Here are 12 tips that first-time home sellers should consider before undergoing the process.


No matter if you’re a first-time home seller or if you’re an aspiring home seller, here are 12 professional tips to keep in mind when diving into the home selling process:

1. To DIY or not to DIY? That’s the question. By that, I mean should you sell your home on your own or should you hire an agent? Well, we as real estate professionals often talk about not mixing emotion and business—if you sell a home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO), that’s exactly what you’re doing. Those who sell on their own clearly have strong emotional ties to the transaction, and that can sometimes skew their ability to make good business decisions.

2. Get educated. There will be a lot of unexpected parts of the selling process, especially for first-timers, so make sure that you know roughly what to expect in terms of your costs, obligations, and responsibilities when you begin the process.

3. Know the costs. One good way to get a handle on the costs you’ll be expected to pay is by talking with a real estate professional who does this work on a daily basis. They can explain the various fees, including real estate commissions, recordation fees, title fees, and so on, as well as what you could expect to pay.

4. Know your plan. It’s mind-boggling to us that so many people spend a year to plan a one-week vacation, yet they’ll spend very little time planning their transition to a new home. Be sure to set a timeline for yourself well in advance and set expectations for what’s going to happen once your home sells. Where are you going to go? How are you going to structure that transaction?

5. Tell a story and put it on display. Because of how easily information is transferred these days, you need to have your property in the best condition possible, and then display that online so that buyers can see themselves living there. Since people buy with emotion in mind, use your home’s excellent condition to tell a story.

6. Remember: It’s not personal; it’s just business. When you get feedback from your showings or if you’re given a lowball offer, remember that real estate is just business—it’s not a personal attack. Try to remove emotion from the transaction so you can move forward and make good decisions.

“Try to rely on objectivity and make decisions with a clear head.”

7. Showings can vary. Some properties hold hundreds of showings before selling, and others hold only one. It really just depends on how well it’s all positioned and how many buyers are in that buyer pool. There’s no set number, but your agent will be able to tell you what they expect in terms of market conditions.

8. Lose the rose-colored glasses. Everyone says they have the nicest house and that they live in the nicest neighborhood, and even if that’s true, remember that your perceptions aren’t the same as everyone else’s. Try to rely on objectivity and make decisions with a clear head.

9. Greed often backfires. Don’t get greedy; if you get an offer, take it seriously. Just because you’ve had a revolving door of buyers coming to view your home, it doesn’t mean that another offer is necessarily around the corner. Regard all valid offers you get on an individual basis.

10. Work with the offers you get. Any time you get an offer, it behooves you to try to work with it, no matter how low. You can negotiate from there in different ways, but not if you turn it down outright. You don’t always know what the buyer’s intentions are or what number they’re willing to come up to. Don’t make assumptions.

11. Negotiate repairs. The inspection process often brings a certain level of emotion into the transaction. The truth is that it’s an emotional time for the buyer, as well, and they want to feel like they’re in a property that’s safe and has good value. Put yourself into the buyer’s shoes, and try to negotiate those repair requests, if possible.

12. Clean it up! This starts from the very beginning of the process—declutter your home and keep it that way. You want this to be a pleasant experience for everybody involved, so make sure your home is thoroughly cleaned so that it looks amazing for the next owner.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you’re always encouraged to reach out to us. We’ll always be happy to help!