It is well known in the real estate business that first-time buyers often require quite a bit of hand holding along the way. Those buying their first property tend not to understand how the process works, and they might be caught off guard by how expensive everything can be in the end. A good real estate agent will work closely with first-time buyers to make sure they feel comfortable and have all the information they need as the process unfolds.
Of course, there are two sides to every real estate transaction, so it is worth thinking about the needs of first-time sellers, as well. Selling a property can be just as intimidating as buying, and often it is more work. If you have a client who is getting ready to sell for the first time, the same kind of care offered to a first-time buyer should be in order.
Understanding the Competition
When trying to sell a home, first-time sellers need to understand that they are entering into a competition with the other homes in the area which are on the market. Trying to stand out from that competition is an important job if the home is going to come off the market relatively quickly – and for full price. It may be helpful to tell first-time sellers to think of selling their home just like they would think about opening a business. You have to provide value to the market, selling the property in good condition and for a fair price. Failing to rise to the level of the competition is going to cause the property to sell for below market value – if it sells at all.
The Staging Game
When potential buyers walk through a home, they want to be able to picture themselves living in that home. That can be hard to do if the walls are covered with personal photographs and other items. Of course, as a real estate agent, you already understand this – but your first-time sellers may not grasp the importance. The value of staging a house for showings is something that should be clearly conveyed to anyone selling a house for the first time. This comes back again to the idea of competition. If buyers are walking through three or four houses in the same day, the one that shows the best is quite likely to be the one receiving an offer.
Understanding the Timeline
It’s impossible to know how quickly a property will sell, but tempering expectations at the start is a good plan. You don’t want your first-time sellers to think that they will have multiple offers as soon as the listing hits the market – that’s just not realistic. Could it happen? Sure – but it shouldn’t be expected. Show them some statistics on the average time it takes to sell properties in the area just to make sure they aren’t setup to be disappointed.
Real estate transactions can be confusing and intimidating for those who have never been involved with them previously. As a real estate agent, a big part of your job is to help walk your clients through the process, keeping them informed along the way. You probably already treat your first-time buyers with a certain degree of care, and it’s a good idea to think the same way about first-time sellers.