As soon as you start thinking of placing your home on the market, everyone you know seems to have some essential "advice" to give. While your friends and family may mean well, quite often the advice they are handing out may be incorrect.
The last thing you want is to take bad advice when trying to sell one of the biggest investments you may have. In order to sift through all the noise, knowing what advice may help or hurt your home's selling is quite important. Here are some home selling myths that should be avoided;
Hiring Just Any Agent Will Be Fine
Hiring the right real estate agent is probably one of the most important things you will do when selling your home. So using an agent just because your best friend's doctor's son is an agent may not always be the wisest decision.
Just because they may know you or someone you know, don't automatically assume they are the right agent for you and your particular situation. The agent might be great, but it's best to perform some research when it comes down to who you ultimately decide to hire.
Price it High Now and Lower it Later
You have likely heard this home selling myth. Many well-meaning people will give you this advice. And while this might sound like a good idea, it probably is not. Yes, you could price your house high and lower it later, but you will probably price yourself out of the ripest time to sell your home, which is when it's a new listing.
Once your home sits unsold for a while (because it is priced too high), buyers may start to assume there might be something wrong with it and may not consider even viewing it. A good real estate agent will prepare a comparable market analysis that will show what homes in the area have recently sold for, giving you the tools to price your house competitively.
Only Sell in the Spring or Summer
Many people are under the false impression that the only time houses sell is in the spring and summer; however, this is usually not the case. Why? Because not everyone is on the same schedule and has the same needs and time-frames.
Although it is true that home sales tend to pick up somewhat in the spring and summer, you still should not delay putting your home on the market because it isn't one of those seasons. In fact, it has been seen that the other seasons can create an atmosphere that's a better and potentially more lucrative time to sell a house.
Leave the Small Repairs for the Home Buyer
You might have been advised to only fix what absolutely has to be fixed to sell your home. This might seem to make sense at first, because why would you want to spend money on something that won't be your problem anymore? This is usually not a good idea. Potential home buyers often begin to assess your home before they even step foot in the door.
If a buyer happens to spot an imperfection such as a cracked porch light, or they walk in the door and see a broken mini blind, they may start actively trying to find other things that may be wrong with the house. Broken or damaged areas or items devalue your home in their mind - which may lower the amount they may be willing to pay (or lose you the sale). With this in mind, it is important to spend some time and money to make a few repairs now instead of attempting to hide or ignore them.
Sell Your Home Without an Agent
This is another piece of advice that may sound like a good idea at first to some. However, in reality, sellers who try to sell their own homes without the help of a real estate agent often net less from the sale of their home than if they had used the services of an agent. A real estate agent has the experience and the knowledge to properly market your home, and can also help with all of the paperwork and legalities that go with selling property.
Don't Follow Your Agent's Advice, It's Your Home
Many sellers feel as if they know what's best when selling their homes - even if they have an agent to assist them. A common example of this is, even though a homeowner's agent may strongly advise against it, some may think it best not to leave the home during showings. Your real estate agent knows how to sell homes, and, as difficult as it may be, home sellers should follow their agents advice. Some things are best left to professionals.
The House Will Sell Itself
Marketing a home is important. Good marketing practices help draw in home buyers and drive up competition for the house. Home buyers will even get into bidding wars for extra desirable homes, but bidding wars don't happen when a house does not attract enough attention.
A home that doesn't attract enough buyers may sit on the market for a long time, while the seller waits for better offers. The longer a house sits on the market, the more undesirable the house may start to seem. Buyers pay attention to how long a house has been on the market. If the house has been up for sale a long time, they may make lower offers, knowing the seller is becoming more impatient.
The best way to sell a home quickly is to attract large crowds to the house when it's first put up for sale. Good marketing practices can help with that.
The Bottom Line
Selling a home isn't easy, and following bad advice can complicate things even further. Always discuss things with your real estate agent before making any big decisions. They have the experience and the know-how to help you sell your home quickly and for as much money as possible. Friends and family will often want to help by offering what advice they've heard, so just make sure to do some fact checking when moving forward.