Real estate is a topic that many people believe they are an expert on. With the majority of people having bought or sold a home at some point in their life, they usually have some experience to draw from. However, the reality is that no two real estate transactions are ever exactly the same. Something that may have happened in a different market or under a different circumstance may have no relevance to you and your current buying/selling situation. If you are not careful it can be easy to be influenced by what people close to you are saying about the market and other factors that go into purchasing/selling a home. And sometimes, before you know it, you will change when you list, how your property is presented and even the price you list it for. Your real estate decisions are too important for you to be following unfounded advice from friends and family. In this short post we highlight what we believe are four common real estate myths you need to ignore in order to find the most success when trying to buy or sell a home.
“You should wait for Spring to list your home.” There is no question that Spring is a fantastic time to list a property. With the weather changing and buyers becoming more active, spring usually signals a boom in real estate transactions. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait to list your home until after winter. It is not hyperbole to say that the market can change on a dime at any time. Just one global event, natural disaster or change in policy can have a dramatic impact on home ownership demand and property values. Sure, listing in the Spring in theory is ideal but you should list whenever you feel you are ready. There is too much uncertainty in waiting and many times that can result in not getting the peak value of your home in the transaction.
“Always list high and adjust if you have to.” Today’s market is not the same real estate market we were in last decade. Back in 2006, you could list your home 5-10% above fair market value and usually get multiple offers. There was always enough demand so you could afford to shoot for the moon and list high and then drop down if you weren’t getting any bites. The worst thing that would happen is you would lose a few weeks and be forced to lower your already elevated price. In today’s market, however, there are too many other options when it comes to housing to make this approach effective. By listing too high buyers can immediately be turned off and look elsewhere for a fairer price instead of seeing if you drop yours. Instead of lowering the price the demand will be gone and your property will be viewed as damaged goods, which is a death sentence in this industry. With a price reduction buyers will sense desperation and offers that come in will be well below asking price.
“Always show your house vacant.” Every real estate market is different, so that means every transaction will be different too. Even within the same market two properties may hold different appeal. A neighbor may have had success removing all the furniture prior to listing and selling the property as vacant; but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should do the same. Some properties simply show better staged. In the right market spending money on staging can get your home sold quickly and add 5-10% to your bottom line. In other markets staging will be throwing away money and does more harm than good. Like most other things in real estate you need to look at things on a case by case basis.
“I don’t need an agent to sell my house.”Without question this is one of the biggest mistakes sellers make throughout this process. In today’s world, with the increase in social media exposure it can be easy to think that finding a buyer for your home is simple. However, in reality, finding an interested buyer and getting your home sold are two completely different things. There are a lot more tasks that go into selling a home than most people recognize. For starters, you will need to focus on presentation, the pictures and descriptions you use to promote your property are essential. Additionally, if you are going to try and sell your home yourself, you need to be available to show your property at all times. Buyers do not want to have to work around your schedule to be able to see the property. lastly, if they are interested, you need to know how to negotiate price and understand items on the contract as well as a professional. Just one contract error or omission can leave you in a long, drawn out, costly lawsuit or worse, you could lose your home and the profits you would have gained through selling it. There are too many things that can go wrong, and your transaction is too important not to leave in the hands of a professional.
Never blindly trust anything you hear, read or see. Remember that every real estate transaction is individual and should be viewed on a case by case basis. We believe if you understand these four myths and how to work around them, you should have a seamless, easy real estate transaction.