So, you’ve bought your first home, had the experience and enjoyed it but now you’re ready to move on. There are many reasons for selling a home, perhaps your family outgrew your first home, or you are just ready for an upgrade. No matter the reason, being a first-time home seller is another big milestone in your real estate journey and the team of real estate professionals at Davids & DeLaat is here to help. Continue reading below to learn about our 5 valuable tips for first-time home sellers.
1. Speak To Your Mortgage Lender or Mortgage Provider
If you’re thinking about selling your home before your mortgage term is up, it’s important that you reach out to your mortgage lender to revisit and understand the terms and conditions on your current mortgage agreement.
If you’re selling your house to buy a new home, you may have options such as porting or bridging your mortgage. However, there are conditions laid out in your contract that you need to be aware of. Additionally, you will likely be charged a penalty for breaking the mortgage early, costs can vary depending on the initial agreements made between you and your lender.
Having an understanding of how selling your home affects your mortgage and impacts your ability to purchase a new home is one of the most important considerations to take into account when selling your home for the first time.
Similar to when you bought your first home, there are many different fees and expenses that need to be taken into account in addition to the selling price of your home. As both a buyer and seller, you need to be prepared for legal fees, moving costs, taxes and more. However, when you’re selling a home there are some additional expenses that need to be worked in.
When you buy a home, your real estate agent’s commission is typically covered by the seller. Now that you’re selling your home, you are responsible for the 3-5% real estate commission which pays both the buying and selling agent. Furthermore, in preparation to sell you may need to make investments into storage, renovations, repairs and staging services.
Determining and preparing for the expenses associated with selling your home can help you understand the amount of money that will be left over after the sale. This is especially important if you are planning to purchase another home. A real estate agent can help you determine what order is best given your needs, budget and current market conditions.
3. Find a Real Estate Agent You Can Trust
If you’ve crunched the numbers and decided that selling your home is the right choice for you, then it is time to find a real estate agent that will help you get the best value for your home. Below we have listed some of the most important things to look for when choosing a real estate agent:
- Expert in the local market – you want your real estate agent to understand the trends in the local real estate market so that they can make appropriate recommendations on the best time to sell and the profit-driving renovations that local buyers are willing to pay for.
- Marketing expert – marketing is a crucial asset to have in the real estate industry, getting your listing to the right sources and right people can result in faster sales and higher selling prices. Over and above that, your real estate agent can ensure your home is listed at an appropriate price given the market.
- Experience with first-time home sellers – as a first-time home seller you want a real estate agent who is versed in guiding new sellers through the process and someone who is willing to spend extra time with you answering your questions and concerns. They can also help guide you on important conditions that need to be placed on the sale of your current home and the potential purchase of your new home.
4. Prepare Paperwork
Similar to when you bought your first home, there is a lot of paperwork that is needed and involved in the process. Having these papers organized and ready to go for your real estate agent and other parties will help the process go smoother and quicker. Here are some of the potential documents that you should have ready:
- Original purchase agreement of home
- Survey of the property (if available)
- Utility bills (average costs for heating and cooling your home, electricity, water & more)
- Tax bills
- Home inspection report (if you are providing one)
- List of renovations, repairs, maintenance details
5. Declutter, Depersonalize and Stage
Now to get your home ready to list! There is a lot that goes into getting your home into its best shape before listing it on the market. As mentioned above, your real estate agent can assist you with making decisions about repairs, renovations and upgrades that should be done prior to sale to maximize your selling price. In addition to making these renovations, you should also begin to depersonalize and declutter your home.
One of the most effective ways to get your home ready for listing is to hire a professional staging service. They will help you rearrange, design and present your home in a way that is attractive to potential buyers in the current market. Staging is an affordable and effective way to pique the interest of buyers and stay relevant against the competition in your local market.
Looking To Sell Your Home In The Niagara Region?
If you’re a first-time home seller in the Niagara Region, call the team of real estate professionals at Davids & DeLaat. We are experienced in the local real estate market and are experts in helping first-time home sellers take the next step in their real estate journey. Get a free home evaluation in the current real estate market today to get started!