What No One Ever Told You About Selling a Home For the First Time

What No One Ever Told You About Selling a Home For the First Time

In the dynamic region of Silicon Valley, situated 45 miles south of San Francisco, is the exciting city of Santa Clara. Established in 1852, the area has now flourished into a vibrant city full of many attractions. Located close to San Jose and the bustling metropolis of San Francisco, this tech city has recently become an international sports hotspot for athletes with the 2014 opening of Levi's Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers.

Santa Clara serves as the perfect launching point for those seeking to experience all that the Bay Area has to offer, and sellers aren't wrong to imagine that many buyers are looking for Santa Clara homes for sale. However, no one is fully prepared for their first home sale, which is why expert Realtor Martin Quintana put this guide together — to walk every Santa Clara seller through the process of selling their first home. Read on!

Sell the property, not the home you love

When a seller first puts their house on the market, it's natural to be elated and want to proudly share all of its most outstanding features with potential buyers. However, try to resist the urge to meet buyers at tours or open houses, as this can be distracting. In fact, let your agent handle the showings and tours! Plus, buyers want to imagine living in the home themselves instead of being reminded that it’s someone else’s.

As a seller prepares to showcase their home, it's essential to remove personal items, such as photos and awards. On top of this, sellers should plan to be absent for a few hours each time the property is toured. This gives buyers the freedom and privacy they need to explore every nook and cranny without feeling uncomfortable or rushed, allowing prospective buyers plenty of time to ask questions.

Professional photos are worth it

Though any individual with the latest smartphone camera can take photos for their property listing, agents will still typically recommend taking the professional photography route. After all, even the most advanced smartphone cameras on the market cannot match both the quality and value that a professional photographer provides. Furthermore, since many buyers begin searching online, it is paramount to present them with attractive photographs that capture attention from the get-go.

Investing in a professional Santa Clara real estate photographer will pay off, as they are equipped with the equipment and know-how to capture stunning panoramic videos and photos. Professional photos can drastically reduce the time it takes for a home to sell. 

Staging sells

Staging a property is essential to selling quickly. The process involves arranging furniture and decor in the house to emphasize its best features and create an appealing space. For instance, if walls have unique and bold colors, a professional stager would suggest that the seller paints the walls with neutral hues and removes any overly bulky furniture to open up the room.

A home warranty is an asset, not a liability

For many first-time home sellers, offering a home warranty as part of the offer could prove to be an invaluable asset. Offering a home warranty can help the buyer feel more confident in moving forward with the transaction. 

Home warranties are an affordable way to provide buyers with peace of mind. Sellers only need to pay for the first year; it's then up to the buyer whether or not they want to renew coverage. A home warranty can also be a useful resource in resolving any disputes about repair concerns that may arise during inspections.

An offer is about more than just money

Although the offer price is undoubtedly an essential factor to consider, it's not everything. When selling a home for the first time, sellers need to consider other aspects as well, such as whether or not the buyer can close within 30 days or if they are willing to skip a home inspection.

Overlooking these details might lead a seller to pay more in repairs and credits when one of their buyers has contingencies on their purchase agreement. Thus, it is crucial that first-time sellers go through every part of an offer contract thoroughly before signing anything off and consider if it would be advantageous to enter a contract with a buyer willing to forego an inspection or close more quickly. Your agent will help you evaluate each offer and determine how to respond.

Know what to expect from the buyer's inspection

It can come as a surprise to novice home sellers when they get the list of repairs from their buyers. Even though sellers are not obligated to make any fixes, it's still useful to understand the potential expenses that may be associated with them and what repairs they should take responsibility for.

When it comes to repairs and upgrades, prioritize the home’s functionality, system, and structure. Think of it like this: a septic issue? Reasonable request. Is a handrail missing? Also reasonable. A leak in the roof? Completely understandable. However, when it comes to cosmetic fixes, such as paint or wallpaper, that's more than likely not something a seller should agree to fix. Of course, your agent will guide you through the negotiation process as you and the buyer settle on who will fix what. Aside from addressing the repairs yourself, another solution is to offer the buyer a slightly reduced price or a credit for completing the repairs at a later date after they move in.

Teaming up with the right agent is so important

For a streamlined sale, it is essential for first-time home sellers to work with a qualified Santa Clara real estate agent like Martin Quintana. Martin is a top-notch Realtor who is highly in tune with the local market — he is ready to guide you in making wise decisions along your selling journey. Contact expert Realtor Martin Quintana today to learn more about how to get started toward your goals.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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