Most of us have been through the process of buying or selling a home. We understand how overwhelming it can be to begin researching everything we should or shouldn’t do throughout the process, and on top of that, everyone (whether real estate pro or otherwise) has an opinion on what helps a house sell quickly and at highest value. There is a ton of excellent information to be found, but there are also many articles and websites online that share information that is not exactly helpful for buyers and sellers — and sometimes it is downright false information!
I have had many conversations about these topics with clients and other agents. Obviously, one of my goals as a blogger is to educate readers as much as possible, so I thought this article would be a great platform to “debunk” a few common myths we hear a lot.
Remember that all of this information is subjective, and there will be people who disagree with me or find information to dispute these things. My commentary is based on my own experience and my colleagues’ vast experience as Realtors and what seems to work best in our broad and varied market.
Myth #1: Always change bold paint colors to neutral before selling your home.
This one tends to be debatable. Generally, I recommend neutral, on-trend paint colors when trying to sell a home, but bold colors are not necessarily bad. Sometimes, a room really does need a grander color to play up an interesting feature or divide a space visually. These bold paint colors can be toned down with neutral decor and classic greenery around the room. I do recommend light, airy and neutral if you have time to plan ahead, but don’t discount a beautiful navy blue or deep red wall color if it truly works in a space.
Myth #2: Never buy the largest/most expensive home on a street.
Usually, it is recommended that buyers try to stay in the “middle” in terms of home prices in a neighborhood, but we are seeing an increase in buyers who care more about a home’s value rather than comparative prices. In my local market for example, we are low on inventory. So right now, if buyers find a home they love, I tell them to snag it before someone else does. Our home values are appreciating in the Evansville area, so my local clients might see some nice gains over years of ownership. I know that is happening elsewhere too. If you happen to be selling the biggest home in the neighborhood right now, play up your property’s assets to show buyers why it is deservedly a little pricier.
Myth #3: Homeowners should expect to earn back everything they invested in remodeling at resale time.
This is a resoundingly false statement. Before you embark upon a large-scale remodel, check out some return-on-investment data for your particular project. It is nearly impossible to earn back 100% of what you invest, but many will earn up to 85% when it is time to sell. So what are the best investments? Remodeled kitchens and bathrooms continue to prove to be wise investments as they are big selling points for buyers. When these rooms are updated, the home really is more attractive to potential buyers. Design your remodels to stay in line with home trends while remaining classic and try to stay away from anything too customized.
Myth #4: If buyers don’t like the exterior of your home, they will never see the inside.
For some people, yes this is absolutely true, and that is because many buyers do not look at a home for what it “could be”. They simply see what it is and want something that will not require time and money to fix up. That’s okay — it’s just one type of buyer. There will be others who see the potential. Sometimes this myth simply has to do with the fact that your home’s style is just not their taste, and they determine that based on the exterior. The majority of buyers will not waste their time touring a home if they don’t feel a connection to the exterior at first glance. However, there is a selection of buyers that see potential in any home. They actually want to do some work and spruce up the curb appeal on their own. My best advice is to do your best to play up your home’s curb appeal when selling, and let buyers’ imaginations do the rest. Add landscaping if needed, put a fresh coat of paint on your shutters and front door, and make sure your drive way and sidewalks are in good condition.
Myth #5: A home with a pool is always harder to sell.
While a pool does often cut out a selection of buyers, it can also be a huge bonus for others. There are people who do not want to mess with maintenance and added costs associated with a pool. However, there are just as many who desperately want one to enjoy throughout the warm-weather months. To appeal to buyers who want a pool or are open to buying a home with a pool, make sure yours has a canopy or cover that easily glides over the top to cover, and have a safe, walkable path around the entire perimeter. Don’t focus on the group of people who will not buy your home because it has a pool. Use that beautiful outdoor feature to attract the buyers who will appreciate it.
Myth #6: A home with “green” features will command a higher listing price.
In my local market, we are seeing lots of new homes boasting energy efficient everything right now. While that is wonderful, and many buyers do see value in environmentally friendly homes, these features will not necessarily lead to a premium price. Often, buyers will go for a comparable home that is priced lower without these green features, so don’t solely focus your marketing efforts on those features. The biggest advantage of these energy efficient homes is lower utility and water bills, so be sure your agent has access to that data from your property — buyers will love to see those lower monthly bills!
What are some other myths you’ve heard regarding real estate transaction? Share with me because I would love to set them straight!