8 First Time Home Seller Tips

Real Estate Agent with Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty 0225221517

8 First Time Home Seller Tips

When it’s time to sell a home for the very first time it can be downright intimidating and stressful. Where do you start, what should you expect, how do you prepare your home for sale are all questions that pop into first time home sellers minds. Below are tips I recommend for first time home sellers to not only get your home sold but, to do it for the highest price possible with the least amount of stress possible.

8 Tips For First Time Home Sellers 

Hire A Real Estate Agent

Not just any real estate agent, one that you trust and who you know has a proven successful track record. You’re going to have a lot of questions before your home ever goes on the market and you need a trusted partner to give you honest answers. According to The National Association Of Realtors for sale by owners (FSBO) in 2018 accounted for only 8% of home sales and the typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 as compared to $265,500 when represented by an agent.


Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time To Prepare Your Home For Sale

As soon as you start to think about selling your home is when I recommend making your hiring decision for an agent and then enlisting their expertise to give you guidance on what your home needs to be market ready. Rushing your home to get it on the market never turns out well. You want a polished and well-presented product and that takes time. Very few of us live in our homes the way we position them to sell. Which is why allowing plenty of time to prepare for your sale is important, it will mean less stress and a favorable outcome than trying to pull an all-nighter to get your home ready.

First Time Home Seller Tips 


Pricing is the biggest reason a home doesn’t sell and getting it correct from the very start is the best way to sell quickly and for top dollar. I always tell my clients no one pays top dollar for stale bread and if your home sits on the market for months on end that’s exactly what it will become. Pricing is unique to each home, its location, and updates. If you’re considering making updates before you sell it’s another reason to enlist the expertise of an agent early on in the process. A great agent who knows your neighborhood will be able to tell you what updates are going to give you a strong ROI and what updates aren’t a good use of your money. From there the agent will then be able to tell you where your home should be priced. If they’re really on top of their game they’ll be able to give you a comparison to show you where you can list if you do XYZ updates and where you can list if you opt not to make changes.


Put On Your Buyer Eyes

Speaking of updates, do you remember when you were touring homes as a buyer? What stood out to you, better yet, was there something in particular about your home that made you feel like it was the one? As hard as it can be, putting your buyer eyes on before you list your home and really being honest with yourself about its current condition will give you a lot of insight. Buyers like updated and turnkey ready homes and they’re willing to pay top dollar for them. If your home has maintenance issues, has become outdated, or even just needs some minor repairs the time to do them is before you list.

8 First Time Home Seller Tips 

Timing To List

Knowing when to list your home for sale is not something that comes up as often as it should. Most homeowners contact an agent when they’re ready to list their home – as in get it listed as soon as possible. This all goes back to contacting an agent early on in the process. An agent can help you plan ahead and create and implement coming soon marketing if they have the lead time to do it. Think of a big motion picture, it doesn’t just pop into theatres one day unannounced. There is marketing dispersed to build curiosity and put it on moviegoers radar long in advance which of course boosts box office sales. Targeting home buyers before your home is for sale decreases the number of days it’s on the market and has them waiting and ready for it to go active.


Prepare For Photos

Updates and maintenance items are part of the big picture when preparing your home for sale but, then there are all those little details that come into play when preparing for photos. Any clutter has to go, it’s rare I see a seller who doesn’t have items to get rid of or donate that they no longer need. I recommend looking at it and asking yourself if you want to pay to move it. That normally helps with the decision making process. After you’ve de-cluttered then focus on de-personalizing. You want your home to feel welcoming and inviting but, not over-personalized. This allows as many buyers as possible to envision themselves living there. Some level of staging will also likely be needed, this is one to rely on your agent to assist with. The amount of staging needed for each home varies and it could be as simple as removing or rearranging furniture or as advanced as hiring a professional stager.

First Time Home Seller Tips 

Prepare For Showings

When your home is active your daily routine is going to change. If you leave for work every day you’re going to need to allow extra time each morning to get your home show ready. Making beds, doing dishes, straightening pillows, opening blinds, cleaning off vanities isn’t something all of us do as part of our daily routine and it takes time to accomplish. If you have pets have a plan in place to remove them from the home for every showing and be sure to have their belongings tucked away. Be prepared to not be able to come home at your normal time and be flexible. Not all showings are going to give you a ton of advanced notice. I always suggest my sellers have a basket on hand to put extra items from the counter or bathrooms in quickly. If you get a last minute showing request you can either stick it somewhere out of site or better yet just throw it in the car and take it with you. If your house can’t be shown it also can’t be sold.


After You’re Under Contract

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your home you may then need to be prepared to allow the buyers in for a home inspection, or your agent to meet the appraiser. Inspections that are needed vary and will be in the contract you’ve signed. Your agent will guide you on the next steps. You’ll also want to arrange for your actual move once you’re under contract. Whether it’s hiring movers or renting a moving truck it’s best to do so in advance to ensure you can get the date and time that’s best for your schedule.

First Time Home Seller Tips 

Selling a home is a big undertaking but, when you work with an agent you trust to guide you through each step you’ll find your home goes under contract quickly and that all of your preparation pays off.


