Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

Four home seller myths, exposed

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Key insights

  • Don’t renovate everything! Not all upgrades have a high return at resale, so it’s important to make strategic updates when selling
  • The idea of “listing high” to get a pie-in-the-sky offer rarely works, and it could even cause your home to sell for less than its anticipated value
  • While discounted pricing works well at big box stores, online home searches are designed to reward homes listed at an even price point

Wondering how to sell your home in less time and for more money? Don’t believe everything you see on HGTV. Here are four common seller myths that we’ve debunked for you.

Don’t renovate everything

In today’s market, sellers have the upper hand and buyers are competing over a shortage of inventory. While it’s advantageous for your home to stand out, you can likely get a great offer by making smart, minimal repairs.

Work with your REALTOR® to determine what changes they’d recommend and see if they agree that you could focus on low-cost upgrades like new light fixtures, fresh paint, replaced hardware, and some fresh spring landscaping. Be sure to read up on these five home improvements that buyers love and search for online.

Don’t “list high”

Some sellers, especially those who aren’t in a hurry to move, fight to list their home at a price higher than the fair market value. Their idea is that by listing high, they may snag a high-bidding buyer — and if they don’t, they can simply lower the price later on.

This is a dangerous plan for a few reasons.

  • Buyers and their agents are unlikely to overbid on a home that’s being sold for much more than the one down the block.
  • Homes get the most attention in their first two weeks on the market. When a buyer sees that a home has been on the market for a long time, they will either think that there is something wrong with the home or that it is listed for too high a price.

Don’t sell on your own

The most common reason to sell a home “For Sale by Owner,” or FSBO, is to avoid paying a commission for a real estate agent. While we understand that it can be tough to part with any money from your hard-earned home sale, the reality is that sellers who use a Realtor end up earning more on their home sale, even when the commission is considered.

In 2016, the median selling price of a FSBO home in the U.S. was $185,000, while the median selling price of an agent-assisted home was $245,000.

This large gap may be why the National Association of REALTORS® reports that FSBO sellers have dwindled to their lowest number in more than 35 years. Last year, just 8 percent of home sales were FSBOs.

In short, the act of listing a home for a fair price is best handled by a true market expert who has deep insights on your community, recent sales, housing trends and more.

Don’t sell using a “retail price” model

When we looked at ten years’ worth of local sales stats, we found that homes priced at a round number price point, like $150,000 or $400,000, sold 18 percent faster than homes listed at $149,000 or $399,000.

Why? It’s really a matter of buyer exposure to online listings. Today’s homebuyers mostly shop online, and they enter in search parameters based on price. If you list your home at $299,000 instead of $300,000, buyers who are searching between $300,000-$350,000 won’t end up seeing your property.

That small pricing change can make a massive difference when it comes to online exposure. Homes with round number pricing showed up in search results 58 percent more than those that were listed at a “discount” price.

Need a home selling expert?

The spring market is hotter-than-hot and sellers hold a keen advantage, especially at price points under $250,000. If you’re hoping to list your home this spring, reach out today to get matched with a local sales expert who works near your home.

Looking for more information about selling your home? Download "The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home" to find out everything you've ever wanted to know about the selling process, but didn't know to ask.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

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Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings