10 Pro Tips For Selling Your Home

Posted on Feb 17, 2020


Selling your home without a plan will end up costing you emotionally and financially. Here are ten tips that will get you to the closing table with your wallet and sanity intact.

Our homes are filled with memories. Over time, we learn to love their quirks (or at least view them as “character”). So when it comes time to sell your home, this emotional attachment can really get the best of you and give you a distorted perception of your home’s value. 

When these emotions surface in the process of selling your home, they can have a very real and negative impact on your bottom line and your agent’s ability to achieve the result you want. And of course, it can take a toll on you and make your selling experience downright miserable. 

Despite what it sounds like, selling your home can be enjoyable and financially rewarding. Here are ten tips we suggest that can help you not just “get through” the experience, but actually thrive and achieve your goals.

1. Start the process early.

Selling your home requires you to shift your perspective from a “homeowner” to a “home seller.” You’ll need to start thinking objectively and understand that you are selling a product. Give yourself a few months to get prepared and to separate your emotions, bias, and expectations from reality, or you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Do your research, read agent reviews, talk to other people who have sold homes, and figure out what your ultimate goals are so your agent can build the right plan to get you there. For instance, is it more important that you sell your home within a certain time frame or that the home sells over a certain amount?

2. Understand the real costs before you begin.

Before the money from the home sale makes its way to your bank account, a portion will be taken out for transfer taxes and paying the real estate agents involved. Hefty agent fees can be the deciding factor in whether you walk away with a profit or a hole in your pocket. The good news is that you have some control over what you'll have to pay here – regardless of what many agents will tell you. 

There are a couple different pricing models among real estate brokerages. The vast majority of agents work on commission, as they have for decades. Working with traditional agents normally costs sellers 6% of the home’s sale price (3% to the buyer’s agent and 3% to your listing agent). If you sell a $600,000 home, that comes out to a whopping $36,000 in commissions alone. Other brokerages will work for a discount or flat fee, but offer limited service – forcing you to do the heavy lifting.

But really, you don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get excellent service. You don't need to sacrifice the service quality to keep costs down. At Houwzer, we took a third approach that saves you thousands on a better experience. Instead of charging a percentage of your home sale price, Houwzer will sell your home for a flat $5,000 listing fee plus 2.5% to the buyer’s agent, saving you thousands. For that $600,000 home, the agent fees would drop from $36,000 to $20,000 – a savings of $16,000. You have options. Don’t sign on the dotted line before you know what it will really cost you.

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3. Find an agent you can trust.

As seen above, who you choose to partner with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when selling your home. Your agent will either add to your stress or relieve you of it. They are responsible for correctly pricing your home for the market and your goals, marketing it to buyers, equipping you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions, negotiating your deal, and guarding your interests. They run both your offense and defense. It is imperative that you partner with someone who not only specializes in selling homes, but who has your best interests in mind.

4. Fix the little nagging things.

It’s time to address the side projects you’ve been avoiding. First impressions matter – especially to prospective home buyers. View your home through their lens. The seemingly small issues like loose door knobs, broken screen doors, and faulty drains will lead buyers to assume that disrepair carries over to larger items as well. Get rid of the mildew in the bathroom, clean the carpet’s mystery stains, and solve the odor in the basement because buyers will certainly notice.

5. Dress your home to impress.

The clutter and loud, outdated decor are distractions for many buyers. Is it possible for them to see past your stuff and envision the place as their perfect dream home anyway? Yes. But your home will appeal to far more people and things will be a lot easier if you remove those hurdles from the starting gate. Your personal preferences need to take a back seat for a bit while you “stage” your home to win over buyers. Ask yourself: “Am I highlighting or distracting from my home’s best features?”

This doesn’t mean you need to give your home a total makeover or spend a fortune on new furniture, but you do need to create a space that is tasteful and clean. Pack away the clutter, the personal items, and the collectibles sitting on your countertops. Add some plants to give your home life. Replacing the “fun” neon orange walls, the scuff marks, and outdated wallpaper with fresh, neutral colored paint will make a world of difference. Try to incorporate soft neutrals, muted colors, and rich, dark accents which are increasingly popular and will make your home feel comfy and cozy to prospective buyers. Open the blinds, let the light in, and really... take down the plaid curtains.

6. Price your home according to the market.

Selling your home for more than you bought it for is every homeowner’s dream, but it’s not a given. How much your home is worth and will actually sell for depends on the current market – not the price you paid for it or how big you’d like the return to be. It takes a knowledgeable agent with a deep understanding of the local market and current real estate trends to price your home correctly. Don’t settle for an agent who just agrees to your dream price to lock you into a listing contract. If you are overpriced, you'll have to drop your price and send a signal to buyers you are in a free-fall, costing you thousands in the long run.

7. Focus emotional energy on your next dream home.

A watched pot never boils. And obsessing over the little details and metrics is not going to sell your home any faster. It is, however, the quickest way to drive yourself (and your agent) crazy. You should absolutely monitor how things are going and listen to feedback your agent provides, but don’t get wrapped up in the minute details like how many people commented on the hardwood floors and whether or not you highlighted the “spa-like jacuzzi” in the listing description. Instead, redirect your emotional energy towards finding your next home.

One of the benefits of working with agents who specialize in one side of the transaction is that you get the undivided attention and focused expertise that each side requires. While your listing specialist is overseeing the sale of your the home, your buying specialist is hard at work helping you land the home of your dreams. Distract yourself from the emotional rollercoaster of selling by enjoying the excitement of this next chapter.

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8. Develop thick skin...and get out of the house.

Trust us when we say sellers staying out of the house during showings and open houses is best for everyone. Prospective buyers are evaluating your home as a potential investment, and most come in with preconceived ideas of what the home should be. Don’t be surprised if buyers are hyper-critical and pick apart even the most minuscule flaws. There will be others who leave quickly or without asking questions. It’s better for you to leave the house than to stick around and risk being disappointed, offended, defensive, or pushy. Your absence will be beneficial to buyers as well. They’ll feel more comfortable exploring, speaking openly, and visualizing their life in the home without the seller hanging over their shoulder.

9. Be prepared for lowball offers.

Any offer is a good offer because it shows interest versus other homes on the market and allows your agent to have a meaningful discussion about the value of your home with other buyer agents. Besides, who wouldn’t want to get their home for a bargain? A few lowball offers doesn’t mean full- or over-asking price offers won’t come in. Generating offers early in the process is a good thing and pricing based on the market will effectively draw multiple prospects and bids at the right price.

10. Let your agent do their job.

Think of it this way: you are the team owner and your agent is the coach. You hired them for their expertise and knowledge of the game. Share your goals with them, work together to build a game plan to achieve those goals, and then trust them to get the job done. If you can buy into their strategy, have realistic expectations, and focus your emotional energy on finding your next dream home, you’ll experience much less stress and hopefully find joy in the entire process.

Thinking about selling your home in the near future? Learn how our full service, salaried agents can save you an average of $15,000.

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10 Pro Tips For Selling Your Home

10 Pro Tips For Selling Your Home

Posted on Feb 17, 2020

Selling your home without a plan will end up costing you emotionally and financially. Here are ten tips that will get you to the closing table with your wallet and sanity intact.

Our homes are filled with memories. Over time, we learn to love their quirks (or at least view them as “character”). So when it comes time to sell your home, this emotional attachment can really get the best of you and give you a distorted perception of your home’s value.