New American Funding Blog

A Guide to Selling Your First Home

By Courtney Lynch   |  April 28, 2015

When you decide to sell your first home, know what to expect and how you can prepare.

If you are selling your first home, it may be a little intimidating. You will need to hire a real estate agent, know how to stage your home for viewings and experience a home inspection from the seller's perspective. 

Hiring a real estate agent 

When selecting a real estate agent you may want to ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. They may have recently sold or purchased a home and can provide valuable insight. Bankrate also recommended speaking with past clients of any real estate agent you are considering. Ask about their experience and whether they would recommend his or her services. It may also be valuable to ask previous clients whether the properties were around the same region, if they were around the same price and how long their home was listed.

You may also want to conduct a little more research on your own. Certain real estate agents may have credentials that match more closely with your needs. Ask about their training and past experiences.
A final question you may want to ask a potential representing agent is about other houses that are currently for sale in your area. This demonstrates the knowledge and expertise for real estate in your neighborhood and surrounding region.

Market your home and increase appeal 

Listing your home means you must prepare to market its features and present it as a good and valuable purchase to prospective buyers. To accomplish this, you may want to consider having a home inspection completed prior to listing to get an idea of any potential issues that may require repairs or upgrades. This can help you sell your home and it can alleviate some of the stress associated with the process.

If you know that a room or some of the siding along your house could use a fresh coat of paint, do not hesitate to tackle these projects yourself. Consider using colors that are neutral and pleasant. You want to appeal to as many people as possible. Using a neutral palette will match more individual's' furniture and belongings.

Staging your home is another part of the selling process. If you are working with a budget, you can still effectively market your home to prospective buyers without breaking the bank.

Realtor Magazine suggested defining each space in the home. Keeping everything organized and giving buyers ideas for potential methods they can use the space is a great way to appeal to an individual interested in becoming a homeowner. Also, make sure that your home is well lit. Allow natural light to enter your home and consider adding a few lamps to liven the space.

A buyer's first impression of your home begins as soon as they approach your house. Make sure that you enhance the curb appeal of your property before listing. Trim any overgrown shrubs, bushes or trees. Also consider placing a few potted plants outside of your front door or installing window boxes for a charming accent. 

You may also want to consider adding outdoor lighting if you do not already have fixtures. This can add appeal to your home and entice buyers. 

Installing shutters on front windows and giving them a fresh paint job are a few other tasks you can do yourself to pump up the curb appeal. 

Open house 

Bankrate noted that it is important to properly market the open house. Take advantage of the Internet. It's an efficient way to advertise the event and get more prospective buyers through the door. Also, invite your neighbors. They may know someone who is looking to purchase a home and they can help convince them to move in next door.

"The neighborhood people are the most important sales people for the house," said says Pat Vredevoogd Combs, past-president of the National Association of Realtors and Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt's current vice president. "So I want them to come in. They're the people who want their friends to come move into the neighborhood. They're my scouts."

In addition, you may want to take down any artwork or furnishing that could be controversial. If you have mounted hunting guns or an animal fur throw blanket, you may want to pack those items up early. You want to appeal to as many individuals as possible.

Home inspection negotiations 

When it comes to your home inspection, anticipate that a buyer may want you to cover the cost of certain issues or repairs that may arise. However, it is important to know that you are not necessarily responsible for adhering to all of a seller's demands. Negotiate and enlist the help of your real estate agent to help ensure you still are able to make money when you sell, but that you reach a fair deal with a buyer. 

Selling your first home may be daunting at first, but it does not have to be so overwhelming. Know what to expect and ask your real estate agent any questions you may have. 

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