Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: 8 First Time Home Seller Tips

8 First Time Home Seller Tips

8 First Time Home Seller Tips

When it’s time to sell a home for the very first time it can be downright intimidating and stressful. Where do you start, what should you expect, how do you prepare your home for sale are all questions that pop into first time home sellers minds. Below are tips I recommend for first time home sellers to not only get your home sold but, to do it for the highest price possible with the least amount of stress possible.

8 Tips For First Time Home Sellers 

Hire A Real Estate Agent

Not just any real estate agent, one that you trust and who you know has a proven successful track record. You’re going to have a lot of questions before your home ever goes on the market and you need a trusted partner to give you honest answers. According to The National Association Of Realtors for sale by owners (FSBO) in 2018 accounted for only 8% of home sales and the typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 as compared to $265,500 when represented by an agent.


Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time To Prepare Your Home For Sale

As soon as you start to think about selling your home is when I recommend making your hiring decision for an agent and then enlisting their expertise to give you guidance on what your home needs to be market ready. Rushing your home to get it on the market never turns out well. You want a polished and well-presented product and that takes time. Very few of us live in our homes the way we position them to sell. Which is why allowing plenty of time to prepare for your sale is important, it will mean less stress and a favorable outcome than trying to pull an all-nighter to get your home ready.

First Time Home Seller Tips 


Pricing is the biggest reason a home doesn’t sell and getting it correct from the very start is the best way to sell quickly and for top dollar. I always tell my clients no one pays top dollar for stale bread and if your home sits on the market for months on end that’s exactly what it will become. Pricing is unique to each home, its location, and updates. If you’re considering making updates before you sell it’s another reason to enlist the expertise of an agent early on in the process. A great agent who knows your neighborhood will be able to tell you what updates are going to give you a strong ROI and what updates aren’t a good use of your money. From there the agent will then be able to tell you where your home should be priced. If they’re really on top of their game they’ll be able to give you a comparison to show you where you can list if you do XYZ updates and where you can list if you opt not to make changes.


Put On Your Buyer Eyes

Speaking of updates, do you remember when you were touring homes as a buyer? What stood out to you, better yet, was there something in particular about your home that made you feel like it was the one? As hard as it can be, putting your buyer eyes on before you list your home and really being honest with yourself about its current condition will give you a lot of insight. Buyers like updated and turnkey ready homes and they’re willing to pay top dollar for them. If your home has maintenance issues, has become outdated, or even just needs some minor repairs the time to do them is before you list.

8 First Time Home Seller Tips 

Timing To List

Knowing when to list your home for sale is not something that comes up as often as it should. Most homeowners contact an agent when they’re ready to list their home – as in get it listed as soon as possible. This all goes back to contacting an agent early on in the process. An agent can help you plan ahead and create and implement coming soon marketing if they have the lead time to do it. Think of a big motion picture, it doesn’t just pop into theatres one day unannounced. There is marketing dispersed to build curiosity and put it on moviegoers radar long in advance which of course boosts box office sales. Targeting home buyers before your home is for sale decreases the number of days it’s on the market and has them waiting and ready for it to go active.


Prepare For Photos

Updates and maintenance items are part of the big picture when preparing your home for sale but, then there are all those little details that come into play when preparing for photos. Any clutter has to go, it’s rare I see a seller who doesn’t have items to get rid of or donate that they no longer need. I recommend looking at it and asking yourself if you want to pay to move it. That normally helps with the decision making process. After you’ve de-cluttered then focus on de-personalizing. You want your home to feel welcoming and inviting but, not over-personalized. This allows as many buyers as possible to envision themselves living there. Some level of staging will also likely be needed, this is one to rely on your agent to assist with. The amount of staging needed for each home varies and it could be as simple as removing or rearranging furniture or as advanced as hiring a professional stager.

First Time Home Seller Tips 

Prepare For Showings

When your home is active your daily routine is going to change. If you leave for work every day you’re going to need to allow extra time each morning to get your home show ready. Making beds, doing dishes, straightening pillows, opening blinds, cleaning off vanities isn’t something all of us do as part of our daily routine and it takes time to accomplish. If you have pets have a plan in place to remove them from the home for every showing and be sure to have their belongings tucked away. Be prepared to not be able to come home at your normal time and be flexible. Not all showings are going to give you a ton of advanced notice. I always suggest my sellers have a basket on hand to put extra items from the counter or bathrooms in quickly. If you get a last minute showing request you can either stick it somewhere out of site or better yet just throw it in the car and take it with you. If your house can’t be shown it also can’t be sold.


After You’re Under Contract

Once you’ve accepted an offer on your home you may then need to be prepared to allow the buyers in for a home inspection, or your agent to meet the appraiser. Inspections that are needed vary and will be in the contract you’ve signed. Your agent will guide you on the next steps. You’ll also want to arrange for your actual move once you’re under contract. Whether it’s hiring movers or renting a moving truck it’s best to do so in advance to ensure you can get the date and time that’s best for your schedule.

First Time Home Seller Tips 

Selling a home is a big undertaking but, when you work with an agent you trust to guide you through each step you’ll find your home goes under contract quickly and that all of your preparation pays off.


