Working with many sellers over the years, I can confidently say that everyone approaches the sale of their home with different experiences and expectations. Some have sold homes before and are prepared for what lies ahead. For others, it’s a new experience. Here are a few of the most common home selling myths you should know before putting a sign in your yard.

Home Selling Myth: Sellers can decide the price of their home

We’d all love to set our own price when selling our “things”. The reality is, if you want to actually sell something, you have to sell it at the price buyers are willing to pay, MARKET VALUE. No one is going to pay for the sentimental value of something you own. Whether it’s your old patio set or your house, the price should be set at fair market value. A good Realtor will put the time and effort into determining the fair market value of your home/property. Would you like to receive a complimentary home market valuation? Click here.

Market value is determined by factoring location, age, updates, condition, size, market status, etc. A Realtor who knows the market and has a record for pricing homes well is what you want.  A Realtor who just pulls a number out of the air or who quickly agrees with the price you set may not be the best choice. Also, don’t pay much heed to the “Zestimate” on your home, it is a computer generated assessment that easily misses nuanced information about your home. You want a live, local Realtor who can give you a true estimate of the worth of your home instead of a computer-generated algorithm. 

Home Selling Myth: Go With the Realtor Who Takes the Lowest Commission

The idea that all Realtors are the same is one of the biggest home selling myths. I love a good deal too and often look for the lowest price when making a purchase. But everyone knows the adage “You get what you pay for”, and it’s often the case with Realtors who reduce their commission. Many discount Realtors work transactionally. This means they do a high volume of transactions, homeowners are just a number, and great personal service is sacrificed. Often times, the discount commission results in reduced marketing of your home. Rather than looking at the commission, look at the RESULTS the Realtor gets. When interviewing agents, ask them the following questions. Does he or she get the home sold quickly? At the asking sale price or close to it? Do you sell homes for more money and less days on the market than the competition? What kind of reviews can you find? The thing is, those that work for the standard 6% commission usually earn it. Good Realtors are essentially project managers, marketers, pricing strategists, negotiators, contract specialists, and even counselors.

Home Selling Myth: An Offer Right Away Means the Home Was Priced Too Low

In the DC Metro area market, serious home shoppers don’t deliberate when they find the right home. An offer right away could simply mean that you put your house up for sale at the right time and at the right price. The best time to sell a home for a top dollar is during the first two weeks on the market. This is the time you get the most showings and the greatest chance for multiple offers. Pricing your home above market value will choke the funnel of the number of buyers that come to see your home. Would you overpay for a home when there were others that were a better value? Neither will buyers for your home. Pricing too high will likely result in your home sitting on the market. Sellers of houses that sit often end up having to make price cuts and receive lowball offers because it looks like a desperate situation. A quick sale usually means the Realtor did the job well, that he or she was well prepared, hopefully negotiated appropriately, and ultimately saved you money in carrying costs.

Home Selling Myth: A Better Offer Will Come if I Wait

Holding onto this idea can get you into trouble. If it’s a lowball offer the very first week on the market, by all means, pass it by. But if it’s reasonably close to asking price it is likely that the longer you wait the lower the offers you will get in the future. There is a pretty tried and true saying in real estate: The first offer is often the best. I’ve had multiple clients in this situation, some who’ve listened to my advice to work with the offer and negotiate it to a contract that is favorable to them, and some who have not and turned down the offer. In nearly every situation the ultimate selling price on those homes was the same or less than the original offer. Total up the stress of a longer time on the market PLUS additional carrying costs and it’s easy to see that the original offer was probably a good choice. Hindsight is 20/20 and choosing an offer can be stressful, but rely on the wisdom of your Realtor.

Home Selling Myth: My House is in Good Enough Condition to Sell

This may very well be true, but you need to allow your Realtor to walk through with a critical eye. Remember, your Realtor has done this before and knows what buyers are likely to be turned off by. Plus, they know what the competition did and didn’t do and how that affected the sale of the home. Most sellers have to do a few things to get their home “sell ready”(declutter, fresh paint, deep clean). Others have a lot of updates to do unless they want to sell as is (for a lower price and usually a long time on the market). Focus on the kitchen, master bath, flooring, lighting, and curb appeal. Your Realtor should help you determine what needs to be done, help you find reputable contractors, and oversee the work to make sure it’s completed well and on time. 

Why McIlvaine Home Team is the Right Choice

With McIlvaine Home Team you get the assurance of knowing I work with my sellers from start to finish. I have contractors and stagers that I trust who work quickly, efficiently and for fair prices. Negotiating is something I truly enjoy and excel at, and I always go to bat for my clients. I don’t rest until all paperwork is signed, i’s dotted and t’s crossed, and money transferred. There are times when issues linger even after the sale is complete. My past clients will tell you that I am fully involved in those situations until all is resolved. I am a full-service realtor and my reputation and reviews reflect this. Thinking about selling, email, call/text, or click HERE for a no obligation Seller Consultation!



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