Thinking of selling your home? Is your home already on the market and just won’t sell? Here are some common home selling myths about the real estate market in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, VA.
Everyone wants to sell their home fast for top dollar. But often, misconceptions and misinformation get in the way of a real estate sale. Below, you’ll find the most common reasons sellers give me for their home lingering on the market. The home selling myths you’re about to read will get in the way of selling your home, and will set you up for failure.
Better Offers Will Appear If I Wait Longer
The Myth: If I wait long enough, I will get a good offer.
Answer: The opposite is true. The longer your home sits on the market, the worse the offers will be. Many buyers spend weeks or months looking for homes to buy. They will notice your home when it first sits on the market. And as it continues to linger, they will wonder what’s wrong with it. They will assume the price is too high, or they will think that something is seriously defective in your house.
In general, homes get the best offers when they first hit the market. That means the offers you receive in the first 30 days are the best you are going to get.
Consider this: the first question buyers ask is “how long was this home on the market?” Buyers believe that sellers are more likely to negotiate if the house has been for sale for a long time. Time is NOT your friend!
Solution: Price your home appropriately at the beginning. Really listen when your Realtor gives you a price recommendation. A good price means a fast offer. Which bring me to…
My Home is Priced Too Low If I Get Quick Offers
The Myth: I got an offer immediately. That means my price is too low, and I’m giving my home away!
Answer: No. Big no. Let me put that in caps and bold it and make it red: NO.
This is the Internet Age. As soon as your home goes on the market, it will be seen by hundreds of buyers. Those buyers will see it on the Multiple Listing Service, on Zillow.com, on Trulia, on Realtor.com, on your agent’s website, on social media, or just by a Google search.
If your home was priced correctly, some of those hundreds will be instantly attracted to your home. If your home was priced too high… well, they won’t.
With the right price at the right time at the right market, you may get multiple offers very quickly. If home inventory is low, this is especially true. Multiple offers are a good thing – that means you can create competition among them and drive the price up.
Solution: Hire a capable agent who can set the right price.
I Need The Right Buyer
The Myth: The right person will want to buy my home at the price I want.
Answer: False. This is one of the worst Home Selling Myths. A lot of things have to happen in order for this to work. Let’s break it down:
- The Buyer has to ignore the advice of their agent (and possibly friends and family) to pay more than the house is worth.
- The Buyer has to pay above market value. Why would they pay more when they don’t have to, especially if there are lots of homes for sale? The Buyer will likely see similar homes in the same neighborhood. If your home has not been updated or has a serious defect, why would they pay more for your home than the cheaper one across the street that has been renovated?
- Finally, and most importantly, how are they paying? If they are getting a mortgage, the bank will have an appraiser verify the market value of the home. They will deny the mortgage if the home price is more than its actual worth. That means your home will have to be purchased for cash. Cash sales are less than 30% of all home transactions.
Conclusion: It works against the interests of the buyer to purchase an overpriced home. Period. So don’t rely on a magical buyer flying in the face of common sense to purchase your property.
Solution: Be realistic about your property’s value within the real estate market. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and think about what they would want.
A Higher Price Gives Me More Space to Negotiate
The Myth: If I price it high, that gives me lots of negotiating space to move down to the real price I want.
Answer: Nope. Starting high to create negotiating room means you never get to negotiate.
We all know that negotiation is part of the real estate process. We also know that buyers frequently offer less than the listing price of a property. But if you price your home too high, buyers and agents will avoid your home like the plague. And the longer your home sits on the market, the more those same buyers will assume something is wrong with your house.
Solution: Leave the negotiating up to your agent. They will look out for your best interests – including the listing price of your property.
Zillow Says It’s Worth More
The Myth: Zillow says my home is worth more than your suggested listing price.
Answer: Zillow is garbage. For an agent, this is the most infuriating of the home selling myths.
Zillow is notoriously inaccurate. Zillow’s estimates are generated through old tax assessments, tax assessments which are notoriously un-aligned with actual market value. And Zillow knows that. Their data is almost always old or inaccurate.
Furthermore, they haven’t visited your property. Lots of little adjustments go into the proper pricing of a home for sale, things like size, features, age, or changes to the surrounding area. A skilled agent or appraiser has actually been to your home. That agent can navigate those adjustments, but Zillow cannot. Zillow doesn’t visit your house individually – they won’t know that your roof is leaking, you installed a hot tub, you have an easement, or that you’re considering a short sale.
Solution: Don’t trust Zillow.
Final Thoughts on Home Selling Myths
The key to selling your home is price. If you price it appropriately, the buyers will come.