8 Tips for Gainesville Home Sellers
If you are a Gainesville home seller for the first time, it is a different market from what you experienced as a first-time buyer. Remember that our Gainesville real estate market is driven by the number of buyers with relationship to which homes are for sale.
Ultimately, you are in control of the process. You call the shots on prepping your home for sale, deciding on a listing price, accepting or rejecting offers from buyers. Yet, there other things to consider.
Here are some important tips for Gainesville home sellers:
1. Hire an experienced real estate agent
A real estate transaction is filled with complexities and nuances that a professional, skilled agent can help you navigate. Ask friends and family to recommend an agent they’ve used and were pleased with, or search online for an agent that knows your neighborhood. (Of course, we welcome the opportunity to serve you).
2. Detach yourself from the process
You have memories to last a lifetime in your first home, and saying goodbye is hard. But be careful not to let your emotional attachment get in the way of making sound decisions, particularly when it comes to staging and pricing your home. Try to see your home as a potential buyer would. Pretend you’re a potential buyer and walk through your home. Make a list of what you like about each room – and the things you would change.
3. Don’t overprice
Some sellers might think that in today’s low-inventory market they can overprice their home and get top dollar. In reality, if you price it competitively, you’ll create a flurry of activity and possibly get in a situation where there are multiple offers. Overpricing at the start hurts your chances of getting a quick sale, especially if numerous price reductions are needed. Most buyer’s need a mortgage and this requires formal appraisals to confirm the contract price.
4. Declutter and stage for a quick sale
Buyers who tour your home will have a hard time picturing themselves living in it if they only see paint colors or décor that fits your own unique style. Repaint the walls with neutral, earth-tone colors, and remove excess decorations from walls. Consider renting a storage unit to store large furniture that overpowers your main living areas. Rooms should appear as spacious as possible.
5. Make the necessary repairs/upgrades
Ensure that all systems and appliances are functioning properly, as these items will come up in a buyer’s home inspection that might cost you more money and, possibly, the whole sale down the road. The rule of thumb is to make improvements to your home that will help the property show well. Don’t put a ton of money into capital investments such as high-end flooring if such upgrades aren’t consistent for your neighborhood. Don’t over upgrade over home that prices it out of the market. You likely won’t get that money back in the sale.
6. Give your home curb appeal
Gainesville is a green city. So, your home’s front exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see when they drive by, and it’s likely the first photo that will appear in an online search. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint, add some bright flowers to your entryway, and make sure that any cracks or major cement damage is fixed. Consider renting a pressure washer to get rid of the grime and buildup on the outside of your house, and definitely keep the yard mowed and tidy. A little elbow grease goes a long way to making a positive first impression on buyers. And get your lawn & landscape picture perfect!
7. Keep an open mind for negotiations
What’s more important to you: Walking away with your asking price? A quick closing time? Putting out as little up front cash in closing costs as possible? All of these are considerations you’ll need to make as you evaluate offers. Also, keep in mind that you have the ability to negotiate with counter-offers. Sometimes, you can sweeten the deal by offering to pay a buyer’s closing costs, or leaving some appliances behind. A few concessions can go a long way in the negotiation process, and your Realtor can work with you to carefully evaluate and respond to each offer.
8. Get ready for closing
Once you have accepted an offer and signed a sales agreement, you will start prepping for a closing. Also called “escrow” or “settlement,” closing is the final meeting between the buyer, seller, their agents and a loan officer (or an attorney, in some states) where the buyer pays their portion of the costs to the seller and the buyer’s new title and any mortgage liens are properly recorded. The closing agent will calculate what monies are due to the owner and what credits need to be applied to the transaction, such as taxes, title fees and other closing costs.
Call us today and we can help you navigate all these steps.