MYTHBUSTERS: Home Selling Edition

Real estate is one of those subjects that people always have an opinion on.  Unfortunately, with a variety of opinions comes a lot of unreliable information and untruths.  The Ask Cathy Marketing Group put together a list of the “biggest myths of real estate” and wanted to set the record straight.   Our wise agents are so chock full of important information, today's focus is on common myths that face home sellers.

Check back soon if you are a homebuyer for our Mythbusters: Home Buying Edition.  If you have any other home-selling myths you would like to dispel, be sure to reach out to us for help!  

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The Myth:  FSBO will save you money 

The Truth: 

  • “How hard can selling a home be?”  
  • “My home will literally sell itself, why should I use an agent?” 
  • “I can save so much money by not paying a listing fee”. 

These are the common things we hear from people who are contemplating selling their homes themselves.  The sad thing is that they don't realize that by NOT using an experienced agent, they are actually leaving a lot of money on the table, like A LOT.  On average, FSBO homes sold for  5.5–26% less than comparable homes listed on the MLS. Since the Ask Cathy Group outperforms, and typically nets our clients more than 3.5% over other agents in the Kansas City area, it is safe to say that you would be losing significant money by selling your home yourself.   The loss of money doesn't just extend to the selling price.  Most sellers had to pay a buyer's agent commission too for bringing a buyer to the table, and more money could be lost in buyer concessions once inspections have been completed.  Homebuyers who shop FSBO are usually thinking they can purchase your home for less because you aren't using an agent.  They are already entering your home thinking of getting a bargain.  In comparison to a potential buyer coming into a home, where there are multiple back-to-back showings, a home buyer will be less likely to reduce the asking price when they know there is competition for a coveted property.   

Negotiation is always a huge part of buying and selling a home.  You want to make sure you have an expert negotiator on your side when it comes to getting the most out of your real estate transaction.  If your potential buyer is using an experienced and savvy agent to negotiate on their behalf, you may find you are outmatched quickly, and leave thousands of dollars on the table. Our team is well versed in strategic negotiating tactics and brings years of experience when going to bat for you.

An experienced listing agent has the power to vet your potential buyers and help you select just the right offer on your home.  Your agent can size up a potential buyer who might look good from the outside, but whose offer is riddled with potential holes and red flags. Their expertise is crucial when selecting an offer.  The Ask Cathy agents are trained to find the best offer and one that has the most likelihood of closing on time with minimum issues. Real estate agents are able to access a larger pool of buyers for your home than you can do yourself as well. They have access to a number of channels in which to advertise homes, and use professional services to do so, ones that an online FSBO cannot match. 

In addition, FSBO are more likely to stumble into legal trouble, as real estate transactions are full of potential liabilities for unwary sellers. According to the National Association of Realtors, there are at least 184 distinct steps performed in order to close on a single real estate transaction.   Even people with experience selling FSBO don't generally keep up with current procedures or real estate laws. Having an experienced agent ensures that all the appropriate documents and procedures are done correctly and legally. Needless to say, having an experienced agent with many transactions in their career is key. 

The Myth: Buyers will appreciate your renovations as much as you do

The Truth: 

You know the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?”  Well, it is especially true when it comes to purchasing a home.  What might seem like the most amazing decorating style or wall color to you, may turn a high-paying buyer completely OFF, and out the door before you can say “walk-in closet”.  In fact, they may not even make it through the front door if something doesn't appeal to them.    Not everyone has the insight of not judging a book by its cover, or in this case – judging a home by its listing pictures. If you have decorated your home in a particular style or just sunk a bunch of money into taste-specific upgrades, it could drastically limit your potential buyers.  The last thing you want to hear is that “if only” this wasn't that style.  The last thing a buyer wants to do when purchasing a home is to rip out unwanted fixtures or spend a lot of time painting walls.   Style is a personal choice and before you leap ahead and spend money you could be investing in your next home,  get expert advice.  Our experienced team at Ask Cathy has saved our clients literally thousands of dollars by guiding them on market trends and affordable fixes that can make the difference between a happy future homeowner or them taking their buying power elsewhere. Our professional photos entice potential buyers to be one of the first ones in the door to see your home.   In some cases, we suggest very simple, absolutely free changes can be made that will entice and appeal to a broader range of buyers.  That seems like a great value doesn't it?    

The Myth: It is better to overprice my home and negotiate then to start with what it is actually worth  

The Truth: 

Overpricing a home, in any market, can be the kiss of death.  Most people set a cap on the amount they are going to spend on their future home.  This cap is made under the consideration of their personal budget, or the amount they qualify for from their mortgage company, or the home price they can purchase it at also takes into consideration any renovations that they may want to make in their future home.  By overpricing your home from the get go, you run the risk of eliminating a whole group of homebuyers that may have set their “target price” for less.  Online searches are set to particular increments, and if your home is above its “target range” then buyers will miss out on seeing your home completely. The higher your home price, the lower the number of buyers that are considering looking at your home.  If the characteristics of your home do not match other homes in your same elevated price range, a buyer is less likely to consider even looking at your home.    

If your home is overpriced, it only takes a few showings to know it.  Then if you decide to drop the price, or your home stays on the market too long, potential buyers wonder “What is wrong with that house?”   Nothing discourages buyers more than a stale listing. Waiting also leads to frustration and anxiousness on the seller’s part, which can cause them to make rash decisions or select any offer that walks in the door.  By pricing your home properly, your home will get the attention it deserves, and could also set the pace for a multiple offer situation should your home be in high demand. 

The Myth: “If The First Offer Was Good, That Means My Home is Worth Much More”

The Truth:

We get it.  You want the most money possible for your home. If you receive a high offer right off the bat, you may have the sinking sensation that you priced your home too low to begin with.  This is not usually the case.  A seasoned and experienced listing agent, like those on the Ask Cathy Team, price your home at the right price.  

Buyers, especially ones that have been searching for “just the right home”, may fall in love with your home and don't want to run the risk of losing your home to another bidder.  They may come in with a very strong offer, right from the get-go to entice you to accept their offer quickly.  

The Myth: Spring and Summer Are The Best Times to List

The Truth:  

To be honest, anytime is the best time to list.   People move year round, job relocation, family emergencies, and so many other reasons cause people to move.  In fact, during the most “unpopular” times to move – winter, and the holidays are some of the very best times to list.   Buyers purchase all year round and due to the fact that home inventory is lower at that time than in other months,  your home may become a highly coveted property.  During peak listing times, there are more homes to choose from – meaning buyers can be more selective when it comes to settling on a home to purchase.  A number of sellers put off listing their home thinking that spring will bring a plethora of buyers.  What they don't realize is that it also brings competition for those buyers with other sellers listing their home at the same time.  The bottom line is when the right time for you to move is the right time to list, don't let a season or holiday put off such an important decision.  

We CAN Handle the Truth, and So Can You! 

We understand. Selling your home is a big deal. Even if you have sold a home before, there are still a number of questions you may have. The idea of selling your home may make you feel uneasy, bring unwanted feelings, or stress to you.  The Ask Cathy Marketing Group knows how you feel.  We've all been there, not just with our own homes, but with hundreds of clients whom we have walked through it with.   You may have special circumstances surrounding your move.  Let us help you.  With all of our combined experience, there is literally nothing we haven't seen or experienced.  We will help you navigate selling your home with all that our knowledge and professionalism have to offer.   Even if you are just thinking about potentially selling your home, we want to help.  Connect with us today for an absolutely free and no-obligation consultation to get all of your home-selling questions answered.  

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