Can You Step up to the Plate and Be a Savvy First Time Seller?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

 Just as when you are buying your first home, there are important things to know as a seller when you are selling for the first time. Understanding the process is essential for your success.

As this is a new experience, you are sure to feel some anxiety about what to do and what not to do. And since selling your home to move to a new one (possibly a relocation) causes a fair degree of anxiousness anyhow, combined with being a newbie you are likely feeling pretty tense...as well as lacking in knowledge.

As a first time home seller, there are things you should do and things you shouldn't. And you have certain responsibilities in terms of paperwork, disclosures and more (this, of course, varies by state). Bear in mind some of this is legally mandated, so don't take it lightly. The more you know about what to expect, the better prepared you will be and the less anxiety you will likely feel when problems arise. Education is critical for you as the selling consumer. You need to make sure you understand the required paperwork that you can expect, including the listing agreement and the terms and conditions.

 As a first time seller, I strongly urge you to work with a knowledgeable agent (a REALTOR who is also a CRS is a wise move). Going about a home sale, your first, as an unrepresented seller, especially in this market, is probably not wise. But if you are considering selling on your own, you may want to read my 5-part series on the issues to consider if you are pondering going it alone, BEFORE you make that decision: So You Are Thinking of Selling Your Home Yourself (there are links to all 5 articles).

There are some key steps in the selling process to be aware of, and things you should expect as a first time home seller. Because there is so much information, I have written a series elsewhere on these steps, so you can read further if you want more information. 

Here are the key phases of the process and things you should know:

1. Getting Started - some initial thoughts on selling your first home and things you should think about before you enlist the help of an agent. How do you go about finding one, or should you use your Buyer's Agent? You need to change your perspective now, from buyer to seller.

2. The Agent Interview - why you should have interviews with prospective agents, and what you should know about how you hire a listing agent to help you so you make the right decision. Read a great article by Ryan Hukill about How Do You Choose a Listing Agent.

3. Questions You Should Ask Potential Agents - some key things you need answers to, such as showings (how are they handled, hours), commissions (they ARE negotiable, but you need to know what you are paying for), marketing (do they have a written marketing plan that will be effective for your targeted market?) and signage

4. Starting the process - here is where the fun begins as your home goes on the market; what if you are NOT seeing many buyers? Did you make the right decision about pricing? What options do you have during the early phase of the listing?

5. Showings - a critical phase, and you need to know how to be prepared for showings and what you can expect

6. Your Behavior During Showings - essentially you should NOT be there. It makes buyers nervous and less likely to spend time touring your home. Read more about why this is so important to the sale of your house.

7. Offer Time- how an offer happens and what to expect as the seller once you receive an offer.

8. How to Respond to Offers - key things you need to know about how to respond to offers and what the process entails until you have acceptance, or not. You have some options here, just as the buyers do. You should know how NOT to respond when you get a low offer, which is likely.

 9. Due Diligence - this is the critical period after acceptance when the buyers are having their home inspection and other key tasks need to take place as they conduct their due diligence, such as you providing certain state and federally required disclosures.

10. Repairs Request - this is a source of great anxiety for buyers and sellers alike. You need to know about what to do with the buyers' request for repairs and your options as the first time home seller. Many deals fall apart during this phase - don't let that happen to you.

Being a well educated consumer is important when you are the buyers, but equally important when you are the seller. Make sure you understand the paperwork, the tasks you are required to perform, and the ways that you can maximize the likelihood that you will be successful in selling your first home in short order and for top dollar. You have been a buyer before, so don't forget what that is like - it will help keep your perspective when you start down the road as a first time home seller.

As always, if I can help in any way with questions about the process, providing a market analysis, sharing information about market conditions, or any related matter on home selling, please feel free to contact me at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Here is the full series if you are interested in more reading. 

FIRST TIME SELLER SERIES

Article 11 First Time Home Sellers - Look Out for Sabotage (posted here on ActiveRain) 

Article 10 First Time Home Sellers - Repairs Request

Article 9 First Time Home Sellers - Due Diligence

Article 8  First Time Home Sellers - Responding to Offers

Article 7 First Time Home Sellers - It's Offer Time

Article 6 First Time Home Sellers - Make Yourself Scarce

Article 5 First Time Home Sellers - Showings

Article 4 First Time Home Sellers - The Fun Begins

Article 3 First Time Home Sellers - Don't Forget These Questions

Article 2 First Time Home Sellers - The Agent Interview

Article 1 First Time Home Sellers - Getting Started

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Rainmaker
592,726
Neal Bloom
eXp Realty - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Jeff,

Good information for localism. I would post it there..it will give first time sellers the message to be prepared.

Jun 05, 2007 03:53 AM #1
Rainmaker
662,099
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Thank you for the post today and the information.

 

Patricia Aulson/REALTOR/NH/ME/MA

Jun 05, 2007 03:57 AM #2
Ambassador
3,939,831
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Neal. I did post it there in San Diego County. Thank you for stoping by.

Patricia - thanks for your comment.

Jeff

Jun 05, 2007 04:05 AM #3
Rainer
4,383
Kevin Raymund Lao Jacinto
Coldwell Banker Pioneer Real Estate - Moreno Valley, CA

This is real good information, as there are many new agents that are coming onto the  Real Estate Scene.

Jun 05, 2007 04:44 AM #4
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1,090,376
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
I love to come here and read your posts...you are one organized writer!  thanks for info...bookmarked to read all your series!
Jun 05, 2007 04:49 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,142,035
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Excellent info as usual Jeff. I work with a lot of first time home sellers and it is so important  that I take the time to make sure they understand the complete process. It's easy for us to assume they know everything but it's just not the case. This is a really good series you wrote and should be required reading for sellers and REALTORS(R) alike.
Jun 05, 2007 06:45 AM #6
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Kevin - thank you for your comment.

Sally- you are so kind. Thanks for the compliment - I am honored. Feel free to link to nay of the posts that might be of interest to your clients.

Bryant - Thank you! Coming from someone who I respect a great deal and who is a very strong listing agent, I truly appreciate your kind words.

Jeff

Jun 05, 2007 07:34 AM #7
Rainmaker
147,071
Kaye Thomas
Real Estate West - Manhattan Beach, CA
e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA

Jeff- Lots of good info and links.. I've been working on something for first time sellers for my web site but it's not as complete as yours..Very nice..

K

Jun 05, 2007 01:46 PM #8
Rainmaker
893,881
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
Jeff, I am totally blown away when I read your posts.  I barely find time to read and comment these days and you continue to build a library.  Thank you so much for being a great part of AR.
Jun 05, 2007 01:58 PM #9
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3,939,831
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Kaye - I appreciate the compliment. Feel free to link away if it makes sense.

Kay - thank so much for your kind words. Guess I spend a lot of time thinking and writing, along with everything else. Very long days....

Jeff

Jun 05, 2007 02:15 PM #10
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1,090,376
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
Thanks for the invite...I surely will!
Jun 05, 2007 05:31 PM #11
Rainmaker
337,464
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
I love how you put this all together - it is easy reference for your clients and wonderful information for all of us too.  thanks for sharing
Jun 05, 2007 06:36 PM #12
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