correct something. Other times, you may need to address your expectations as a seller. If the offers are consistently in a similar range or aren’t far off from your price, you may need to adjust your mindset the meet the reality of the market. You see all the potential value in the home you’ve loved but most buyers will simply compare it to their other homes for sale & see the property as it is: 1 Option.
First-Time Seller “Challenge” #5
A Buyer Wants Many Concessions and Contingencies
How to Prepare
Understand That EVERYTHING Is Negotiable
Every transaction is a negotiation but you always have power as a seller to counter or say no... (even if you're in a buyer’s market). It might help to think of this as another ordinary transaction — like buying a car — instead of selling your home. You probably wouldn’t even think about buying a car without negotiating & a buyer is going to do the same on this larger ticket item. An auto dealer wouldn’t accept any offer & you don’t have to give in to every ask either. You also have the advantage of a great Realtor who will offer excellent advice to navigate the negotiations & advocate on your behalf every step of the way!
In the end, selling your home for the first time is another opportunity to learn about real estate. The more you know before you sell, the bigger the advantage you’ll have in the end. You’ll be more calm, focused on decisions that benefit your sale, and even more knowledgable about what concerns you can discuss with your Realtor.