5 Tips Every First-Time Home Seller Needs
Putting your first home on the market is an exciting time, but it can also feel overwhelming. Of course, you’ll have all the usual concerns, like wondering, will my house sell in this market? (not to worry – in a seller’s market like we’re seeing in many parts of Canada, the answer is almost always yes!). But there are other things to consider too, like what you need to do first and how you’re going to get the ball rolling.
Luckily, we have five tips to set you up for success when selling your first home.
Declutter, declutter (then declutter some more)
There’s a reason decluttering has become increasingly popular over the last few years – it’s a process with many every-day benefits! But if you’re wondering how to stage your house to sell fast and you’re not interested in paying a professional, this is one of the most important things to check off your to-do list (read tip #2 for what check off next!).
Start early, if possible – at least three months before listing your home on the market. Tackle one room at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed (and making a huge mess everywhere at the same time). Separate items into three piles: donate, toss, and keep. Pack up the “keep” items for your move, label the boxes, and store them neatly in the basement or garage.
You don’t have to go full-on minimalist, but you want to make your home neutral enough that home buyers can picture themselves and their belongings there, living a lovely life. We’re sure your collection of ceramic cats is awesome, but save it for your new place.
Extra Credit: Opt to store your out-of-use items in colour-coordinated tote bins rather than cardboard boxes for a more appealing, tidy look.
Focus on the little things
Completing some minor upgrades and touch-ups is one of the most practical things you can do as you’re getting ready to sell your home, plus it’s one of our favourite tips to boost your price and sell fast.
Repainting the walls and baseboards in neutral colours is a must, and don’t skip puttying over any nail holes or dents – you want your new paint to look perfect, after all! Now is also the time to finally replace your outdated hardware and light fixtures, as this can make a significant impact as well.
Depending on your budget and how much time you have before listing, you could also consider replacing older countertops and carpeting in your home to add extra value.
Extra Credit: Get inspired by what other sellers are doing – peruse homes for sale online!
Decide if you want to buy or sell first
In today’s hot market, homes are in high demand and short supply. Knowing properties are selling so quickly, it may be wise to buy before you list your home. However, this could put you in the position of carrying the costs of two homes if, for some reason, you are unable to sell your current home right away.
On the flip side, selling your home first gives you peace knowing the exact budget you’re working with. Of course, you’ll face more of a time crunch to buy a new home that works with your current home’s closing date, so if you have a hard time making decisions under pressure, this may not be the best strategy for you.
If you’ve purchased a new construction home, you’ll have another set of considerations. Think about factors like construction hiccups resulting in a delayed closing date for your new home and the possible need to rent, stay in a hotel, or stay with relatives until your new digs are ready (which can come with additional financial implications).
Whichever route you chose, it’s best to consult with your local REALTOR® about the current market conditions and with your mortgage lender about your options – this way you’ll be ready to make your move when the time is right.
Extra Credit: Talk to your real-estate-savvy friends or family to see how they navigated the transition between homes – you could be surprised by what you find out!
Release your emotional attachment
A home is more than a house. It’s your safe haven. Your happy place. The place where thousands of memories have been made. So naturally, selling your first home stirs up a lot of emotions. But it’s also an exciting next step in your life! Consider hosting a small gathering (pandemic restrictions permitting) to celebrate your home (a housecooling party, if you will). This can serve as a nice way to close one chapter and get excited for the next.
Extra Credit: Set up a tripod and take some photos of your family (fur babies included!) in your beautifully staged home right before listing. These shots will make wonderful memories to look back on one day.
Determine how you want to sell your home
You’ll need to decide if you want to sell your home with a real estate agent or take on this task yourself. There are some important things to consider. Forgoing an agent may save you some money, but you will be without the expertise of someone who can get maximum exposure for your listing. Local REALTORS® also know the markets and what other homes in your neighbourhood are selling for, so they can price your home perfectly.
Selling a home yourself can be time-consuming and comes with some daunting legal risks if you don’t have this knowledge.
Selling with a licensed brokerage, whether it be FairSquare Group Realty (we’d love to help!) or otherwise, allows you to leverage the expertise of a REALTOR® who will work with your schedule and guide you through the process. So, do your research and determine what’s best for the sale of your biggest asset.
Extra Credit: Selling your first home comes with costs most first-time sellers don’t plan for. Depending on where you live, you’ll need to consider land transfer fees, taxes, moving costs, potential boarding costs for pets, and days off work to move. Make a timeline and budget so you’re thoroughly prepared and there are no surprises.
When you’re ready to sell your home, FairSquare Group Realty can help. Our local REALTORS® use the latest market data to price your home, and our professional team is with you through every step of your sale. Plus, you can save thousands of dollars in commission! Buyers can also benefit from choosing us: when you purchase a home with one of our agents, we’ll give you $2,000 cash back!* Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.