Myths Vs. Facts About Selling Your Home in a Buyer's Market

After 20 years of selling real estate, I have a considerable collection of "Myths vs. Facts."  In today's “buyer’s market,” it is essential to separate fact from fiction

Myth #1:  "Houses just aren´t selling."

Fact:    MOST houses aren't selling, it's true.  The good ones still are, however, and at prices that are at or very close to the asking price, provided the asking price is not a pipe dream to begin with.  The "good ones" are those that have been properly prepared for marketing.

Just last week I had a transferee shopping for homes in the $350,000 - $400,000 range.  I was appalled at the homes I showed them. Even in that price range, in a highly-competitive market, the sellers had not prepared their home to sell.  Carpeting was worn and shadowy from frequent traffic, countertops were stained, scorched and scratched The homes smelled of cigarette smoke and pet odors.  Except for the next-to-last home.  It was pristine.  Great colors, completely updated, clean, clean, clean – and priced the same as the others.  Hmmm, which one did they buy?  Take a guess.

Myth #2:  "We should price it just a little higher to leave room to negotiate down to the price we really want."

Fact:    That is the major reason MOST homes aren't selling.  Instead of having a price that causes a buyer to fear losing it to another buyer, sellers (and weak agents) play the “real estate game."  They try to out-think buyers and wind up outsmarting themselves.  Today's buyers are smart and they are extremely well-informed.  If you want to play the "real estate game" in a buyer's market, you will lose.

Myth #3:  "The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is really what sells homes, so it doesn´t matter which Realtor® you choose to list your home."

Fact:    Fewer than 40% of the homes listed on the MLS sell.  That´s right!  More than 6 out of 10 homes listed on the MLS DO NOT SELL.  Choosing an agent with an aggressive marketing plan -- including premier market presence on the internet -- and proven track record for getting homes SOLD could make all the difference in whether your home sells, when and for what price.

Myth #4:  "My brother-in-law has a real estate license and sells real estate on the side.  He can sell our home."

Fact:   You've heard of the 80/20 Rule - 20% of the people in any industry - cars, insurance, whatever - do 80% of the business.  In real estate, the ratio is even more extreme.  Recently, the National Association of Realtors indicated that 5% - 10 % of Realtors in any geographic market account for more than 90% of the real estate transactions in that area.

Think about it.  The successful 10% of real estate agents do 90% of the business and the other 90% fight over the 10% of scraps that are left.  Consistent success doesn't happen by accident.

Unless your brother-in-law is in the top 10% (and can prove it), hire a Realtor with a proven record of success.

Myth #5:  "We can always come down if we get an offer; we want to leave room to "negotiate.´"

Fact:    Typically, buyers want to buy the most home they can afford.  If your home is in the wrong price bracket, you will be competing against other homes with more to offer.  You won't see any offer, let alone one you can accept.  Overpricing will exclude your legitimate buyer and leave you with nothing but "low-ballers" looking for a bargain.

Watch for more Myths vs. Facts coming soon!

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Posted on Dec 1, 2010
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Posted on Dec 16, 2009