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A Handy Guide for First-Time Home Sellers

real estate agent handing over the keys to a home

It’s always a good idea to prepare a home selling strategy before putting your home on the market. This strategy should include prospective real estate agents, repairs, improvements, dates on when you plan to host an open house, and other things you need to do to sell your house.

Your goal is to get the best price possible for your home, and one of the best ways to reach that goal is to have a solid strategy in place, one that will let you stay organized and help you make informed decisions throughout the selling process.

Here are some of the key steps involved, as well as a few helpful tips for selling your home:

Your Reasons for Selling

Reevaluate your motivation for selling your home. You may need to rethink your decision in case you feel like you aren’t really committed, or you discover that current market conditions aren’t ideal.

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons and see whether it’s better to sell right now or to wait a little longer. Consult family, close friends, and trusted professionals to gather more opinions.

Get in Touch with Real Estate Agents

Interview several real estate agents and neighborhood specialists. Request a comprehensive marketing strategy that explains how the listing agent plans to market your home.

You can also ask agents for a comparative market analysis in your area, which will give you an idea of how much comparable homes in your neighborhood are worth.

Preparing Your Home for a Sale

To prepare your home, start by removing any worn out, bulky furniture you may have. Create more space for your home by storing clutter and other miscellaneous items in your garage or in a private storing unit. Discard any items that are already in poor condition.

After you’ve cleared some of the unwanted items in your home, be sure to give your place a thorough cleaning. You can opt to hire a professional cleaning business if it fits your budget.


When considering repairs for your home, keep in mind that not every project will pay off. It helps to estimate the potential return of each project, as it can be tempting to spend on repairs, thinking everything you do will boost your home’s value. While you don’t want to spend too much on improvements, you do want to fix any existing major maintenance problems with your home, such as damaged roofs, cracked ceilings, discolored walls, stained bathroom fixtures, and so on.

In general, bathroom and kitchen upgrades usually offer the best returns. To avoid spending on unnecessary repair projects, talk to a professional.


Staging is an excellent way to present your home in the best light possible. You have several options: you can stage your home by yourself, ask your agent for assistance, or hire a professional stager. Whichever option you choose, a home staging job done right will give you more value for your home.

After you’ve removed your bulky furniture, rearrange the remaining pieces to make your interiors look more spacious. Add throw pillows, rugs, artwork, and other pieces of décor to create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. Make sure your living spaces look bright and airy by adding new lighting fixtures and opening your windows during viewings.

Next, hire a professional photographer to take quality photos of your home, which will attract more potential buyers.

Pricing Your Home

Never choose an agent based exclusively on the selling price they recommend for your home. Be aware that some agents will attempt to overbid another agent just to claim the listing.

Avoid overpricing your home, as overpriced homes tend to sell below market value in the long run. Many buyers steer away from homes that are significantly more expensive compared to similar homes in the same neighborhood.

Use the comparative market analysis you requested from your agent and look at similar homes within your area. In case you need more professional assistance when it comes to pricing, consider getting a professional appraisal so you can get a reliable and unbiased opinion on your home’s actual value.

Sell Your Home Before You Buy Another

Many sellers make the mistake of looking at new homes as soon as they put their current one up for sale. It’s a slippery slope – soon, you’ll find yourself inquiring and setting up appointments to view a couple of homes.

So remember to resist the temptation to start your house hunt while your home is on the market, as it’s usually more profitable to sell your home before you buy one.

Planning to sell your home in Chicago? 606 Brokers is your top resource in the Chicago real estate market! Get in touch with us today at 773-870-5101 or leave us a message here.