Exposing home selling myths

The procedure of purchasing or selling a property can be a complicated process for many novice buyers and sellers, even with all the advice given from well-intentioned family and friends. Receiving advice and information from so many different sources can lead to uncertainty about certain key aspects of the sales transaction.

According to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, with the large amount of information available to consumers these days through a number of places, it may be difficult to determine which information to take note of and which to ignore. He notes that as a result, several home-selling myths have become commonplace in today’s property market.

Goslett provides a few truths and facts to expose the myths and steer sellers in the right direction:

Myth 1 – Sellers determine the property’s price

Fact: Setting an asking price that is at fair market value is a result of many key aspects such as the home’s size, condition, location, the current property market conditions and the selling prices of comparable homes in the area. Goslett notes that although it is the seller who will make the final decision as to what the home ultimately sells for, the selling price is largely determined by what buyers are willing to pay for the home in the current market. The initial asking price of the home can vary greatly from the actual selling price.

Myth 2 – Overpricing the home will leave room to negotiate

Fact: Instead of allowing negotiating room, overpricing a property can have the opposite effect in that it will turn buyers away. Goslett says that overpricing a home will make it less attractive to buyers, especially if they have done their homework and researched home prices in the area. He notes that there may be buyers who can afford to purchase the property for its fair market value, but who will overlook the property if it is listed for too much. Buyers who can afford the inflated price may soon realise that the home may not compare to others in a similar price bracket. Alienating buyer pools can result in the property sitting on the market for longer than it should, which can lead to the home selling for far less in the end.

Myth 3 – There is no need make repairs and get the home ready for sale

Fact: While there is a market for consumers who are looking for a property they can renovate themselves, many buyers want a home that is ready for them to move into. Goslett notes that a home that is aesthetically pleasing and is well-maintained will be far easier to sell than one that has been neglected.  Although it depends on the seller’s financial position and time frame, it is advisable to consider making any major repairs before the home is placed on the market. The home will be viewed as move-in option, and the agent can also mention the repairs as a selling point in the marketing material. If any defaults are found during an inspection, the seller can then discuss options with the buyer regarding additional repairs or dropping their asking price.

Myth 4 – Renovations and home improvements pay for themselves when you sell

Fact: While certain renovations and home improvements will offer an excellent return on investment, very few renovation projects will provide a complete payback on the money invested. Goslett says that before embarking on any project it is important to get expert opinions on what should be fixed or changed and what kind of return can be expected as a result.

“Having the facts about selling will help homeowners to get the most out of their property transaction. If ever in doubt, sellers can seek the advice of a reputable real estate agent who will be able to guide them in the right direction,” Goslett concludes.

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