Selling a single family home takes time and money, it’s not a straightforward process, and it’s easy to mess up. You’ll need to find an amazing real estate agent, stage the house, prep it, fix any issues–all without getting overwhelmed.
If you’re new to selling a house or new to selling within the past 10 years, you need a place to start.
That’s why we interviewed three of the top real estate agents in the nation to bring you digestible tips to help you understand–and master–the home selling process.
Jeff Galindo, according to real transaction history in Las Vegas, is the #1 seller’s agent out of over 9,000 agents in the city. Chris Bessette is in the top 1% of seller’s agents in Orlando and has sold over 300 more homes than the average agent there. Dale Chandler is also a top seller’s agent and ranks in the top 1% out of over 16,000 real estate agents in Phoenix, AZ.
These real estate agents are experts in single family home sales–they know their stuff. They’re here to help you start the selling process off strong.
Top Tips for Selling Your Home from Jeff Galindo, #1 Seller’s Agent in Las Vegas, NV
1. Roll Up Your Sleeves, It’s Time to Get to Work
Jeff Says: “Real estate transactions can be challenging.”
Selling a house is hard, but that’s okay–it’s to be expected. Unknown issues can pop up that you’d never be able to anticipate. You could have structural or electrical issues, have to make more fixes or updates than you thought, or be faced with title issues, red tape, or get stuck in buyer negotiations. Your listing could go stale in a slow market.
If you go into the process unprepared for any problems, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Enter with the expectation of a few bumps along the road and keep your real estate agent by your side, and you’ll be much better prepared for what’s to come.
2. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Jeff Says: “Staying positive, communicating and working through issues…can lead to great relationships and good transactions.”
Stay positive throughout the process and be sure to work together and communicate with your real estate agent. Be upfront and honest with your real estate agent about concerns, ideas, and questions. This open line of communication helps the agent help you to the best of his ability so that you make the most informed decisions possible.
If you’re ever concerned about anything–the list price being too low, having to sink money into a big renovation project, how your agent is marketing your home–chat with your agent. She will explain (and should have reasons behind) why she’s made every decision. She’s also a well of experience and information. Pick her brain!
Top Tips for Selling Your Home from Chris Bessette, Top 1% Seller’s Agent in Orlando, FL
1. Deodorize the House
Chris Says: “I don’t run into it often, but one of the biggest challenges you can run into is the smell of the house. I think most homes have an odor about them. It’s just the way that they smell, and sometimes it’s not pleasant. That’s such a big thing for a lot of buyers. If they walk in and they smell something, it immediately turns them off.
Get some third party opinions on that. I’m not saying it smells bad, it’s just that it may turn people off. Just make sure that it is light and clean smelling. Make the house clean and odor free.”
Odor creates an uncomfortable environment for buyers. You’ve probably walked into a friend or family member’s house at some point and been completely turned off by the smell. Maybe it’s a musty stench from closed windows or mold, the smell of last night’s garlic fries or lasagna, or a trash can that’s begging to get dumped.
Would you rather hang out near expired lunch meat or be surrounded by the fresh lemon rosemary scent of a Williams Sonoma store? Those kitchen supply gurus know what they’re doing.
Deodorizing your house is pretty simple.
- Take out all trash
- Open the windows
- Pick your deodorizing poison
Definite deodorizing “No’s” include any artificial or overpowering smells. Leave the Febreeze and the Glade plugins on the Target shelf, and don’t waste time popping cookies in the oven. Artificial scents smell too much like chemicals, which is why they’re not a good option for open houses and private showings.
You should make your own natural deodorizer on the stove with lemon, rosemary, and vanilla, buy a couple reed diffusers and fill with essential oils, plug in a diffuser, or light a few candles with light, fresh scents. Voila!
2. Make Yourself Scarce for Showings
Chris Says: “Don’t be there for showings. It’s uncomfortable, buyers do not like it–they cannot talk freely in your house! For anyone who has a challenge with it because they have pets or kids or whatever the case may be, there’s always solutions to that. Even if you greet them at the door and step outside and go for a walk, that’s fine. Or stand in the driveway. Just don’t be in the house.
