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Home Selling Advice You Might Be Better Off Ignoring

There is a lot of pressure today to sell your home quickly at a record-breaking price.  You’ll probably find well-meaning friends and family full of advice about what worked for them.  Here’s the problem:  the real estate market changes frequently and what worked for them 5 years ago or even last year may not work for you.  Here are some examples of outdated advice that you might not want to follow:

1. Wait to sell until May or June—the spring market is best.  Best for real estate agents but not necessarily best for sellers.  Everybody waits until May or June to sell and inventory increases.  You’ll position yourself to compete with the most homes— not such a great idea. Buyers will have more choices and be able to negotiate better prices.  We advise listing now—February and March are great times to get a jump on the market, while other sellers are still waiting for spring.

2.  Price high, you can always come down.  We love this one and have heard it from sellers many times. Probably the worst possible advice you can follow.  Testing the market with a too-high price means your home won’t sell.  After several weeks on the market, buyers will want to know what’s wrong with it.  It doesn’t take long for a new house listing to become a stale house listing. You’ll end up with more carrying costs and a lower sale price.  The only time you should test the market is when there are no recent sales of comparable properties, generally when your home is in a unique location or has unique features.  The market will tell you if your price is right; no showings or
showings with negative feedback and no offers mean you need to change something.  90% of the time—it’s a price adjustment.

3.  Sell your home as is.  This is a tough one.  We frequently work with sellers who don’t have the resources to do any updates or repairs.  In that case, there really is no remedy except to lower the price as needed to find a buyer willing to take on all of the repairs and remodeling.  Buyers of all ages and economic backgrounds want to buy turn-key houses.  Not updating an older home could put sellers at a disadvantage, especially when other homeowners have updated their homes before selling.  Buyers always want the “shows like a model” home and will pay a little more to get their version.  They will always low ball the sellers of homes that are not updated, if there are better alternatives.

4.  Amateur photos of your house are fine.  Nope—not in 2019.  How your house looks online will have a directimpact on how many buyers will be interested in actually viewing your home in person.   Buyers all start their search online and they pick and choose the houses they want to see, based on the information and photos online.  This is your first shot at appealing to them, so don’t blow it.  The dark blurry photos that we see on some of the listings online drive us crazy.  It’s not that easy to take great photos that show off the best features of interior rooms.  Hire a real estate agent with professional equipment or who will hire a professional photographer to take the photos of your home.

5, Holding an open house is a must.  Open houses are a tool for us—the agents, to get in front of potential home buyers, in person.  In over 30 years of selling real estate and hundreds of open houses, we’ve only sold 3 houses to buyers who came through the home during the open house.  Most recently, the whole open house experience has been changing.  There are people who aren’t buying homes but like to look at homes—we’ve seen the same visitors at open houses in different areas and widely ranging prices.  We’ve been told “we just like looking at houses” or “we get decorating ideas”.  Many of the people who come to open houses are neighbors, not intending to buy but just looking around.  Unfortunately, there are security concerns—to us, as agents.  There are security concerns for homeowners, too—open houses have attracted less scrupulous and criminal types looking for drugs and or items to sell to buy drugs.  It’s not a good thing when a local police department sends out warning notices to real estate offices about criminals posing as buyers.

 If you need help selling your home, feel free to contact us by phone, text or email.  We have a toolbox full of marketing tools to sell your home and help you walk away from the closing table with more money in your pocket.  Best way to reach us is Gayle’s cell at:  724-344-4795   Or email:

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