Selling a home is a daunting task. Many homeowners dread the process, even if they’ve never done it before. Much of this dread comes from not knowing quite what to expect and making assumptions about the process based on what they see online or stories they hear from friends and family.
While there are some difficulties you may have to navigate when selling your home, there are also plenty of rewards during the process. Let’s take a look at what you should expect when selling your home so that you can form accurate perceptions of the process.
You’ll Need to Give Your Home a Facelift
Before your house officially goes on the market, you’ll need to do some work to make your house desirable to as many people as possible. While television shows about home renovation may make it seem like any project will add considerable value to your home, not all of them are worth the effort or money for your specific market. Talk with your real estate agent before starting on any major projects to form a plan that will make your home look its best and give you the best return on investment. Your agent may also recommend working with a stager to make your home’s interior design appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Outside of cosmetic projects like putting in new countertops or giving the living room a fresh coat of paint, you may also need to make repairs to your home’s systems. A buyer won’t want to spend time or money fixing the home’s air conditioning system, which has to work harder and creates higher energy bills when one component of the system is compromised. Instead, you’ll need to invest the money to repair the air conditioning system so that someone will make an offer on your home.
A facelift will also likely mean decluttering your home as much as possible. If you’re still living there, focus on minimizing clutter so that your home feels open and inviting to potential buyers.
You Have to Be Flexible to Make Showings Happen
Perhaps the biggest inconvenience people associate with selling a home is having to show it. In most cases, this is an accurate association. Not only do you need to get out of the house when your realtor has scheduled a showing, but you also need to keep the house in tip-top shape at all times in case your agent gets a sudden showing. While this can be inconvenient, having many showings is a good sign that your home could sell quickly.
When your house goes on the market, work out an arrangement with your real estate agent for showings. With over two million real estate agents in the United States, there’s no one way to do showings and you should be able to develop a system that works for your lifestyle. For instance, some agents use showing services that will call, text, or email you when a showing has been requested. With these services, you can require that your agent schedules a showing a set number of hours ahead of time so that you have enough time to straighten up the home and leave before they arrive.
Interest in Your Home Will Rise and Fall
Many people selling a home for the first time get disheartened when they see interest in their home suddenly drop off. This makes it important to know that there are certain traffic patterns that occur when you sell a home and that even under the best conditions, it takes an average of 65 days to sell a home. You’ll likely get the most traffic in the first two to three weeks after your home is listed.
After a few weeks, traffic may die down. It’s important to not panic and realize that in a slower market buyers can take their time and usually do. If buyers are coming back a second or third time, it likely means they are considering your home and that your agent should keep in contact with their agent. Even lowball offers create the opportunity to begin a negotiation, which often leads to a sale.
If you haven’t had any serious interest within about six weeks and are not in a difficult market, it may be time to meet with your agent to discuss changing your strategy. This could mean changing the price or making physical changes to the home to make it sell better.
When it comes to selling a home, you need to be prepared. Know what to expect during each step of the process so that you’re not surprised or disappointed and can keep your stress levels low. By managing your expectations, you’ll make the process easier and more enjoyable for yourself.