Advice for a first time home seller
Do you remember what it was like being a home buyer? Agonizing over inspections? Calculating whether the deferred maintenance was something you could tackle yourself or would require additional money? These things, and more, will be a part of your life once again when you’re a first time home seller.
Preparing to go on the market
Since you’ve never sold a house before, you may not know all of the things you need to do to prepare for the market. Cleaning, repairing, landscaping, and choosing an agent are important in order to make that excellent first impression on buyers. You *do* remember how you made fun of those houses that were dirty, outdated, and in need of some love, right? Don’t let that conversation be about your own home.
Think back to how excited you were as a buyer when a new home hit the market and it looked like it could be The One. You wanted to drop everything and drive right over for a tour. Expect that some of the potential buyers for your home will feel the same way and don’t freak out when they ask for a last minute showing.
That’s not to say that you can’t set some boundaries around showings, especially if you have to contend with pets. But don’t make your house hard to show, because that will make it hard to sell.
When it comes to inspection day, sellers are generally either really laid back, knowing they have properly maintained their home, or freaking out, worrying about what the inspector might find that they don’t even know about.
Just because you’re opting to sell as is doesn’t mean that a buyer won’t try to negotiate needed repairs. Unless your house is absolutely perfect (I haven’t seen one yet), prepare yourself to be asked for the same type of fixes that you probably asked the last seller for. It’s not a reflection on you, it’s all about the buyer and what they are comfortable with. Your agent can guide you in coming to an agreement that works for everyone.
The big day when you’re finally past showings, offers, negotiations, inspections, more negotiations, appraisals, and loan approval for the buyer. If you’ve agreed to repairs, those receipts should have been sent to the buyer’s agent 5 days ago. Everything else is easy peasy. Bring your ID. Bring all of the house keys (including garage/shed keys and remotes). If you have warranty papers for appliances or repairs you’ve done, leave them all in the house, along with a nice welcoming note to the new buyers.
At this point, you are no longer a first time home seller!