When it comes to real estate and selling your home, there tends to be advice coming at you from every angle. Do this, do that, avoid these… More often than not, the person has good intentions, but not always the best advice. Below are some of the most common myths about selling real estate you need to be aware of before listing your home!
‘For Sale, By Owner’ is easy & costs less.
Many sellers first approach selling a home with the mindset that they can tackle the adventure themselves. It can be enticing since on the surface ‘for sale by owner’ (FSBO) can appear to be the cheaper and hassle-free alternative to teaming up with and paying for a qualified real estate agent. However, trying to go the FSBO route can backfire bigtime on sellers – if they manage to sell their home in the first place! We’re not trying to say it won’t work for you, as every seller, buyer, home, and market creates a unique situation, but selling a home by yourself while trying to maneuver through the many details of the actual selling and closing process can create its own set of challenges. You could be left trying to deal with appraisals from the bank and inspection checklists on top of all the other stresses that come with selling a home.
We highly recommend connecting with a knowledgeable real estate agent to help you find the right buyer, at the right price, at the right time. Our team of agents here at CMK & Associates work with you to make your home-selling process as seamless as possible, and since we’re spread across 6 offices in the Greater Albany and Southern Adirondack regions, we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the local real estate market.
Zillow & other online home estimate sites are accurate ways to price your home.
Sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin are all popular house-hunting resources – and for good reason. With so much of the homebuying process happening online, these tools play a key role in how potential buyers are finding and researching homes. On the flip side, they can provide misleading and often inadequate estimates of how your home should be priced.
This is where an experienced real estate agent comes into play. They’re experts at understanding local markets and comparing one home to another using both data and hard-earned street credibility to accurately price a home. If you start with an asking price that’s too high, you’ll likely have trouble selling and end up dropping the price just to move it months down the road. On the other hand, price it too low and you’ll be leaving money on the table. With such a big financial investment and life-changing decision on the line, don’t put your trust in a free, online, home value tool. In our experience, an inaccurate asking price is the number one cause of a home not selling!
You should only sell your home in spring or early summer.
Spring typically takes the cake as far as the most popular time to sell a home, but that doesn’t mean the right buyer could be looking for a home like yours outside that timeframe! The house hunt has gone digital – breaking down the barriers of physically scouring neighborhoods seeking out ‘for sale’ signs. Buyers are looking year-round from the comfort of their couches, and if the right home comes along in January they’ll quickly forget it’s outside of the ‘norm’ to buy homes during the winter.
Plus, different types of buyers come out in different seasons. Maybe a family needs to relocate due to a new job. Or maybe someone’s in the market for a waterfront home at the end of the summer season so they can have it ready for use come springtime. There’s no telling what could happen throughout the course of the year that’ll impact the housing market: natural disasters, politics, and rate hikes can all play a role in shifting the “hot season to buy.”
Don’t waste time & money on improvements to your home. Buyers can do that after!
Wrong, wrong, wrong, and double wrong! When a potential buyer comes to look at your home, first impressions are everything. Sure, in their mind they know they could paint over that massive stain on the wall, but it can be tough to imagine anything beyond what they’re actually seeing! It’s common for buyers to think they could “fix it up” themselves, but when push comes to shove, they typically just move on leaving you wondering why you can’t sell your house.
We’re not saying to renovate the entire home or build a massive addition by any means. Think fresh coats of paint, clean and appealing exterior landscaping, new kitchen cabinet handles, and minor bathroom improvements. These things add up! In value – not expenses. These small improvements are usually quick and relatively inexpensive, adding value to your home and shortening the time it sits on the market. Before you dive in, talk with a local real estate expert who knows which improvements will create the most added value specific to your neighborhood.
Professional home photographs aren’t important to selling a home.
So you’ve got 163 Instagram followers and think you’re a pro at using filters… You could totally take your own professional photographs, right? Eh, probably not.
The photos available online of your home mean everything to your listing! Until potential buyers actually walk through your front door for a showing, the online photographs are all you really have to make them fall in love with your home. They’re the first impression and the traffic driver for your listing’s online presence. Smartphone cameras are constantly improving, but for the average user, they still lack the range and technology that’ll make your home come to life on the screen. We can’t stress enough the importance of high quality images to support your home’s online reputation, which is why professional home photography is provided when you choose to sell your home through CMK & Associates.
Limit the number of showings available for your listing.
There’s still this belief that sellers should limit the amount of showings available to increase demand, focus your showings around open house dates, and minimize the stress of coordinating walk-throughs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth with today’s real estate market! Your goal is to sell your home – why would you limit the number of showings when potential buyers can come see it?! Those first few weeks on the market are critical to making your home accessible. People are busy! They’re working, taking kids to practice, traveling, you name it. This is not the time to limit your audience… Make yourself available and stay flexible. It can be stressful coordinating showings, but keeping you and your home approachable can make all the difference in selling your home at the asking price.
The agent you pick doesn’t matter.
Oh your friend’s neighbor’s daughter knows this guy who sold a house once? Sounds legit… Hiring the right agent will drastically improve the efficiency of your home-selling process. Hiring based on prior relationships can come with a lot of baggage, and it’s tough to keep personal relationships from complicating things.
All real estate agents aren’t created equal, so take your time when interviewing to make sure you’re hiring the right one. A great agent will be an expert in the area, actively work to prep, price, and market your home, and have savvy negotiating skills to help you close the best deal. It’s great that they’ve sold homes… but have they sold them at asking price in a respectable amount of time? Our agents here at CMK know the ins & outs of the Upstate New York real estate market, let’s team up and sell your home!
Buyers are looking for houses like yours! Connect with an agent in your area to start a conversation!