When it's time to sell your home, you're in an exciting period with a large list of tasks to accomplish. Unfortunately, you may have gotten some bad advice through the grapevine over the years. How do you know which tips to act on and which to ignore in this limited time frame? We're here to help with a list of common home selling misconceptions and corrected advice. Use these guidelines for an easier and more profitable experience when selling your home.
Misconception #1: The assessed value of your home is a good asking price.
Your home's assessed value is determined by your local government for tax collection purposes. Often, assessed values are generalized to the neighborhood instead of based specifically on a particular home's features. Also, assessed values can be out of date because municipalities may determine values yearly or even less frequently. Since home prices depend on your house's features and upgrades, and since prices rise and fall with supply and demand, you do not want to rely on a general and possibly outdated assessed value. To calculate the best list price for your home, consult an independent market appraiser and your real estate professional.
Misconception #2: You should list your home at a significantly higher price than you expect to receive.
While it's easy to see the temptation in trying to sell at a real premium, you're smart to be practical, not greedy, when setting your price. Upon seeing a price that seems out of line with your neighbors and competition, buyers may dismiss your home as overpriced immediately. While you may think you'll just lower the price if you don't get any bites, the time it takes for that problem to become clear works against you because buyers tend to find it suspicious when a home has been for sale longer than its competition. You don't want buyers assuming something is wrong with your home just because you didn't price it properly from the start.
Related reading: Selling Your Home for Top Dollar
Misconception #3: Others will be as impressed with your home as you are.
The longer we live in a home, the more we tend to get used to the way it looks. We overlook little details, and we may even consider certain idiosyncrasies charming. Here's the brutal truth: strangers whom we're trying to entice into buying our homes will NOT overlook the fixes that must be done, nor are they likely to find outdated decor charming. Ask your real estate professional and some honest friends or neighbors to walk the exterior and interior of your home with you and make a list of areas they notice that need attention. Spending some time freshening up your landscaping, touch up painting, updating your fixtures, and properly staging your home will go a long way in enticing serious buyers.
Related reading: Spruce Up Your Home with 4 Simple DIY Projects
Misconception #4: The best time to sell your home is spring.
Back in the day, many buyers were families with children who intended to buy new homes and get settled in before school started in the fall. Times have changed, with buyers of all ages searching at various times of the year. In some cases, the best time to sell is winter, when inventory is low and you have less competition.
Misconception #5: Open houses are not necessary.
Buyers like to step inside a home and imagine living there. Hosting an open house can be just the no-pressure invitation buyers need to take a look. Otherwise, they may only glance at the listing online and never actually get around to touring your home.
Now that we've set a few things straight, we hope we've helped your house sale to proceed quickly and smoothly! For additional help, check out our home selling ebook.