Additional Resources

7 Crucial First Time Home Seller Tips via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

Tips For First Time Home Sellers via Bill Gassett with RE/MAX

8 Successful Habits All Successful Home Sellers Have In Common via Realtor.com





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Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

 exp realty






C  703.431.3755   |   O  703.988.3151  |   W  www.amandadavidson.com

A  20130 Lakeview Center Plaza #400 Ashburn, Va 20147


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 05/09/2019 01:00 AM
  2. Sally K. & David L. Hanson 04/04/2019 03:25 AM
  3. M.C. Dwyer 04/08/2019 04:23 PM
  4. Will Hamm 05/08/2019 02:24 PM
Home Selling
Virginia Fairfax County Alexandria Kingstowne
home selling
home seller tips
home sellers
selling your kingstowne home
selling your alexandria home
first time home seller tips

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Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Having experienced home inspector eyes go over the property for glaring things to repair or correct would be a very good idea.  I know a guy...

Apr 04, 2019 04:10 AM #13
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I remember when we sold our own home nearly four years ago, it is quite the endeavor. And, I love Jay's advice. We wanted to know any potential issues prior to listing...

Good advice as usual, Amanda. Hope you're having a fabulous week. D 

Apr 04, 2019 08:08 AM #14
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

The pre-listing inspection is a market I have tried to crack for well over a decade.  Few take the plunge.  I think they are simply waiting on a list from their home inspection after they sell the house.  Interestingly, a couple of times I have found a big deal (with my thermal camera) which they wanted to take care of before listing the house.  Then there was the time when the people wanting to list their house were sick and not knowing why until I found a huge hole in the furnace vent tubing.   That may have saved their lives!

Apr 04, 2019 03:27 PM #15
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Great advice, Amanda.  I plan to have a pre-listing inspection on my house... just makes since.

Apr 04, 2019 06:31 PM #16
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Friday morning, Amanda.

Have a great day and a very special weekend.

Apr 05, 2019 05:18 AM #17
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Great advice, Amanda!  Love the part about putting on your buyer eyes when prepping to sell

Apr 05, 2019 10:19 AM #18
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thank for post and good tips.  I would say the single most important one is to always hire a realtor - their value can not be understated.

Apr 05, 2019 10:48 AM #19
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Amanda, this is so thorough! One of the things that comes up often before an inspection is making sure the crawl space can be accessed. It often falls on me as the Realtor to try to figure it out when I'm with the home inspector at the scene, which can be time consuming and frustrating! 

I always attend my home inspections and see this periodically. Maybe even a good thing to go over at the first walk-through with your sellers so that you know WHERE IT IS (sometimes deftly hidden) and letting them know that it needs to be readily accessible. 

Apr 05, 2019 11:16 AM #20
Mark Parsons
Madlom Real Estate - Littleton, CO
Beautiful Colorado Home

Thank you for the great info!

Apr 05, 2019 01:21 PM #21
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Narrowing this down to eight it’s pretty good! Really nice job! You know your stuff!

Apr 05, 2019 03:40 PM #22
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
klm Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

I wish every seller could see his or her home through the eyes of a buyer. I had one fella whose home was flat-out dirty, but he just could not see it.

Apr 05, 2019 07:35 PM #23
Anthony Caesar
YPC - Belle Haven, CT

Great blog to share.

Apr 06, 2019 03:51 AM #25
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing your tips for first time home sellers.  Your blog was right on the nose for sellers.

Apr 06, 2019 11:47 AM #26
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Useful tips Amanda!  Especially 'allow plenty of time to get the house ready to show'.  Sellers who need to do a lot of decluttering and fixes often thing they can get the job done in a week--and they can't. After  the decluttering and repairs, the house should also be professionally cleaned

Apr 06, 2019 01:13 PM #27
Elaine VonCannon
Coldwell Banker Traditions - Williamsburg, VA

Amanda, this is s great article. I especially love the advice about “putting on buyers eyes”. Sometimes we get so used to looking at and living in our home we miss the obvious things we can fix!

Apr 06, 2019 05:51 PM #28
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Preparing to List your House for Sale ... the most important word is "Preparing". 

Thank you for this well written blog ... sure to help the first time or even very experienced Seller,  Each tip is so valuable!

Apr 07, 2019 04:19 PM #29
Stephen Turner
Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders) - York, PA

Great info packed into 1 nice post. Thanks for sharing!

Apr 08, 2019 10:54 AM #30
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

HAHA "no one pays top dollar for stale bread!"    

What another great list of tips  - this time for sellers - reblogging with gratitude Amanda S. Davidson.     You're really nailing these!

Apr 08, 2019 04:13 PM #31
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

M.C. Dwyer Feel free to use that anytime, for some reason, it seems to really make sense to my clients! I'm honored you feel this post is worthy of a re-blog. That's always such a big compliment. Thank you!

Apr 09, 2019 04:51 AM #32
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Amanda S. Davidson eight very strong first time home seller tips.... first timers need all the direction they can get!!!

May 09, 2019 01:10 AM #33
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