When it comes to buying or selling a home, there can be a lot of misconceptions about the real estate process. Friends and family may have advice that’s not accurate or no longer valid – whether solicited or not – if you are buying or selling a home, you’ll most likely hear some of the myths below:
- MYTH: The longer a home has been on the market, the more motivated and negotiable the seller is. REALITY: Never assume that the time on the market is directly related to how much the seller is willing to haggle. The length of time the home is for sale may not have anything to do with the condition or the price of the home. However, the longer a home sits on the market, the more potential buyers will wonder why it hasn’t sold. Is something wrong with it, is it overpriced, etc. Listing a home at a fair market value vs. overpricing it to allow for negotiations typically results in a faster sale and less time spent sitting with a for sale sign in the front yard.
- MYTH: For Sale by Owner will save everyone money. As the seller, you won’t have to pay a realtor a commission, so you can list your house a little cheaper and save everyone money. That’s a common myth. REALITY: Now there are some cases where people have sold their homes and gotten the price, they wanted without using a realtor, but it’s not as common as you might think. Selling your home for the best possible price requires extensive, targeted marketing, great photos/videos, online marketing, strong negotiation skills and a knack for sales. If that sounds like something you can handle then it might make sense, but for most people, hiring a realtor makes more sense and actually results in a higher selling price.
- MYTH: You should wait until peak buying/selling season to buy or list your home. REALITY: It’s not a secret that the Spring and Summer are the peak buying/selling times, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your home or find the home of your dreams during the Fall or Winter. In fact, there is typically less competition during the “slower” months – which may result in a quicker sale. If you’re house hunting, it’s a great time to see how well the home heating system works and the house holds the heat. Sellers will also realize you are serious in your search and be more willing to make a sale quickly.
- MYTH: Online evaluations are reliable. REALITY: We’ve all done it, we’ve gone to online site’s like Zillow or Realtor and looked up our estimated home value or the value listed for a property we were interested in buying. If it was close to the selling price, we were happy and felt like we were getting a good deal, if not, we wondered what was wrong? Why was the online value $50,000 less, we don’t want to over pay! Online evaluations use algorithms, they aren’t REAL numbers based on competition, research, geography, or may not even have accurate information about the home. It might be a good starting point, but local realtors and bank appraisers will know best.
- MYTH: Staging is just for TV. REALITY: Having a clean home is a start but having a home that appeals to potential buyers could be game changing. Removing clutter, rearranging furniture, and even taking away some of the personal effects like photos and trinkets can allow a potential buyer to feel more at home in the space and help them imagine living there. When a buyer feels like they can move right in, picture where all their furniture will go, and envision a future in the home, it can lead to a faster and higher sale.
When it comes to real estate, a realtor is your best and most knowledgeable asset whether you are looking to buy or sell a home. Knowing fact from fiction and being educated on the real estate process will help you not only navigate the process quicker and easier, but also help you negotiate the best price. If you are looking to sell you home faster, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to get that SOLD sign listed – you can read them here. If you are in the market for a new home, we’d love to help you work through the mortgage process – you can view our different mortgage options on our website or stop in to any of our branches.
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
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