Choosing An Agent, Preparing to Sell

6 Home-Selling Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately

When you get ready to sell your home, you might very well have a false sense of security. After all, you got through the hard part of buying. Now all you have to do is call a Realtor, put your home on the market, and wait for the buyers to line up. Selling will be a breeze, right?

Of course not! Selling a home is as much a science as buying one is. And lots of people who’ve been there before will want to tell you how it’s done. Beware of these (well-meaning) storytellers, and don’t fall for some of the most common misconceptions about selling your home.

Myth No. 1: You can do it solo

We know—you’re cringing at the idea of paying those seller fees. But there’s more to this process than putting a sign in the front yard and an ad on Craigslist.

If you try to sell on your own, you have to do all the hustle—and there’s a lot of hustle to marketing a home. Plus, who’s going to weed out the creeps and the nonserious buyers? A Realtor® does the heavy lifting—to attract the right kind of buyer, sift out the ones you would never want

to do business with, and negotiate the heck out of potential offers to get you the best possible deal.

“It’s about establishing relationships, trust, and facilitating communication to keep the deal alive until it closes,” says Deborah Stewart, a sales associate for Jan Scholtz Realty in Louisville, KY.

Myth No. 2: You know best what your home is really worth

Who understands what your home is worth better than you? After all, you know all the sweat and money you’ve poured into it over the years—plus a few tiny flaws here and there.

But stop right there. Home valuations are always better left to the pros.

Sellers “aren’t always the best judges of value,” Stewart says. “It’s an intensely personal thing to put your home on the market.”

In fact, sales by owners tend to be overpriced because of the emotional factor, she says—and that can make it harder to attract buyers. Your agent will know the neighborhood and has access to comps in order to suss out the best price for your home.

Myth No. 3: It’s fine to sell your home as is

We’re reiterating this one because we simply can’t emphasize it enough. You might think your home is in great shape (or at least adequate enough to sell), but you’re probably overlooking some necessary changes that could boost your profits. What are some of the home improvements that will get you the best ROI? Walls and floors, doors, and kitchens.


Myth No. 4: Upgrades should be drastic

But you don’t have to do a gut reno in order to get your home in selling condition. Maybe you need to freshen up the kitchen instead of getting a whole new one. Maybe you have to do a bit of front-yard landscaping to boost curb appeal. No matter what, sellers should be judicious about improvements, Stewart says.

“Simple things make a big difference. When I walk through, I advise sellers to remove most personal items,” she says. “When people come to look, if there’s a lot of memorabilia, they feel like they’re intruding, not shopping. Get pros to help clean it up.”

When you make too many improvements, you might be wasting money, because your taste and style might not appeal to prospective buyers. They might want to rip out your upgrades, or be turned off altogether.


Myth No. 5: Spring is the best time to sell a home

Spring and summer have long received all the real estate glory as the best (and busiest) time to buy and sell a home. But the truth is that any season can be the best. It just depends on the market.“In Louisville, spring used to be a strong time, but not anymore,” Stewart says. “I think houses sell pretty well all year long.”Kristen Riffle, co-partner of the Schilling Group at Urban Nest Realty in Las Vegas, says the hot season to sell homes is when it’s, well, hot.“Summer or school break is a busy time, and slow time is generally mid-November to early January, due to holidays and family,” she says. But she still sees plenty of buyers, even if there isn’t a lot of inventory.“It’s a great time to get a good price if you list your home during the holidays,” she says.Bottom line: Know what’s going on in your local housing market and don’t wait for the “best” time to list. With the services of a savvy Realtor, you’ll make out OK no matter when you decide to make a move.———

Myth No. 6: You can rely entirely on online home value estimates

Although online home value estimates (like the ones on®!) are a good starting point, they’re no substitute for the expertise of a Realtor.“There are all kinds of variables. You can’t plug in a standard formula and expect it to give you accurate results,” Stewart says. “There’s no substitute for a real person.”Riffle agrees. “Most professionals have no problem giving someone a comparative marketing analysis,” she says. “If a neighborhood is all over the place as far as prices go, not only do I run a CMA, I [also] go through last sales, what the photos look like, and everything listed in the area to compare. I also go to the home to see upgrades to add value.”

After reading this article, Melissa Christopher, Ocean County, NJ Realtor has the following insight:
All sellers of NJ homes should read this insightful article.  For point # 6, as we discussed in another article insight, a computer generated home value worth cannot replace the expertise and mindfulness of a real estate agent in your area.  A computer cannot take into account added amenities such as an updated kitchen and bathroom, garage vs. on street parking, etc.  Point # 5 is true as well.  Just because it is cold, doesn’t mean nobody is able and willing to buy a home.  They don’t need your flowers planted, they may wish to plant their own in Spring! Point # 4 : you do NOT get the same amount as you put into, in return.  Point # 3: A fresh coat of paint, a deep cleaning and some updates can help sell your home.  If the same exact style home is on the market next door to your house in Ocean Acres, Manahawkin NJ for example, your competition may have taken the advice of their Manahawkin Realtor and done some improvements.  You didn’t.  Who do you think is going to end up with the sale?  Not everybody is handy and can do home improvements.  The potential home seller may see dollar signs that they don’t have to invest nor want to.  So listen to your local Realtor!  Point # 2: Selling a home is emotional.  You may see the $15,000 renovation you did as $20,000 in value, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  And the market is ever changing.  Look at the housing bubble vs. now.  Real estate agents are best to price your home.  We will give you a range we feel is acceptable, you set the price and we go from there! Point # 1: Yes, you theoretically can.  You may wish to save the commission of the agent and go solo.  But… are you an expert? Do you understand the transaction? What you are entitled to? The marketing expenses that are paid out of pocket by the listing agent in hopes of your home selling that you are unaware of? The negotiation tactics? Pricing expertise?  If you feel like you’ve had a bad experience with Realtors in the past, try a new one! Not all agencies or agents are created equal, so keep interviewing until you mesh with one and can feel comfortable.  However, don’t just go with the one who says yeah I can get you $300k in a market where 3 other agents said $270k.  Just a food for thought!

Leave a Reply