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Selling Your First Home: 5 Tips to Getting What You Want

Selling your first home can be an emotional roller coaster. It can be difficult to believe that you’ll ever get what you want from the sale.

When you’ve invested time and energy into making your home exactly what you want, it can be hard to imagine someone else calling it home. In addition, you have years of fond memories and positive associations with the first home you purchased and settled into.

All that said, there are likely good reasons you’ve decided to sell your home. Whether you need more space, are ready for a change of scenery or neighbourhood, or are in a great market that’s sure to earn you a profit, deciding you’re ready to make the leap is something you won’t take lightly.

After you’ve made the decision to sell, the real stress begins. How can you be sure that you’re getting what you want when you’re selling your first home? Below, we outline 5 tips to help ensure you get what you want from the sale of your first home.

Invest in Curb Appeal

You know what they say: first impressions are everything. Sellers often make the mistake of believing their home’s interior will impress, while neglecting parts of the home’s exterior. Your home’s exterior forms every buyer’s first opinion of your home, and will inevitably affect how they perceive the value of your home.

Before you list your home, consider having a couple trusted friends drive by and give feedback. And then walk out front yourself and try to see what potential buyers would see if they were approaching the home for the first time. Sometimes, simple fixes like adding a few plants, coating the front door with fresh, bright paint, and making sure all lights are in working order can be enough to spruce up your home from the street level.

Construct a Pricing Strategy

Different pricing strategies work better for different situations, but at the end of the day it comes down to knowing what your home is worth in your market. Do your research and find comparable sales in recent years so your home’s price is grounded (in something other than the amount of money you’d like to make).

When you feel you have a ballpark range, one strategy to consider is pricing low. With this approach, you potentially attract a large pool of potential buyers and can negotiate with real power. On the other end of the spectrum, you could price your home higher than market value, with the hope that you’ll ultimately land right around the price that’s right for the market, but still profitable for you.

Play to Your Home’s Strengths

When it comes to the interior of your home, things can get overwhelming quickly. Focusing on every detail in every room is the quickest way to lose motivation. Accept that you’ll never make everything perfect, and instead focus on what makes your home truly unique.

Maybe you have a fireplace with historic character, or extra large bedrooms that let in great light. Play to your home’s strengths and highlight these areas with lighting or fresh paint or curtains. These visual cues will draw the eyes of potential buyers and keep them focused on the best parts of your home.

Go Easy on the Upgrades

It’s tempting to get carried away looking for places to upgrade your home before a sale. A new kitchen or bathroom, or even knocking down a wall might feel like a dramatic way to make a statement and impress potential buyers.

There’s no way to make a major upgrade that’s not influenced at least in part by your personal tastes. And while your tastes may be refined and sophisticated, they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Instead of investing heavily in something that may not work for every buyer, consider small refreshes instead. A coat of paint and new hardware for cabinets and doors can go a long way in polishing your home so it’s ready for showings.

Don’t make it personal

This is your home. You’ve spend years carefully hanging family photos and collecting trinkets that are meaningful to you to fill the shelves. Now that it’s time to sell, it’s also time to strip away these elements that are personal to you so you can help your buyers focus on the home – not the people who have been living in it.

Your goal is to create an environment that’s warm and welcoming, but fairly impersonal. Each prospective buyer should be able to see themselves in the walls of your home. Stripping out the details that make your home uniquely yours will help each buyer envision their life there  – eating dinner at the table and hanging their own photos on the wall. Ultimately, this will not only help close the sale – but also make sure you are getting what you want from the sale.

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