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Selling Your First Home? Don’t Forget These 5 Must-Dos Before You List

Putting your first home on the market is an exciting time, but it can come with its challenges navigating the new world of being a home seller. Set yourself up for success by following these 5 must-dos.

1. Begin to Declutter

Declutter, declutter, declutter. Ideally start this process at least 3 months before you want to list your home. Separate items you want to donate, trash, and keep. For your keep items, pack them for your move, label the box, and store neatly in the basement or garage. Your objective is to show a home that is neutral enough that it allows homebuyers to picture themselves and their belongings in it. Now isn’t the time to show off your Star Wars collectibles!

Extra Credit: Store unused items in tote bins, rather than cardboard boxes for a more eye-appealing appearance.

2. Make Small Upgrades & Complete Touch-ups

Completing some upgrades will help sell your home faster and get you the best offer for your home. Repainting the walls in a neutral colour is a great place to start, as well as replacing outdated hardware and light fixtures. Depending on how much time you have prior to listing, replacing older countertops and any carpet in the home may prove of value when selling. Don’t forget to touch up any scuff marks or dents in the wall. 

Extra Credit: Visit local show homes or beautiful homes on the market to see what features really stand out when walking through it.

Contemporary white kitchen with gold accents

3. Decide if You Want to Buy or Sell First

Selling your home first gives you the peace of mind knowing what budget you are working with, but you will be in more of a time crunch to buy your new home that works with your current home’s closing date. Buying your new home first allows you to know you have the home you want before you sell your current one, but it could put you in a tough financial or living situation if you have purchased a home and are unable to sell your current one. Your Purplebricks REALTOR® can assist you with making the right decision for you. 

If you have purchased a new construction home, then you need to determine the right time to sell your current home. If you sell too early, you risk your new home closing date being delayed due to construction constraints. If you sell too late, you may need to rent, stay in a hotel, or stay with relatives until your new home is ready, in addition to bridge financing fees.

Extra Credit: Talk to your real estate savvy friends or family and listen to their experience on this topic.

4. Let Go of Emotional Attachment

A home is more than a house; it is where memories are made with closest family and friends. It isn’t easy selling your first home, but it is a natural progression as your life changes. If you’re feeling emotional, consider throwing one last get together to celebrate your home and get excited for the next one. Be sure to play hostess before your home is on the market; you don’t want to be frantically cleaning the next morning right before the Open House!

Extra Credit: Gather your loved ones and fur babies and have a photographer or savvy friend take some Instagram-worthy pictures in your beautifully staged home right before listing. 

Family of four in living room looking at tablet

5. Determine How You Want to Sell Your Home

How you choose to sell your home impacts your time and budget. For sale by owner will likely save you some money, but you will be without the expertise of a REALTOR® who knows local markets and what homes are selling for in your area. Plus selling a home yourself can be time consuming and can be legally challenging if you don’t have this knowledge. 

Going with a licensed brokerage, whether that be Purplebricks or otherwise, allows you to have the expertise of a REALTOR® that will work with your schedule and guide you through the process. Purplebricks offers a low flat-rate listing fee, compared to traditional brokerages that require a percentage-based commission. Do your research, shop around, and determine what is best for your time and budget.

Extra Credit: Selling your first home comes with costs most first time sellers don’t plan for. Depending on where you live, you need to consider land transfer fees, taxes, moving costs, potential boarding costs for pets, and the days required to be absent from work in order to move. Make a timeline and budget so when it is time to pay up and move out, you are prepared.