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Published May 03, 22
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Selling your home can be surprisingly time-consuming and emotionally challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. At times, it may feel like an invasion of privacy because strangers will come into your home, open your closets and cabinets, and poke around. They will criticize a place that has probably become more than just four walls and a roof to you, and to top it all off, they will offer you less money than you think your home is worth.

However, with a little know-how, you can avoid many of these pitfalls. Read on to find out how to sell your house while getting the highest possible price within a reasonable time frame and without losing your mind. Key Takeaways Keep your emotions in check and stay focused on the business aspect of selling your home.

If you decide to sell on your own, set a reasonable sale price and keep the time of year in mind. Prepare for the sale, don’t skimp on the visuals in your listing, and disclose any issues with the property. Getting Emotional It’s easy to get emotional about selling your home, especially your first one.

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People generally have trouble keeping their emotions in check when it comes time to say goodbye. Think it’s impossible? It’s not. When you decide to sell your home, start thinking of yourself as a businessperson and salesperson rather than just the homeowner. In fact, forget altogether that you’re the homeowner.

Also, try to remember how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling a piece of property as well as an image and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and doing some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home.

To Hire or Not to Hire an Agent Although real estate agents command a hefty commission—usually 5% to 6% of the sale price of your home—it’s probably not a great idea to try to sell your home on your own, especially if you haven’t done it before. It can be tempting, especially if you’ve seen all those “for sale by owner” signs on people’s front lawns or on the Internet.

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They will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home, increasing your odds of a quick sale. An agent can also help tone down the emotion of the process by interacting with potential buyers and eliminating tire kickers who only want to look at your property but have no intention of making an offer.

And if any problems crop up during the process—and they commonly do—an experienced professional will be there to handle them for you. Finally, agents are familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly. This means there won’t be any delays or glitches in the deal.

What to Do If You Don’t Use a Real Estate Agent So you’ve decided not to hire an agent. That’s fine because it’s not like it can’t be done. There are people who sell their own homes successfully. Remember, though, you’ll need to do your research first—on recently sold properties in your area and properties currently on the market—to determine an attractive selling price.

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You’ll be responsible for your own marketing, so make sure to get your home on the multiple listing service (MLS) in your geographic area to reach the widest number of buyers. Because you have no agent, you’ll be the one showing the house and negotiating the sale with the buyer’s agent, which can be time-consuming, stressful, and emotional for some people.

Even with attorney’s fees, selling a home yourself can save you thousands. If the buyer has an agent, however, they’ll expect to be compensated. This cost is typically covered by the seller, so you’ll still need to pay 1% to 3% of the home’s sale price to the buyer’s agent.

Remember the comparative market analysis you or your agent did when you bought your home to determine a fair offering price? Buyers will do this for your home, too, so as a seller you should be one step ahead of them. You may think your home is worth more, but remember to set a realistic price based on comparable homes in the area.

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In a survey conducted by the informational home sale website , 70% of real estate agents said that overpricing is the No. 1 mistake that sellers make. Don’t worry too much about setting a price that’s on the low side, because in theory, this will generate multiple offers and bid the price up to the home’s actual market value.

Expecting the Asking Price Any smart buyer will negotiate, and if you want to complete the sale, you may have to play ball. Most people want to list their homes at a price that will attract buyers while still leaving some breathing room for negotiations—the opposite of the underpricing strategy described above.

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Of course, whether you end up with more or less than your asking price will likely depend not just on your pricing strategy but also on whether you’re in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market and how well you have staged and modernized your home. Selling During Winter Months Believe it or not, there really is a right time to sell during the year.

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People are busy with social engagements, and the cold weather across much of the country makes it more appealing just to stay home. Because fewer buyers are likely to be looking, it may take longer to sell your home, and you may not get as much money. However, you can take some consolation in knowing that while there may not be as many active buyers, there also won’t be as many competing sellers, which can sometimes work to your advantage.

Barring any mitigating circumstances that may force you to sell during the winter or holidays, consider listing when the weather begins to warm up. People are usually ready and willing to purchase a home when it’s warmer. Skimping on Listing Photos Because so many buyers look for homes online these days, and so many of those homes have photos, you’ll be doing yourself a real disservice if you don’t have any visuals of your home.

Good photos should be crisp and clear and taken during the day when there is plenty of natural light available. They should showcase your home’s best assets. Consider using a wide-angle lens if possible—this allows you to give potential buyers a better idea of what entire rooms look like. Ideally, hire a professional real estate photographer to get top-quality results instead of just letting your agent take snapshots on a phone.

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Consider adding a video tour or 360-degree view to further enhance your listing. This can be easily done with any smartphone. You can certainly entice more potential buyers into walking through your doors for showings. You may even get more offers if you give them an introductory walk-through of your property.

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