Even if you’ve never bought or sold a home before, we’re willing to bet that you’ve heard of some of these popular Real Estate myths. They may have come from relatives, friends or even the media but like many facts floating around on the internet, they just aren’t true. So, here are the top 5 Real Estate Myths that most home owners believe, and why they are just plain wrong.
1. Your Renovations Will Always Pay Off
While most renovations will add value to your home in long run, there are some upgrades that could have the opposite effect, and these will have you wishing you never invested the money when it comes time to sell.
When it comes to adding value to your home (see our list here) it’s always best to stick with upgrading the most permanent and fundamental features. A quick way to know what these things are is to think about the things you use everyday – oven, toilet, front door, roof and the like. Springing to replace old and outdated appliances will almost always pay up, as they will make the whole kitchen seem fresh and new. The same goes for structural details like new roofing, a sturdy and long-lasting front door and a fresh coat of paint. All create a great return on investment
Where things start to go wrong is during big and elaborate renovations. Thinking of completely tearing out the kitchen and starting from scratch? Be careful of what you choose. Overly personalized or ornate details may turn potential buyers off since they are hard to replace or rework if they don’t share your taste. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to getting a good return on your renovation investments, you want to think neutral, traditional and easily changeable. The truth is most buyers aren’t going to share your exact taste and will end up making adjustments to suit their needs. It’s best to focus your money on the basics (like a well-built oven/range) and skip the customizations (baby blue cabinets).
2. Open Houses = Sold Houses
It’s a common misconception in real estate that open houses, sell houses. In reality only 2% of homes in the US are sold as the result of an open house. So while they may give prospective buyers a better look at your home, it’s very unlikely to result in a sale.
So you may be wondering, “If that’s the case, why is my realtor telling me having an open house every Sunday will help my home sell faster?”. This is a fair question and there are a few factors that make up the answer. In most cases, Realtors see open houses as a free-for-all to pick up new clients. Many of the people who come to look at your home may just be entering the market and in turn won’t have a realtor, and therefore, each of them is a potential client for your realtor.
While we aren’t saying having an open house is a complete waste of a perfectly good Sunday, consider having only one or two. In the long run, you’re much more likely to sell your home through private viewing set up between your realtor and qualified potential buyers.
3. You Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent
Many people believe they can save money and time by selling their home themselves instead of hiring a “pricey” realtor. The fact is, you actually run the risk of losing money listing your home on your own.
Realtors are experts in the field of selling homes and have the ability to get it done quickly and efficiently, saving you headaches, hassle and time! They are trained to deal with the marketing of your home, negotiations on price and any problems that may arise from home inspections. Instead of dealing with these things on your own, they will help you navigate the simplest and easiest way to get a new buyer in your home as soon as possible.
While you may be put off by the commission your real estate agent is posed to earn, they quite often are able to sell your home at a higher price than you would be able to on your own. Therefore making you and them a healthy profit in the process.
4. Staging Your Home Isn’t Necessary
Believe it or not, even the most beautiful and high-end homes are staged before being put on the market. Spending the extra time and money it takes to stage the perfect room is an investment you should be willing to make, for a multitude of reasons.
One of the main reasons for staging a home is that high-end homes are staged. The first way most buyers are likely to see a potential new home is on the web. The photos accompanying your listing are the main factor considered when potential buyers are deciding to whether or not to view your home. A professional stager has the skills and expertise to set up your living space in an appealing and eye-catching way, while using the latest trends and “home-flow” techniques.
Staging will not only make your home look great, but it will help you appeal to a wider variety of people, which can help sell your home faster. Stagers know what people in the market are looking for and they have the ability to make your home inviting and alluring to a mass amount of buyers.
5. Price Your Home High
Maybe one of the most popular real estate myths is that you should price your home higher than what you’d like in order to leave room for buyers to negotiate. While this sounds like an ideal situation for you to sell your home for the price you want, it may keep you from selling your home at all.
Determining the listing price of your home is a “science” that realtors are trained in. They know exactly the price your home should be listed at in order to sell in it in the appropriate amount of time. Real Estate agents have access to a wealth of information including comparative market analysis which allows them to determine the ideal price for your home based on other homes.
There are studies that show your home will receive the most views and attention in the first week of being on the market. If you decide to list too high right off the bat, it will deter many potential buyers and you’ll be wasting your prime time on the market. You may be thinking that you can “always drop the price later” but once your home has been on the market for a few weeks, viewing will be much lower and dropping the price will have little effect. In the end, it’s best to start at an asking price that’s in the middle of the road.