The process of buying and selling homes can seem mysterious to many novices. Even if well-meaning friends and family members offer advice from all sides, many first-time buyers and sellers may remain uncertain about some key facts.
Let’s see if we can debunk some of the most common home-selling myths that agents hear from clients every day.
Myth: The seller determines the sales price.
Fact: Your home’s sales price should be the result of many factors, among them the size and condition of the home, its location, current market conditions and selling prices of comparable homes in the area. While the seller ultimately agrees on the final list price, it’s not as simple as pricing the home based only on the money the homeowner hopes to make.
Myth: You should overprice your house in order to leave room for negotiation.
Fact: Overpriced homes take longer to sell and typically sell under their market value. When you overprice, you actually limit your real buying pool. Buyers who can afford to pay only what your home is really worth won’t bother looking at it because they’ll assume they can’t afford it.
Potential buyers who can afford to pay your high asking price will soon realize your home doesn’t stack up to the others in the same price range. By alienating both pools of buyers, you run the risk of wasting the valuable marketing window when your home is a new listing.
Myth: There’s no need to make repairs if you plan on giving the buyer a repair credit.
Fact: Many homebuyers want a home that’s move-in ready. If you plan on selling your home quickly and for top dollar, consider making any major repairs before you put the home on the market. Not only will the home be viewed as move-in ready, but your agent can also mention the repairs as a selling point in the marketing materials. If the need for additional fixes arises during inspection, that’s when you could discuss a possible repair credit for the buyers.
Myth: Home improvements pay for themselves when you sell.
Fact: While many repairs offer tremendous value down the road, few home-improvement projects provide a 100-percent return on your investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Get expert opinions on what to fix, and how, before you take out that sledge hammer.