Selling a House: The 8 Myths That Can Wreck Your Sale

Selling a House: The 8 Myths That Can Wreck Your Sale

Lots of people make these mistakes. When selling your house, avoid these traps and maximize your profit.

Everybody thinks they’ve got the inside scoop on selling a house. Tips, tricks, resources, an uncle in the biz, and guides galore telling you to do this or not do that. Your friends have their ideas, and it seems like everyone on Facebook is an aspiring real estate agent.

Of course, everything you read or hear about selling a house isn’t true. In fact, a lot of it is nonsense. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to tell you 8 myths about selling a house that even the most seasoned seller may falsely believe.

Hopefully, when it comes time to sell your house, you won’t be the sucker that falls for these myths.

Myth #1:

Your house must be in pristine condition for it to sell.

Buying a home and then moving in is a big ordeal. So even though you may think that your house will only appeal to buyers if there are no blemishes, most buyers don’t think that way at all. Considering all the other issues with buying a home, a few minor repairs seem like nothing at all.

Who cares if the paint’s a little faded or dirty? The buyer is just itching to make that house their own home by giving it a whole new makeover anyway. They’re even willing to pay thousands of dollars so that it looks the way they want. 

Depending on where you live, even houses with some wear may still sell quickly. Properly pricing your house for the market is more important than fixing a few dings in the wall! So don’t waste your money fixing every little thing. You probably won’t earn that money back at closing.

Myth #2:

You should skip staging when selling your house because most people don’t do it anyway.

Wow. How did that one get out there?

More than half of all sellers stage their houses. And they’re glad they did. Because 95% of staged houses sell on average in 11 days or less and for 17% above asking price compared to those not staged.

Selling a house faster means less stress on you, the seller, and it means higher prices. Because the longer a house is on the market, the greater the pressure on you to drop the price.

Hiring a professional to stage your house and make it look more attractive will pay for itself when buyers see the full potential of the house and how much they can do with all the space it offers.

Myth #3:

You should use your own social media account for marketing your house.

Facebook marketing is great for selling a house—when it’s done by qualified professionals. But leave it to the pros.

Don’t post your house on your personal social media accounts. Your Facebook friends probably aren’t the ones in the market for buying your home. And posting your own pictures may backfire since some people may be annoyed at being exposed to the same photos repeatedly.

Plus, Facebook marketing can run both ways. Have you ever posted anything negative about your house, say, a leaking pipe or an AC failure? If they go on Facebook, a potential buyer might see that too.

Myth #4:

You should get rid of your pets.

Who would want to buy a house from someone who’d do something like that? Every house has a story, and if that story includes loving pets, that’s a good thing.

According to the U.S. Census, 48.4% of American households have pets. And as income and the size of the house increases, the percentage of pet ownership increases as well.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 61% of American households either own a pet or plan to add one. And according to NAR, 31% of dog and cat owners “often,” or “very often,” refuse to submit an offer on a home unless it’s an ideal match for their pets.

So don’t be afraid to match your house to the pet-owning niche of the market. People love dogs and cats; being upfront could help generate interest quickly.

But just a few tips: Make sure there are no problems with fleas or odors. And hide the litter box. If the house displays no problems associated with pet ownership, even non-pet owners will not hesitate to give you an offer if they like the house otherwise.

Myth #5:

You should only sell a house in spring or summer.

Sure, people are out looking for houses more often in the spring and summer. But real buyers buy in the winter. Often, they’re house-hunting because they have to be. In fact, more job relocations happen in January than in any other month.

Actually, the myth that you should list your house in the spring makes listing in the winter an even better idea. The supply of listings is less in the winter, and less supply means more demand…and higher prices.

Plus, many houses show better in the winter. Cozy homes with lots of wood and big fireplaces especially. But keep the sidewalks and driveways shoveled. You don’t want any accidents to happen.

Myth #6:

It’s not worth hiring a real estate agent when selling your house

It can be tempting to list your house on sites like Zillow and Craigslist since it seems like you’re saving on commissions, but this often ends up costing you money in the long run. The truth is, more often than not, agents pay for themselves and then some. In fact, one study found that houses that were for sale by owner fetched about 30% less for their owners than when agents were involved in selling a house.

Plus, you’re probably going to pay at least a partial commission to the buyer’s agent anyway.

Furthermore, a good agent will help price your house correctly based on market trends and how quickly houses are selling in that area. They’ll also find ways to save thousands on closing costs with their resources and experienced negotiating skills, which is much more than any website could do without an expert by your side.

And perhaps most of all, an experienced agent knows all the things about real estate transactions that you don’t even have a clue about. And the things you don’t know could spell disaster. You’ll never appreciate a smooth real estate transaction until you try to handle one yourself and you fall into one of those invisible traps that mean expensive trouble.

Myth #7:

You should make changes before selling a house because buyers want upgrades.

While some people may be looking for a place that’s move-in ready or has more features than what their current home offers, others are fine with buying something that needs work if the price is right.

The number-one reason houses aren’t moving in today’s market isn’t because of renovations but rather how long it takes to sell after putting it up on the market. Many sellers overprice the houses they’re selling and need to adjust down so there are no surprises later when potential buyers come back saying competing properties are listed at lower prices. This constant price re-evaluation is an unnecessary and deterring delay.

Buyers will always ask about upgrades, but that doesn’t mean you need to make them. After all, if you make an upgrade just to please a prospective buyer, isn’t that just the same as lowering the price of your house by the dollar cost of that upgrade? When selling a house, price the house where the market dictates. Let the buyers make their own upgrades.

Myth #8:

You should stress the size of your house because everyone wants lots of space.

While having an open floor plan can make almost any house feel larger, most people are looking for more than that.

Are there any special features or amenities that make your house unique? If so, mention those qualities.

If your house is in a nice neighborhood, close to grocery stores and restaurants, or has any other locational advantages, you could receive multiple offers over the asking price based on that alone!

Of course, many homebuyers are motivated by what school district the neighborhood is in, which is a selling point you may be able to use to your advantage.

The point is, even though homebuyers today love lots of space and an open concept, make sure you don’t neglect to give potential buyers the whole picture when you advertise your house.

Rhino Realty Triad

Hopefully, when the time comes for selling your house, you will avoid these common mistakes and maximize the profit on the sale.

But if selling residential real estate has so many pitfalls and tripwires, think of how much more complicated it is to buy or sell commercial real estate.

For all your commercial real estate needs in the greater Greensboro, NC, area, consult with the professionals at Rhino Realty Triad.

Learn More About Rhino Realty Triad