Sometimes we have people who really don’t want to do that, and that’s a challenge, definitely. So I would say, get out of the house!”
It’s your house. You have your favorite spot on the couch and the pillows arranged “just so.” The thing is, if you’re there when the agent shows your house, you could tank an appointment that otherwise would have sold the house. Really.
If your agent needs to show your house, go to the grocery store, take a walk around the neighborhood, or grab a meal with friends. Whatever you do, stay out of the house!
3. Listen to Your Real Estate Agent’s Advice
Chris Says: “Really listen to the agent. We’re in tune with what’s going on. We’re the local experts; we know what the buyers are looking for.
Trust me, we want to sell the house for as much as we can too. Not just because we’re going to make a little bit more commission, but because we know the happier we make the clients, then the more opportunity we have for repeat and referral business.
That is ultimately my goal: I want a client for life.”
You hired your real estate agent because he is an expert not only in the business but in your area, too. Your agent wants your house to sell for the most money possible just as much as you do.
Make sure you remember that your agent is on your team and knows his stuff–he won’t lead you astray. If you ever question one of your agent’s decisions, talk to him about it. He’ll explain his reasoning. If you’re still not happy, he should work with you to make compromise so that you’re more comfortable.
Top Tips for Selling Your Home from Dale Chandler, Top 1% Seller’s Agent in Phoenix, AZ
1. Listen to the Potential Buyers, They Know Stuff
Dale Says: ”Getting…feedback from potential buyers [after an open house] helps you know what to do to your home. ”
Talk to your agent after the first open house or first few private showings to get real feedback from real prospective buyers. You can guess all you want about whether or not buyers will take issue with missing closet doors or dated kitchen cabinets. The best strategy, though, is to listen to honest opinions from actual prospective buyers.
Your real estate agent will listen during a visit and tell you what buyers think:
- Is wrong with the house
- Is fantastic about the house
Then, if multiple people have issues with the same thing, you’ll sit down with your agent and figure out what you can fix and what you can’t, and come up with solutions for each scenario.
2. Prepare Your Pets for Showings
Dale Says: “If you have pets, like I do, we put our dogs in the laundry room with the baby gate so that people could come and go without dogs. Sometimes you have people who are allergic to cats, so they need to secure that pet so people can come and go as easily as possible, and to get in your house.
If they can’t get into your house, obviously they can’t see it, therefore they’re not going to buy it…That dog or that cat needs to be secured because no one wants that liability of someone else’s pet.”
When you show your house to potential buyers, you need to put your pets away so that they are safe, not stressed out, to reduce odor and so that buyers who are allergic or afraid can still visit.
- Kennel the pets inside the house
- Take the pets to a kennel outside the house (at your local vet or service like the Wag Hotels)
- Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to watch the pets
- Put the pets behind a baby gate
- Have moved to your new home with the pets already
Chandler had one client who had a pet sitter from 9-6 every Saturday so that agents could show her house with little or no notice. That might be a great option for you if you know that finding a place for your pet needs advance planning.
3. Keep Your House Show-Ready
Dale Says: “As a seller, you want to make your home as easy as possible for the buyer and buyer’s agent to get in so they can see your home. When sellers say, ‘You can only see my home between 2 and 3 on Saturday afternoon,’ they’re just tying the hands of the REALTOR®. You want to make it as easy as possible to see your home.”
Make your house available for showings. Always.
The more often you can show your house, the better chance you have to get an offer.
Find a Great Real Estate Agent Before You Start
These top tips for selling your home are just a jumping off point! You need to make sure you have an amazing real estate agent who will support you through the selling process before you even begin.
It’s really easy to find a top real estate agent in your area!
Check out their profile online and pick the agent who has a great transaction history and is best suited to your needs. Go out and look for top real estate agents like Jeff, Dale, and Chris in your own neighborhood.