Buying your first home was probably stressful enough, but now you need to sell it.
Maybe you’re moving from a house in Portland to an apartment in Eugene, Oregon; or you may be selling your beautiful home and making a cross country move from Los Angeles to New York City. Either way, it’s likely that friends, neighbors and co-workers undoubtedly have offered you advice, but some of it may be just wrong.
Here are five myths about selling your first home that we would like to address:
It’s No Problem to Sell It Yourself
You have probably seen a few “For Sale by Owner” signs around your neighborhood, and the thought of saving all or part of that six percent commission may be enticing. Our advice, however, is to contract with a professional. While a six percent commission may seem like a lot of money, please realize the following:
- You don’t owe anything if your house doesn’t sell.
- A good Realtor will know your area and know how to price your home.
- Social media is a big part of home marketing, and your Realtor will know how to do it.
- Some real estate professionals will informally blacklist your home and not show it to prospective buyers if you list it yourself.
You Know the Value of Your Home
Check out this story: A friend’s uncle gave her the formula for pricing a home. He said, “Take what you paid for it and add all the improvements you have made over the years. That should be your selling price because that ensures that you get your money out of your property.” What about inflation, neighborhood changes, and the general economy? Maybe your house is worth a lot more than just that simple calculation. Or, maybe it’s not, and if you overprice it, you may have to endure the painful process of riding down the market with price drops. Again, a good real estate professional will know what your house is worth.
It’s OK to Sell “As Is”
Sure, this may make it easier for you to move knowing that you don’t need to spruce things up before a sale, but some well thought out updating can more than pay for itself. “As Is” sales leave a lot of room for the buyer to beat you up on price. If you do decide to do a minimum of updating, at least get a professional cleaning service to help you with basic tidying-up needs … some companies will even do your laundry on the same-day to save you some time while you’re selling your home.
Upgrades Need to Be Massive
No, you don’t need to redo your entire home in order to sell it. Bathrooms and kitchens usually show a great return on investment, but sometimes you just need to paint and re-carpet. No need to go overboard until you research your market to see what prospective buyers really want.
Spring is the Only Time to List Your Home
OK, spring may be a good time to sell, but there really isn’t a bad time to market your property. People are looking for homes throughout the year, and remember, you just need one buyer. More importantly, make sure your home is correctly positioned to sell no matter the time of year.
Make sure that you are diligent about selecting a partner to sell your home, and by selecting a professional, you can let them do the work. The housing market nationwide is still strong, so don’t overthink it—do your diligence and you’ll soon receive offers!