Common Real Estate Myths About Buyers and Sellers

8/19/2016

The danger with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you money when it's time to buy or sell a home. Here are some of the most common ones that can trip up buyers and sellers:

Set your home price higher than what you expect to get.

Listing your home at too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That's because shoppers and their real estate agents often don't even look at homes that are priced above market value. It's true you can always lower the price if the house doesn't garner any offers in the first few weeks. But that comes with its own set of problems.

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don't use a real estate agent.

That's a completely false premise. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don't have an agent, the seller's agent will receive the entire commission.

You can save money selling your home yourself.

Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It's not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you'll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It's not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you'd get with an agent, but it's not easy.

You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell.

If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don't want to redo something that has just been renovated.

You'll earn back what you spend on renovations.

If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won't recoup what you spent. According to Remodeling magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You're likely to recoup only 67.8 percent of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 percent of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home.

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