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The first time you sell a house, the process can be a little intimating. It might seem like there are too many steps to keep up with or that everyone else already seems to know more than you do.

No worries! We are here to help.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Selling Process

Here is everything you need to know about the home selling process so that you can stay stress-free throughout the entire thing.

Picking the Right Real Estate Agent

First things first, you want to pick a Realtor that is a good fit for you.

Picking the right real estate agent is an essential part of acing selling a house for the first time. Your Realtor is your anchor throughout the entire process, so you want to make sure that you pick someone that you can trust to have your best interests at heart and answer any questions you may have promptly and professionally.

You will want to be sure that their personality matches yours and you feel comfortable with them and confident in their skills and professionalism. If anything about their nature or ethics puts you off, take the time to pick another agent.

It’s also worth it to ask at the beginning about their commission structures. Is the agent a flat fee agent, or does she charge a commission? If so, how much is it?

Pricing Your Home

Pricing your home correctly is another vital part of selling your house for the first time. You should work with your real estate agent to analyze other recent home sales in the immediate area, as well as your home’s assessed tax value to arrive at a fair number.

It’s important not to overprice your home-- or lowball it-- but rather to hit that sweet spot that is right in the middle. By doing this, you can open up good negotiations with great potential buyers.

Staging Your Home

Your home is not usually ready to sell as-is, but staging your home also is not just about popping some cookies in the oven and hoping that the great smell will do the trick.

You should work with your real estate agent to clear your personal effects like photos, pet items, and statement pieces of furniture out of your home before any showings. This way, your potential buyers are not overwhelmed by traces of you on the property.

The less of your personal touches that are present, the easier it will be for them to picture themselves in the space – making them more likely to make an offer.

Be Relaxed about Home Showings

It might seem a little bit weird to let complete strangers poke around your house to size it up – but that’s exactly how you sell a house. Be sure to be well out of the way during the home showing process. Some first time home sellers even choose to take a weekend away at this point in the process.

This is because for potential buyers to be able to see themselves in a home, there need to be a few traces of the current owner around as possible. The best way for someone new to be able to envision himself in the home is in as relaxed an atmosphere as possible.

Getting the Right Photos

Taking high-quality, digital photos is no longer an optional step in the home selling process. We live in a digital world, and marketing online with those photos is crucial to selling your home. It is worth it to invest in a professional photographer for images of your home.

Ensure that all the shots are well lit as well, as dark or grainy photos can be seriously off-putting to potential buyers browsing online. If they don’t like the images on the online listing, they will quickly lose interest in your property and will not want to waste time seeing it in person.

The Right Time to Sell

The right time to sell isn’t going to be the same for everyone.

It depends heavily on particular things about your specific area, like the weather and the school schedule. For example, while most people tend to move during the summer holidays. They move during that time because it provides the least amount of interruptions for their kids’ education. If you live somewhere extremely warm, like in the south in Texas or Florida, the summer moving season might be May or September instead of the scorching months in between.

Similarly, if you live in an area known for its freezing winters like the American Midwest, it might not be best to list your home right in the middle of peak blizzard season.

Book Your Movers Early in Peak Season

So, you have settled on peak real estate season for your area.  Now is the time to book in your movers early for the date that you want to move house.

Regardless of whether you have yet to sell your house, if you want your property off the premises by a specific date, it’s essential to book in with the moving companies early. This is true especially if you live in rural areas with fewer options.

It would be terrible to be stuck doing a self-move if that was not your intention.

Respond to Offers Promptly To Be Kind

Once the offers for your house start rolling in, it is critical to work with your real estate agent to consider each offer carefully and respond quickly.

This is mainly for two reasons:

The first is that some offers come with an expiry date. So if you don’t respond in time, the proposed terms will no longer be valid. The second is that it’s just polite to be prompt! Remember: you are going to be a potential homebuyer soon. Treat the ones looking to buy your home how you would like to be treated!

Looking to sell a home for the first time? Why not list with Clever? We are a full-service real estate agency who works for a flat fee. It doesn’t get any better. Call us today at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form to get started.


Andrew Schmeerbauch
Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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