Putting your home on the market comes with a lot of “what-ifs.”

What if my home stays on the market too long?
What if nobody makes an offer on my house?
What if my home is priced too low? Or too high?

Luckily, you don’t have to manage this process on your own…and you shouldn’t. There are so many steps involved in putting your home on the market that handling it all on your own would be a recipe for overwhelm. So where should you start? And what should you expect once the process starts rolling?

Hire an Experienced Agent
The first step you should make when selling your home is to hire a real estate agent who has experience working with similar clients. Meaning, they’ve sold homes like yours in the past.

Let’s say you’re selling a horse farm in the rural part of the area. Your property has lots of acreage, a stable, brand new fencing, and a gorgeous home with an amazing view of the mountains. A real estate agent who has experience listing and selling this type of property already knows the best way to advertise your home as to attract interested buyers. An agent who specializes in condos or apartments in the city may not have the same level of interest from their network of contacts.

Business vs. Emotional Attachment
Be prepared for the emotional attachment that surfaces when selling your home. You’ll feel it when you a buyer makes a low offer on your home, or when a buyer makes comments about areas of the home they weren’t in love with.

An agent isn’t emotionally attached to your home. Yes, they work hard to protect your interests and present your home in its best light, but their approach to selling your home is more business-centric than sentimental. Your Realtor will make suggestions that are based in current market trends positioned to get you top-dollar for your home. And while some of their recommendations may sting (like packing away your collection of garden gnomes), you can rest assured that their suggestions are coming from a good place.

Preparing for the Sale
While staging your home isn’t required for a successful sale, it definitely helps you receive more motivated buyers with better offers.

Staging, in a nutshell, is decorating your home in such a way that potential buyers can easily see their own belongings in the home. It may be as simple as repainting the walls with a neutral color, or moving your sentimental items into storage so that house hunters aren’t distracted by them. Regardless, staging your home makes a great first impression with buyers.

Preparing for your sale also means making any repairs that would otherwise decrease the value of your home. Failing to divulge information on areas that need to be fixed could backfire once the prospect sees the home inspection. It’s best to fix these issues beforehand as many homeowners do not wish to inherit a list of projects that need to be completed before they can even move in.

Be Accommodating
When you put your home on the market, buyers are going to want to see it. That means that you need to be willing to have your real estate agent show your home whenever the opportunity arises. Does that mean you need to keep the house clean? Yes. Pets boarded? Probably. Yard mowed? Definitely. Declining an offer to show the home because you aren’t ready could cause you to lose the interest of the prospect.

Also, don’t hover around your home while your Realtor is showing it. Buyers need to feel comfortable asking questions and looking inside cabinets and closets. Following them from room-to-room makes for an awkward scenario, one that might end with the prospects cutting the trip short and passing on your property.

Trust Your Agent
As long as you have an experienced real estate agent by your side, navigating the process of selling your home should be stress-free. Your Realtor will know how to handle tough situations, like setting a listing price and handling offers, so that you can focus on preparing for your (fingers-crossed) upcoming move.

I’ve worked alongside many homeowners who have listed their properties for sale in the Smith Mountain Lake area. From condos and townhomes to luxury estates and acreage, I know how to market your home to get the best possible price. Contact me today to learn more about my process and how I can help you sell your Smith Mountain Lake home.