There’s more than one way to sell a home, but that doesn’t mean all ways are created equal. Thanks to the internet, there’s a plethora of information right at a seller’s fingertips on how to sell their home. Unfortunately, however, this means there’s also a heck of a lot of garbage out there, too. Here are 8 common misconceptions regarding houses for sale.
1. You should always price your home high and gradually lower if it doesn’t sell
Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low. The agent does a comparative market analysis, and that is what defines the value of the property, not the seller. Overpricing a home does not result in higher sales prices or extra wiggle room for negotiations. In fact, it has the opposite effect. The property will sit idle on the market, and the seller ends up turning away serious buyers.
2. The longer the marketing time, the better the offers
False. Many sellers believe that houses for sale benefit from a longer marketing duration. If an agent is able to get an offer within a few days of listing, they may be tempted to wait and see what kind offers they’d receive after a month. However, statistically the early days and weeks of a listing are the most crucial a successful sale, which is why setting the correct price is key. Because unfortunately, the reality is that the longer a property sits on the market, the more likely lower offers will come in.
3. A quick offer means the property’s priced too low
Nope, wrong again. Serious buyers do their research, and they’re regularly scouring the web looking for the perfect investment. They’ve already seen the houses for sale in that particular area, so when a new property is listed, they’ll be the first to enquire. With an effective marketing plan, the right agent, and a correctly-priced home, a seller can potential receive an offer within hours.
4. You’re better off selling your home on your own and saving the commission you would have paid a real estate agent.
Sounds good in theory; not so good in practice. For starters, statistics show that most sellers who attempt a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) fail to complete the sale without the services of a professional real estate agent. This is because selling a property involves more than a quick Google search, and a skilled professional knows how to get you the best outcomes. Here are some of the factors a seller must consider:
- Who will be marketing the property to get the maximum exposure?
- Who will be screening the potential home buyers?
- Who will be handling the incoming inquiries throughout the working day?
- Who will be assisting with the buyer viewings throughout the working day?
- Who will be negotiating, filling out of the contract and covering its many contingencies?
- Who will be dealing with home inspection findings?
This is what you’re paying for when you hire an agent. Professional services and experience is priceless!
5. Houses for sale don’t need to be improved before listing
While this is true to an extend, the reality is that most buyers want a home that’s move-in ready. Repairs, whether major or minor, make your property more marketable, allowing you to maximise your return – or minimize loss – on the sale. Making improvements before listing broadens the pool of prospective buyers and gives you more power to negotiate.
6. Your home must be perfect to receive the best offer
There is a flipside to doing home improvements. If you go over the top, you risk spending more than what the increased value will be. There is no coming back from this. A property will never be worth more simply because you over-capitalised. So, just be careful before you commit to those costly home improvement projects, as they may not give you the ROI you had hoped.
7. The house sells itself
The job of the real estate agent is more complex than simply announcing your listing and escorting a few potential buyers through the property. Contrary to popular belief, a house does not sell itself. A good agent helps assess a buyer’s wants vs needs, features vs benefits, and discusses the potential lifestyle, decorating opportunities, or great entertainment areas to assist the interested buyer in arriving at a decision for himself. The house may be fantastic, but it’s the agent who will help build an emotional connection between the buyer and house.
8. When you receive an offer, you should make the buyer wait. This gives you a better negotiating position.
This is a big mistake. When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is, at that moment, prepared to buy your property. However, people and circumstances change all the time, and a delayed response means you risk losing the sale simply because you were playing hard to get. Always respond immediately to an offer.