Selling your home can be an intimidating process. But like many things in life, proper preparation will help you have the best experience possible. Not only should you take steps to prepare your home to hit the market, but you should also mentally prepare yourself for the selling process.
Here are some tips for sellers:
• Document memories of your home. Before you prepare to list, take personal photos of your home and your family enjoying it. While you might be excited to move on to the next place, you won’t regret capturing some memories of your home as it was when you lived in it, before strangers started traipsing through.
• Learn to separate your emotions from your logic. When you’ve made memories in a home, it can be difficult to separate your emotions from the transaction. When looking for an agent, find someone you trust to offer an impartial, professional opinion. Be open to feedback from your agent and don’t take it personally if he or she has suggestions to make your home more marketable.
Remember active agents are touring and evaluating homes every week, understand the competitive landscape and know what buyers are looking for in your neighborhood.
• Set a realistic price. Homeowners have a tendency to overvalue their homes, especially if they have made upgrades based on their own tastes and preferences. It’s simple human nature. But overpricing your home will be costly in the long run. According to Redfin research, a listing receives nearly four times more online visits in the first week it goes on the market than it does a month later. Even if you drop the price later, it won’t get the same attention.
Before you list your home, ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis, which will help you determine a reasonable price based on sales of similar homes in your area. It is always a good idea to visit a few open houses in your neighborhood or preview active listings with your agent to help you get a sense of the market and calibrate your expectations.
When in doubt, start with a lower asking price, which can create more interest in the home and potentially result in a bidding war. In the D.C. market, homes that show well and are well-priced are not sitting on the market long.