The Chicago Real Estate Minute

Seller myths: How to Fail, Part 1

There are numerous ways to derail your sale. And seller myths often play a big part in it. 
7 minute read

Seller myths can run rampant and are detri­men­tal to a seller’s ultimate goals. It happens all the time, and it’s important sellers know much of what they’ve heard is complete hogwash.

Only sell in the spring or summer

Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

What a load. Indeed, there are often more buyers out in the market during those two seasons than the fall and winter. But people often forget that there are sub­stan­tial­ly more sellers that you’re competing with during those months as well. 

If selling in spring or summer is best for you, sell then — but don’t hold off on selling in fall or winter because of this tired and inac­cu­rate myth. Sell when it makes the most sense for you to sell, period. And there’s no guarantee that the market will be better if you wait several months — it may be worse!

Preparing to sell isn’t that important

It’s often true that one of the biggest hassles in selling is just getting a home ready to sell. When looking at the seemingly endless list of things to do to get it in impec­ca­ble shape, you may be tempted to just say “it’s good enough”. And that decision could cost you tens of thousands.

Sure, there may be a few outliers who are looking for a fixer-upper, which is all your home will be con­sid­ered if it’s not in line with most on the market. Almost all buyers are looking for a home that’s move-in ready. If they aren’t, that buyer will be looking for a deep discount.

Assume at your peril that buyers can and will see past any imper­fec­tions in your home. The faded paint, stained carpet, worn hardwood flooring or Fido smell are all going to be caught by any buyers. Ensure that the one impres­sion you make on a buyer is a great one.

With the updated photos and virtual tours used today, any seller should assume that the first showing actually occurs before they even know it’s happened. If you hear crickets chirping, it’s because the home doesn’t hold enough appeal to be looked at in person, only online. Regardless of the market, staging a home in the best possible showing condition will help it sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time.

Make lots of improvements before selling

Tools for do it yourself projects
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

This can be true but it isn’t always the case. If there are minor improve­ments that you can make (only a few of which can offer a potential positive short-term ROI), I suggest doing them. Most of the time, do not spend large sums of money on improve­ments (like a brand new kitchen) that probably won’t give you the return you’re hoping for.

Looking at your home subjectively

Yes, there are specific things about your home that are different, which are some of the reasons why you decided to buy it in the first place. And if those hold value to the general homebuyer public, they should help the value of your home when selling it. Of all the seller myths, this may be the easiest to fall prey to.

Often times, sellers have been told that they “have a gold mine, a real standout of a home” by their friends and family. Perhaps neighbors who know they want to sell are saying the same thing, hoping that the home sells for more because it pos­i­tive­ly affects them. Unfortunately those neighbors, friends and family don’t suffer the con­se­quences of sitting on the market for months on end due to it being priced too high.

When it comes to netting the most money (which, be honest, is what selling the home is all about), it is vital to look at your home objec­tive­ly as a buyer would. Avoid looking at it through the lens of the seller who’s been living there. A great agent can help you with this.

Selling For Sale By Owner is worth it

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

Those con­tem­plat­ing this usually have a few thoughts driving this idea — that they can save money, and that it’s easy to sell a home. Both are dangerous thoughts to stick with, and the results are usually very costly. Homes sold by owner are only at 7% in the most recent report — the lowest since records began — and homes sold this way sell for 24.5% less than homes sold with the help of an agent.

Some addi­tion­al things to consider:

  • Marketing. How will you market the home? Think it all takes care of iteself? Nope.
  • Screening buyers. Will you be doing this? How?
  • Daily activ­i­ties. There are numerous activ­i­ties involved with selling a home. Will you be doing them, in addition to your normal everyday life?
  • Interpreting the market. This is arguably the biggest reason to use an agent. What would you rely on to determine what’s going on?
  • Coördinating showings. If you’re FSBO, it’s all you baby!
  • Negotiating without emotion. Any home seller has an emotional attach­ment to their home. It’s inher­ent­ly natural. Selling on your own could be like being your own attorney in court …
  • Experience. Do you do this full time, every day? 
  • The inspec­tion. How should you schedule? Should you as a seller be there? 
  • The appraisal. How should a seller handle this? It can get sticky.
  • The buyer’s mortgage. How would you make sure all is on track?
  • Assuming liability. Since you’re doing this on your own, that’s you!
  • You won’t save any money. Buyers will expect to save the same money you’re trying to save since they know you’re selling FSBO.

Think about it this way — if you think it’s expensive to hire a pro­fes­sion­al to sell your home, just wait until you hire an amateur! And all that hassle, just to likely sell it for less …

… View the next post about seller myths here

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