Selling a home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Whether you’ve been living in the home for many years, or you’re attempting to flip the house for a profit, there’s a lot on the line. Obviously, you want the process to be as quick and painless as possible, but you also want to maximize your profitability; and achieving those two goals requires foreknowledge of the home selling process.
Unfortunately, few home sellers—especially first-time sellers—fully understand what they’re getting into. The fact that several myths and misconceptions have worked their way into the collective public “knowledge” of home selling makes things even more complicated.
The Biggest Misconceptions
So what are the biggest misconceptions that first-time home sellers take into the process, and why are they harmful?
- Real estate agent commissions aren’t worth it. Commissions vary from place to place, and from agency to agency, but generally amount to between 5 and 6 percent of the purchase price. If you’re selling a $200,000 home, that amounts to $10,000 to $12,000—which is substantial. Understandably, homeowners are reluctant to put that kind of money down if they think they can sell the home on their own. However, real estate agents are almost always worth the money. Not only will they be able to make your home visible and available to more potential buyers, they’ll also help you secure a better price for the sale—oftentimes far in excess of what you’ll pay in commission.
- Pricing high is the best way to improve your offers. The general rule in negotiations is to ask for more than what you actually want; that way, you’ll have wiggle room during the negotiation. In some cases, this tactic can work for selling a home, but it isn’t always the best way to get higher offers. If you price your home too far above market price, or above the actual value of the home, people will filter out your home from their searches, and won’t even bother making an offer. High offers are a nice consideration, but they’re not worth striving for if it means getting zero offers while your home is up for sale.
- Home sellers should be present during inspections and showings. Some people believe that the presence of the home seller adds a kind of personal touch to the home selling process. They may be able to tell some of the history of the property, or present a charm that makes the home more appealing. However, most home buyers feel pressured or uncomfortable when the home seller is around. Buying a home is a logical decision, and not one that should be influenced by the presence of a previous owner.
- Open houses always work. Open houses have long been a mainstay in the real estate industry, so it’s understandable why so many people believe them to be necessary to sell a home. In some cases, an open house can do wonders, but they aren’t strictly necessary, and they don’t always work. Today’s home buying market largely moves online, where virtual tours and high-definition images give just as good of a tour as an open house would.
- You’ll need to fix anything wrong with your home before listing. Chances are, when you move to sell your house, you’ll think of everything wrong that you need to fix, whether that’s a leak in the basement, a hole in the siding, or just an old coat of paint. There’s certainly an advantage to correcting these little things and boosting your curb appeal, but you don’t need to go crazy fixing every imperfection. There’s no such thing as a perfect home, and homebuyers are prepared for that reality.
- Selling is a waiting game. If you want to get a good price for your home on the market, you might be tempted to let your home stay listed for a prolonged period of time, turning the sales process into a waiting game. However, this can actually hurt your chances of getting a decent offer; the longer you wait, the more desperate you’ll appear, and eventually you’ll attract low-ballers trying to snatch your home up for less than it’s worth.
- Rejecting the first offer is a must. Some sources recommend rejecting the first offer on your home, so you can see what other offers come along. But this isn’t always wise; if you get a good offer, it doesn’t matter how early or late in the game it comes. You don’t know what other offers may or may not come in. All you have is the offer in front of you, and that should be the focal point of your decision.
- Spring is the best time to sell a home. Though there is some evidence to suggest that there’s a seasonal pattern to the rise and fall of home prices, selling in Spring doesn’t guarantee that you’ll fetch a higher price. There are too many other variables to consider, and besides, if every other homeowner in the area has the same idea, the market will be flooded and prices will end up lower.
Why Every Home Is Unique
We’ve alluded to the fact that every home sale is a little bit different, but why is this the case?
- Markets fluctuate. The overall housing market, as well as local individual markets, will always fluctuate in price and demand. The same rules can’t apply consistently 100 percent of the time.
- Locals have different preferences. Different locations have different preferences, prices, and paces. What works in one area may not apply in another.
- Luck is a factor. One person’s lemon is another person’s dream home. You never know when the perfect homebuyer will stumble across your house, so luck is always a considerable factor in the home selling process.
If you’re ready to sell your home, or if you need help with a real estate investment decision, contact Green Residential today. We have experts with combined decades of experience, and can help you get the greatest profit from the sale of your home.