There’s a lot of talk about first-time buyers, from their impact on the housing market to advice to help them secure the home they want. Not as many people talk about first-time sellers. Of course, many first-time sellers already have some experience with the real estate process. They probably bought the house they’re trying to sell, though it’s possible they inherited it. But that doesn’t mean they have experience with selling, and they could still make mistakes.
First-time sellers are often thinking about how much money they can get, rather than whether or not they even can sell successfully. While getting too little money for the sale is a bad idea, you won’t get any money at all if your house doesn’t sell. Instead the primary focus should be on making sure you get offers, then you can enter negotiations. Don’t try to cut corners by selling without an agent. It is an extra expense, for sure, but most prospective buyers won’t even know your property exists without the help of an agent. The agent can also help you set a realistic listing price. If it’s too high, you won’t generate interest, and if it’s too low, people will assume there’s something wrong with the property. Even once you get offers, don’t just pick whichever offer is highest. Take a look at the terms of the offer. The buyer could be asking you to pay for certain costs, which could make a slightly lower offer actually a better deal. In addition, a slightly lower full cash offer avoids financing headaches and possibly some closing costs.