Sonya Dickinson | (540) 353-0123

We spend so much time talking about first-time homebuyers that we sometimes forget that selling a home for the first time can be just as stressful. After all, it’s just as big a financial transaction, and if you’re also buying a home, getting all the stars to align can be a challenge.

With that in mind, these are my top 10 tips for first-time home sellers who are selling in the Roanoke Valley real estate market:

  • Price smart. Today’s market is very price sensitive. In every tier of the Roanoke-area market, you’ll be competing with a variety of well-priced properties that are in good condition. If you overprice your listing, it could sit.
  • Promote, promote, promote. Realtors have more tools available to promote your listing than ever, depending on the audience they’re trying to reach. Work with your Realtor on a multi-pronged marketing plan. Be sure your listing has several high-quality photos that highlight the best features of your home and invite potential buyers to come visit. Share the listing on your social networks — around Roanoke, that’s mostly going to be Facebook — and ask others to share it.
  • Use an experienced, full-time Realtor. Like most local markets, Roanoke’s real estate landscape can change quickly. Hire a Realtor who has local market expertise and who is in the market enough to know its trends. Make sure your Realtor is using comparative market data to advise you on the price of your listing.

  • Understand your financial situation. Once you and your Realtor have settled on a smart list price, consider that price in light of your mortgage, your equity and your other obligations. Now, what if you get an offer for $5,000 less? How about $10,000 less or more? Looking at these calculations will help you be ready to respond when you get an offer. Going through the process before you get an offer can also ensure that you’re making decisions based on reason, not emotion.

  • Research your closing expenses. Because so many of the closing expenses are on the buyer’s side, sellers are often surprised at the expenses they incur. Check out this sample Closing Disclosure from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to get started.

  • Consider a home inspection before you list. This isn’t necessary for everyone, but if you even suspect you might have a problem, you’ll be better off finding out early. If you do have a problem, talk with your Realtor about whether it’s better to fix it or to be prepared to make a concession.

  • Know your next move. You need to be able to act quickly once you receive an offer, so don’t wait till then to figure out where you’re going to live after closing! Even if you need to have Plans A, B and C, make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row before — or soon after — you list.

  • Get your home move-in ready. Unless they’re purposely buying a fixer-upper, many of today’s buyers don’t want to spend a lot of time or money doing home improvements after moving in. And again, you’ll be competing with other properties that are in good condition. Talk to your Realtor about how to best spend your time and budget to prepare your home for its next owners.

  • Declutter. Not only will your home show better if it’s not crammed to the brim with your belongings, but your move will be easier as well.

  • Be patient. Could your home be snapped up quickly? Absolutely. It happens all the time. But more often, sellers have to be prepared to be patient, so you’ll have to make appropriate logistical and financial arrangements. 

If you’re ready to sell a home for the first time, I’d love to walk you through the process. Call me at (540) 353-0123 or email me at sonya@sonyadickinson.com. Browse my listings here and be sure to like my Facebook page.