As a successful Windsor real estate agent for over 20 years, I have seen trends come and go when selling a property. Some work, others not so much. If you are considering selling your home this year, here is a random list of things you should not consider or worry about:
Myth #1: Hire a real estate agent that is a friend or family member:
I have seen many relationships falter when a seller hires a close personal friend or family member to sell their property. If something goes wrong, it can be awkward to say the least. Always interview at least three good, professional and highly reputable real estate agents from different agencies and go with the one that fits your needs. Again, selling your home is one of the biggest financial moves you can make, so go with the agent that does it for a living and not whom you share a Christmas dinner with. It’s just not worth it should problems or issues arise.
Myth #2: “An open house will sell my home!”
Chances are, an open house will NOT sell your home. As I mentioned on my weekly radio show on WDIR.net, if open houses worked, real estate agents would have them every day. In reality, open houses are for real estate agents to seek out clients. Those that tour open homes are more curious about what’s inside a home than in buying it. Of course, I don’t completely disregard open houses because many sellers like to have them. But I am saying that they rarely sell a home.
Myth#3: Bake cookies prior to a showing:
This is something that is written about on many real estate websites. Personally, I find that buyers want to smell a clean house, not a home that smells like freshly baked cookies. Avoid fragrant candles and loads of potpourri as well. Many buyers have allergies or they will assume that you are covering up a bad smell. Again, make it simple.
Myth #4: “I only need a sign in my front yard and an ad in the paper.”
Wrong!!! Ninety percent of buyers are looking online for their next home. The days of print advertising are basically over. Yes, they can be somewhat effective, but really, you are only appealing to less than ten percent of the buyers if you rely on old style marketing techniques. This is why FSBO (For Sale By Owner) rarely work. You need a real estate agent that is social media savvy and works online to expose your property to the 90 percent of buyers who are out to purchase a home.
Myth #5: “Successful negotiations mean I get everything!”
Remember, negotiations are all about compromise. It’s often not an easy thing to get everything you, the seller, want. Keep in mind that the word “compromise,” is not a bad thing, as you just need to decide what battles are worth fighting over. A successful negotiation is when both the buyer and seller compromise to a certain extinct. In today’s housing market, there is a back and forth bidding process where both parties are often required to give and take. What’s important to you? Make your opinions known to your agent but be willing to know what to let go.
Myth #6: Minor repairs can wait:
Actually, minor repairs should be fixed prior to putting your home on the market. Yes, buyers are looking for a home that is move-in ready and the last thing they want to see is a leaky faucet, a floor that is scuffed, dirty carpeting because they are immediately adding up the costs. When this happens, and they want to still make an offer on your home, you may very well get a lowball offer. Many small and minor repairs can be fixed quickly and don’t cost an arm and a leg, yet can cost you more if you don’t fix them simply because a buyer will offer you thousands of dollars less. Remember, minor repairs make your home more marketable.
Myth #7: Spring is the best time to sell a house:
While many believe spring is the best time to sell a house because it gives a buyer time to settle into a house when summer starts, really, I feel the best time to sell a house is any time you are ready. There are buyers looking for homes every month of the year. In fact, in the winter and fall, you usually have only serious buyers looking for homes. Therefore, while spring is a very busy time, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best and only time.
Stay tuned for more myths in selling your real estate. Keep in mind though what never goes out of style: A home that is priced right, decluttered, clean and in good condition.