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  • Eva Swersey

First-Time Home Sellers: 3 Questions You Should Ask Your Realtor

First-Time Home Sellers: 3 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Realtor

I get a lot of questions from clients ready to put their home on the market. Of all of them, I believe the 3 questions below to be the most critical to ask your realtor. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you get the best price for your home, on the best timeline for your budget and market conditions.  

  1. How long will it take to get my house ready for sale? 

There are a number of factors that determine your home’s readiness for the market, including your home’s current condition and market demands. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 1-6 months to prepare your home for sale, though your realtor will have the specific, localized knowledge to give you a more personalized estimate. Knowing this timeline in advance will help you determine the right time to prepare your home for sale, based on seasonality, your financial needs, and market conditions. 

Consider that all of the following steps are necessary in preparing your home for sale:

  • Assessment of your home’s condition to identify any necessary repairs or updates that might be desired by potential buyers

  • Repairs and renovations, including painting, repairs to walls and flooring, and updating fixtures

  • Decluttering to depersonalize your home (a necessary step for helping potential buyers envision themselves in your space)

  • Staging, which can involve bringing in new furniture and decor or rearranging existing items in your home 

  • Deep cleaning, resurfacing, or replacing, including carpets, flooring, and surfaces

  • Photography and listing preparation, typically hired by the realtor

  • Marketing and showings to attract potential buyers, including hosting open houses, scheduling private showings, and promoting the listing through various channels

  1. Who should I hire for cleaning and renovations when getting my home ready to sell?

When preparing your home for sale, hiring the right professionals to handle renovations and repairs can significantly impact both the selling price and speed of the sale. Many realtors - myself included! - have trusted contractors they work with, which can provide several advantages to you, including:


  • Cost Savings Your realtor likely has predetermined rates and a high level of trust with their contractor(s), eliminating any concerns over price haggling. Your realtor will also be invested in keeping your budget as low as possible, suggesting only the level of renovations that will help you get your best sale price.

  • Time Savings Your realtor can often handle communications with the contractor, as they know precisely what is needed for the goal of selling your home at the best price, and on the quickest timeline. 

Always check with your realtor before hiring professionals to clean or renovate your home. They’ll ensure everyone is on the same page with regards to your goals, budget, and timeline.

  1. How much does it cost to sell my home? 

There are several costs home sellers should be aware of, to avoid surprises and budget effectively. The most common expenses include:  

  • Home Repairs and Renovations Costs can vary widely, depending on your home’s current condition. Your realtor will be able to estimate the cost of any necessary repairs after a thorough assessment of your property. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to tackle any renovations, but it’s often an investment that pays off handsomely in your home's final sale price.

  • Staging and Photography Costs will depend on a few factors, including how much of your own furnishings will be used versus bringing in new furniture and decor. 

  • Real Estate Agent Commission The commission, set during initial discussions with the sellers, can differ based on the range of services provided by the realtor and their level of experience. Your home’s location is another factor that can affect this rate.

  • Closing Costs Sellers are typically responsible for covering certain closing costs, including title insurance, escrow fees, attorney fees, and other administrative expenses, which can range between 1-3% of your home’s final sale price.

It's essential to consider these costs when determining the potential return on selling your home. Your realtor can help you estimate these expenses and develop a selling strategy that maximizes your return on investment and avoids financial surprises along the way.

If you’re ready to list your home, I’d love to be your go-to resource! Schedule a complimentary 30-minute chat, and I’ll answer any questions you have about the process! 

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