We gathered some tips from realtors – for both sellers and buyers! Whatever side of the spectrum you are on, if it’s one of your first times working with an agent, here are some things to keep in mind to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
- Start packing. Even if you just listed your house, it’s a good time to start packing up. Less is more when it comes to décor on a showing – you want the potential buyers to be able to imagine it as their home, not yours. Personal items, family photos, and bigger pieces can be safely boxed away – pretend you’re staging the house without hiring someone else to do it. You’d be amazed the difference it makes!
- Don’t hide things. Sometimes it’s tempting to keep things from your realtor, but remember, we’re on your side. Tell us about the things you are concerned about – we’d much rather know beforehand than find a leak while on a showing with a potential buyer.
- Be cautious in overpricing. And don’t take low offers personally. Money is always hard to talk about – but realtors do this all the time. If your realtor is concerned you want to overprice the property by too much compared to other houses in the market, listen – if your house stays on the market too long, people begin to wonder if there’s something wrong. Pricing it fairly up front can draw buyers. On the flip side of the coin, don’t be offended by the low offers that are bound to come in – they are almost a given no matter what your home is like.
- Most important, don’t get discouraged! This is number one on our list of tips from realtors. If it takes longer than a couple of weeks to sell your house, don’t let it get you down. Realtor.com data show that homes sit on the market for a median of 65 days. Lots of factors can affect how long it takes, but the process taking a bit longer doesn’t mean that it isn’t going well.
- Don’t discuss pertinent details in front of the sellers and their agent. This is probably one of the most important tips from realtors to remember — these require negotiations and you don’t want to give extra info that you don’t need to share. This includes things like budget or if you’re on a tight timeline to move – Leave the negotiating to your agent. So many times on a showing a buyer will accidentally tip their hand, leaving negotiations a lot more difficult if they decide to make an offer. Don’t let that be you!
- Be prepared to act quickly, but also, don’t feel deflated if you get outbid. This is just how the housing market works.
- Check out neighborhoods at multiple times of day. If you like a particular home when you have a showing, come back that evening and drive around or take a walk. Some neighborhoods can vary greatly based on the time of day. Remember, you can always update a house – you can’t just update a location. Always put the location before anything else.
- Give yourself time to find a home. Rushing to find a home will only stress you (and your agent!) out. Don’t only leave a month before your lease is up to start looking for a house – keep in mind that negotiations and closing take time, and we don’t want you to feel like you have to place an offer on a house that isn’t really what you wanted, just because you didn’t have the time to wait.
Remember that realtors are people too – so pick people you like working with, instead of just a recommendation. You have to have a basis of trust and likeability first and foremost, because there’s always stress and details you didn’t foresee. What’s wonderful is that there are so many realtors who are fantastic at what they do, and who are kind and Christ-seeking on top of that! See our recommendations here. We hope these tips from realtors help you start your journey, and if you need a lender, call us! We’re faith-based and family-focused, just like you. We’d be happy to help.
The Christian Mortgage Mom