When it comes to selling your home, the procedure is different almost every time. That’s why you need to find an experienced real estate agent who will guide you through the process, using their market knowledge, experience, and a detailed strategy.
We talked to Kurt Galitski, a REALTOR®-Broker Associate in our Newport Beach office, who is an expert when it comes to selling your home for the first time. Kurt has been in the business for 14 years, and he and his team work to make their clients’ home-selling experience the best and most profitable it can be.
Over the years, Kurt has dealt with more than 100 first-time home buyers. They are now returning to him as first-time sellers, so he has a lot of advice when it comes to taking that exciting step to sell your home.
Kurt suggests that you talk to three to four agents before deciding on one.
“Make sure you do your research first. Online reviews will tell you almost everything you need to know about an agent before you meet with them. That way, when you do sit down with them, you can focus on what’s most important: A plan for selling your home for the most money possible.
“Even if you get a referral for an agent from a trusted source, it doesn’t mean they are right for the job. Read their reviews–they will tell you whether the agent follows through on promises, whether they have staff or team members that can back them up, and what other services they can provide you with.”
Each seller and each home is unique, so Kurt works with his sellers to develop a plan of action.
“For the most part, the first steps are centered around your home: improvements you need to make, cleaning your carpets, decluttering and staging each room, that sort of thing.”
If you’re unsure which improvements to make, or what to do before you sell your home, talk to your agent. They are the industry experts when it comes to knowing what buyers want to see (and what they don’t want to see).
“If sellers are wary about the improvements I advise them to make, I tell them they have to spend a little more to get a little more. If you were going to sell your car tomorrow, the first thing you would do is go get it detailed today. If you want to try and sell your home as-is, what you’re going to get is an as-is price.”
If you’re on a low budget, there are still quite a few things you can do to improve the look at feel. Kurt advises that you clean your carpets and depersonalize your home first.
“They stage show homes so that you can imagine yourself living in them. But what you don’t see in show homes are family pictures, toys, or other personal effects. Make it so they don’t see you, they see your home.”
“I’ve never had a client doubt the sale or pull out at the last minute because I walk them through every single detail. From the moment I meet with a seller, I tell them my exact strategy. When an offer comes, we discuss the pros and cons of the offer. My best advice is that when you first sit down with an agent, make sure they have a detailed plan and are able to tell you why they are doing it that way.”
Even though the agent is the expert and can handle all the things that you can’t, it’s still OK to ask them questions. So don’t be afraid, ask away!
“I believe that my sole duty is to educate my clients and guide them through the process.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarifications on terms when you need them.
“The easier you make it for another agent to show your home, the more showings you’ll get, which means you’ll get more potential offers, ultimately leading to you finding the best deal for your home. I do as much as I can for my sellers before a showing, but all my sellers and I find it is easier to keep up with showings when you do a little bit of work every day. No one wants to have to vacuum every room in the house on 30 minutes’ notice.”
Small things that you can do around the house every day to ensure you are ready to show it at a moment’s notice are:
When you get the call to prepare for a showing, your home should be show-ready. Don’t forget to turn on the air conditioning, lights, and some soft music as you head out the door.
“For most of the home sellers that I work with, they are selling because they are going through a life-changing event. Either their family is growing and they need a bigger home, or they are now empty-nesters looking to downsize.”
Selling your home can seem overwhelming, but with the right agent and access to the right knowledge, it can really be an exciting time in your life. Embrace the change and know you can always lean on your agent for support.
Ready to sell your home? Find an agent today!
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