smooth sailing

Here are some thoughts for first time home/condo sellers or even things to review by people that have not sold in a long time.  Have confidence by seeing some of the things we’ve learned in our experience that can get the best price and make it a smooth selling process.

Being a first-time Seller, or selling for the first time in a long time, there can be a LOT to consider.

Below you will see some concepts and things we think can be helpful to consider.

Know the Market

There can be several factors regarding market conditions to consider in an effort to ‘know the market.’

  • Evaluate market conditions and supply of Buyers vs Sellers
  • Try to compare similar size +/- 10%, and design style – zoom in on size if possible
  • How many condos or homes have sold in the past 6-9 months, like yours
  • How many condos or homes are there currently on the market
  • Of the Active for sale now listings, how many have offers

experienced agents like ourselves are able to easily assemble this information – just ask

Talk with an Agent

Talk with friends, collegues, but be careful with this process – websites and friends, even friends that are agents in other locations, charge fees to ‘refer’ your business out.  If you clicked on a link online to talk with a referring company, they are likely charging a fee to the agent that eventually makes contact with you.  That fee paid by the agent can eat into the advertising dollars spent to achieve your goals!

Being able to trust an agent is not the same as knowing how much experience an agent has, but both are valid points.  Be careful if talking with an agent that you don’t know.  Make sure you know how long the person has been licensed in real estate.  This is easy in the State of Wisconsin.  The Department of Safety and Professional Services has a web page for all professional trades.  The link is below and just click on the Health Business Individual Credential/License Search option. Fill in the last and first name, check that you are not a robot, and that should be enough to learn if the person is a broker or agent.  If the name isn’t there, it can be an honest mistake like spelling, but it can be something else.

Hire an Experienced Agent

Trust is important, but just as one would be hiring the most experienced surgeon, today’s world brings experience that new agents just don’t have.  Not everything can be prevented, but experienced agents know what to look for.

  • Experienced agents have expertise. They are experienced because they’ve earned the trust of others. (check their years of experience in link above)
  • Learn what would be best with how to present the home/stage
  • Should the home be pre-inspected?
  • Go over how showings occur
  • What are you paying for with the commission – ask how the agent markets
  • Go over your goals with the agent – learn from their experience

Clean and Organize

Remove things that make your home feel ‘bigger.’  More space means more $ in your pockets!
One of the hardest things agents have to do is tell people that the home needs a cleaning. Prevent that.  Check the dust on shelves and ceiling fans and where forced air blows.
Remove items of value – personal value and DOLLAR value.  Some personal treasures are irreplaceable. Move valuable items off-site during a sale.
Declutter and maybe even move things items into a rented storage locker (but maybe you are buying your new home first)

Prepare for Pictures and Buyers

The home should be as light and bright as possible, showing the most floor space, to feel open and unrestricting.

You already talked with the agent you interviewed about a plan for showings, and how they should happen.  Accommodate.  Be sure to have other family members and pets out of the home at least 30 minutes before an appointment, not returning until 30 minutes after the end time.  Sometimes Buyers from out of town are seeing 10 homes the same day, they can be early or late.  Many times Buyers can be early/late because of how things went at the home scheduled went fast or long. If they don’t feel welcome, they can feel the home is not meant for them.

Giving the future Buyer the opportunity to FEEL the home is meant for them is most important.  If the home smells like a pet, or the Buyers have to walk around people and things, they cannot focus on the home and appreciate the value it has.  Remove all evidence of pets.  People Buy with their eyes/ears/nose and feelings.  Make the home ‘feel’ ready too with proper heating/cooling.

Review market conditions and Pricing Strategy

It’s not uncommon that other homes might come up in the market you’ve defined with your agent.  Homes that are inferior to one another will cause a pinball effect, where Buyers will bounce off of one home and find the next ‘better’ if pricing and cleanliness are not felt.  Don’t let those be factors.  Control the things that can be, as the market will take care of the rest.

Learn how to read the showing feedback

There are agents that 1) want to help 2) don’t want to help 3) don’t yet know how the Buyers feel 4) are working for the Buyer and might even be deceptive.  Trust the experience of your own agent as to what the feedback might mean.  Care about things that matter, but also be prepared to take feedback like a grain of salt.

To open house or not to open house

This can be a personal decision, and maybe only relative to a price point and time of year. Discuss with your agent what strategy/method could work best with your own goals and situation.

Consider our FAQ by Sellers and story of our $1,000,000 counter offer

Read our frequently asked questions and our blog post about low ball offers with a $1,000,000 counter offer.  It will help in understanding more of how we work.

First Time Selling Guide