Additional Resources

7 Crucial First Time Home Seller Tips via Luke Skar with Inlanta Mortgage of Madison

Tips For First Time Home Sellers via Bill Gassett with RE/MAX

8 Successful Habits All Successful Home Sellers Have In Common via






Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

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Comment balloon 32 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • March 27 2019 06:37PM


This is very good advice to share with prospective home sellers.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 1 year ago

Good morning, Amanda - "intimidating' is an appropriate word to use in describing the situation of some first time home sellers.  Your tips are quite helpful. 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 1 year ago

These are great tips and if sellers follow them, the transaction will go as smoothly as possible!

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) over 1 year ago

Very well stated and simple for new sellers to understand. Thank you for sharing. 

Posted by Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--, Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc. (Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc) over 1 year ago

Good morning Amanda -  this is good advice.  I certainly wish we had done this when we were first time sellers.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 1 year ago

Hello Amanda S. Davidson,  Great information for sellers to hear from a pro like you.  Thanks.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 1 year ago

Such good advice Amanda to all First-Time home Sellers. Being prepared before listing their home will make for a much less stressful experience!

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 1 year ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson - You have the number one thing at the top of your list.  If a first time seller picks the Amanda Davidson Team out of Alexandria Virginia, they just hit a home run. Why? You will guide them on their quest to sell their home for the best possible outcome.  It is a guarantee!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 1 year ago

These are some great tips for sellers Amanda. I especially liked your idea of putting on the buyer eyes. Being honest with yourself about your property enables you to take the emotion out of it and concentrate on the things that are going to lead to a quick sale.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

As always, Amanda, a well written post with lots of "meat" in terms of information for the reader.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 1 year ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson, these are all great tips for home sellers, especially for first time home sellers. The most important one is to hire the right agent and the rest will be much easier. 

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 1 year ago

We forget...though we were just reminded yesterday...all the things that come to light with this experience.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 1 year ago

Having experienced home inspector eyes go over the property for glaring things to repair or correct would be a very good idea.  I know a guy...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

I remember when we sold our own home nearly four years ago, it is quite the endeavor. And, I love Jay's advice. We wanted to know any potential issues prior to listing...

Good advice as usual, Amanda. Hope you're having a fabulous week. D 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 1 year ago

The pre-listing inspection is a market I have tried to crack for well over a decade.  Few take the plunge.  I think they are simply waiting on a list from their home inspection after they sell the house.  Interestingly, a couple of times I have found a big deal (with my thermal camera) which they wanted to take care of before listing the house.  Then there was the time when the people wanting to list their house were sick and not knowing why until I found a huge hole in the furnace vent tubing.   That may have saved their lives!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Great advice, Amanda.  I plan to have a pre-listing inspection on my house... just makes since.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) over 1 year ago

Good Friday morning, Amanda.

Have a great day and a very special weekend.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 1 year ago

Great advice, Amanda!  Love the part about putting on your buyer eyes when prepping to sell

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) over 1 year ago

Thank for post and good tips.  I would say the single most important one is to always hire a realtor - their value can not be understated.

Posted by Robin Wells, Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time ( RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections) over 1 year ago

Amanda, this is so thorough! One of the things that comes up often before an inspection is making sure the crawl space can be accessed. It often falls on me as the Realtor to try to figure it out when I'm with the home inspector at the scene, which can be time consuming and frustrating! 

I always attend my home inspections and see this periodically. Maybe even a good thing to go over at the first walk-through with your sellers so that you know WHERE IT IS (sometimes deftly hidden) and letting them know that it needs to be readily accessible. 

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 1 year ago

Thank you for the great info!

Posted by Mark Parsons, Beautiful Colorado Home over 1 year ago

Narrowing this down to eight it’s pretty good! Really nice job! You know your stuff!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 1 year ago

I wish every seller could see his or her home through the eyes of a buyer. I had one fella whose home was flat-out dirty, but he just could not see it.

Posted by Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®, Residential sales and retail & office leasing (klm Real Estate) over 1 year ago

Great blog to share.

Posted by Anthony Caesar (YPC) over 1 year ago

Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing your tips for first time home sellers.  Your blog was right on the nose for sellers.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 1 year ago

Useful tips Amanda!  Especially 'allow plenty of time to get the house ready to show'.  Sellers who need to do a lot of decluttering and fixes often thing they can get the job done in a week--and they can't. After  the decluttering and repairs, the house should also be professionally cleaned

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) over 1 year ago

Amanda, this is s great article. I especially love the advice about “putting on buyers eyes”. Sometimes we get so used to looking at and living in our home we miss the obvious things we can fix!

Posted by Elaine VonCannon (Coldwell Banker Traditions) over 1 year ago

Preparing to List your House for Sale ... the most important word is "Preparing". 

Thank you for this well written blog ... sure to help the first time or even very experienced Seller,  Each tip is so valuable!

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) over 1 year ago

Great info packed into 1 nice post. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders)) over 1 year ago

HAHA "no one pays top dollar for stale bread!"    

What another great list of tips  - this time for sellers - reblogging with gratitude Amanda S. Davidson.     You're really nailing these!

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) over 1 year ago

M.C. Dwyer Feel free to use that anytime, for some reason, it seems to really make sense to my clients! I'm honored you feel this post is worthy of a re-blog. That's always such a big compliment. Thank you!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Good morning, Amanda S. Davidson eight very strong first time home seller tips.... first timers need all the direction they can get!!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 1 year ago