5 Home Selling Myths It's Time to Ditch

When it comes time to sell your house, you’ll suddenly find that everyone around you becomes a bit of a know-it-all.

“Here’s how I did it!”

“This worked for me, so it will DEFINITELY work for you!”

And the advice isn’t just going to be coming from friends, family, and random passersby on the street. The internet hivemind also loves to buzz with selling advice. The only problem with these kernels of wisdom from all over? A lot of so-called advice is actually complete bunk, and could easily do you more harm than good as a seller!

It’s time to sort out the facts from all of the fictions. Here are five common home selling myths that people like to parrot as truths – even though they could easily harm your sale:

1.) “Only List Your Home in the Spring or Summer!”

While the warmer months are typically hotter for buyers, who have time to browse and more bountiful options to choose from, there are plenty of reasons for sellers to list in the winter or fall. For one, a less saturated housing market means comparatively more motivated buyers with fewer options. Anyone dedicated enough to look in winter is, in our experience, far likelier to pull the trigger on a sale, and with fewer options available, your home is a better option than it may be in a more crowded marketplace.

2.) “Always Wait for a Hot Market to Sell!”

There’s never going to be a perfect time to sell, and, while we can make educated guesses based on past experiences and economic trends, there’s no way to guarantee what the housing market will look like in the future. Events large and small – election cycles, sporting championships, natural disasters, political turmoil, interest rate hikes – all play a role in influencing the value of your home and the “strength” of the market. The bottom line? It’s almost always better to list in the known present, rather than missing an opportunity for a sale by gambling on an uncertain future.

3.) “You Don’t Need to Spend on Staging!”

Many sellers are reluctant to spend more than they have to in order to sell their home. But it’s important to remember that homes don’t just find buyers on their own; they need to be marketed like any other product, and that takes time, effort, and, often, a financial investment.

At the very least, it’s vital that sellers – along with the guidance of their real estate team – take some steps toward making their property look as appealing as possible. Cleaning and staging the interior of the home, giving the curb appeal some polish, and springing for high quality photographs are all key steps toward a faster sale.

4.) “Always List Your Home for More Than It’s Worth!”

When bartering or negotiating, conventional wisdom says to aim high, so that you have more wiggle room to come down. And while there’s something to be said for that strategy, and there’s certainly merit to having a small price “buffer,” the reality is that marking up the price of a property can backfire drastically and, in fact, kill your sale before it starts. Chicago is a competitive marketplace; if your amazing home is overpriced at $400,000, there is likely an equally amazing property perfectly priced at $400,000, offering, say, a nicer location or more space for the money. Which do you think a buyer will be more likely to opt for?

On average, the Real Group team sells clients' homes at within a couple percentage points of list price, a number that is dependent on a careful analysis of timing, season, neighborhood, and current market conditions. It’s typically better than the MLS average by a couple points, but this norm still illustrates that "marking up" your home, even by 6-8%, can be a costly miscalculation.

5.) “You’ll Be Fine Without a Real Estate Agent!”

If you cut out the middleman and sell the property alone, you’ll be able to pocket more of the profits for yourself, right? While this is a nice thought, thinking about selling a home and actually selling a home are two different animals entirely. There are so many complex aspects to selling a home in Chicago, from appraisals to pricing to disclosure laws, that we strongly advise against going FSBO (“for sale by owner”).

And while we’re at it, let’s dispense with the myth that any friend of a friend or the first agent you find will do, sight unseen. Hire an agent as you would any other professional – ask questions, share your thoughts honestly, and find someone whose communication style, experience, and approach to selling will complement yours. You and your agent are going to have to depend on each other all the time over the course of your sale, so make sure you’re working with someone you can rely on and trust.

Ready to reach out? When it comes to selling a property in Chicago, our experienced team has seen it all. Why not drop us a line today to see how you can put Real Group to work for you?

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2526 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

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