The web is filled with information designed to help first-time home buyers successfully navigate the home buying process, but first-time home sellers are not as fortunate. Just like buyers, however, homeowners who are selling their home for the first time are sure to have questions and need information to help them. If you a first-time homeowner preparing to sell your home, the following guide will answer your questions and help you work toward a more successful sale.
Find a real estate professional to assist you
One of the first decisions prospective home sellers must make concerns the hiring of a real estate professional. Here are a few valuable services a real estate agent brings to the table:
- Professional assistance in preparing the home for the market and dealing with any issues that may apply.
- Marketing the home effectively to attract qualified buyers.
- Correct and accurate home pricing that competes with comparable homes on the market in your area.
- Evaluation of purchase offers received and negotiation so they suit the seller's best interests.
- The ability to time when the home is put on the market to take advantage of peak market activity.
- Professional marketing and assistance with open houses and buyer viewings.
- Expert assistance with all documentation throughout the listing and selling process.
Since real estate agents can bring different skills and levels of expertise to the table, sellers should always interview more than one agent before choosing the real estate professional they want to assist them with the sale of their home.
Gather necessary documents that will be needed to list and sell your home
Once a seller finds the right real estate professional, the next step is gathering the necessary documentation and information that will be needed for the listing and selling process. This includes:
- Copies of deeds, surveys, and mortgage documents
- Receipts for property taxes and insurance premiums
- Copies of restrictions, if applicable
- Information about repairs, renovations, and appliance repairs and replacements
- Information regarding any transferable warranties that may apply
Understand the potential tax implications involved in selling a home
If the home being sold was used as a primary residence, chances are good the sellers will not owe taxes on the proceeds of the sale. However, if any part of the home was used to create income, such as renting out a portion of the house for money, the entire net proceeds received upon selling the home are likely to be taxed. The responsibility for taxation can be different for each seller, depending on their specific situation and the province in which they reside, so it is important to take time to learn about current reporting requirements to avoid unpleasant surprises after the sale.
Preparing the home before listing will help your home compete well in the market place
Another important part of a successful home selling process is making sure the home is properly prepared for the market before listing it for sale. This part of the home selling process can be divided into a few basic steps. These include:
- Removing excess clutter and furnishings to make the home look more attractive and feel more spacious
- Organizing and cleaning both the interior and exterior
- Making sure the lawn is well-maintained and attractive
- Making any needed repairs or renovations and attending to cosmetic issues
Sellers who are unsure of what they need to do to prepare their home to be marketed to buyers should ask their real estate professional to tour the home with them. Using a notepad, sellers can accompany their agent through the home and make notes on what needs to be done, as well as jotting down helpful ideas for staging the home to its best advantage.