There are many myths and urban legends in the real estate market, some of which can actually hurt your home sale if you believe them.

Myth #1:  Sellers should still price their home higher than market value to allow for negotiating room.

Truth: Pricing too high in a buyers’ market is a big mistake.  If your home is overpriced in this current market, then agents showing your home will use your property to sell one of the other properties currently listed and in competition with your home.

Three important things to keep in mind when pricing your home:

1. Is your home updated?

2. Does it need cosmetic touch ups like fresh paint and new carpeting?

3. Is your home in a location that will attract buyers or does it back up to a major highway?

These are all items that the buyers’ lender will use when doing an appraisal on the property.  The bottom line is this:  you can price your home at any value you feel is appropriate, however, it still needs to appraise for the selling price in the contract in order for the bank to approve the loan!

A well-trained real estate agent who looks out for your best interests will consult with you on your home’s fair market value and guide you accordingly.  Remember, agents do not set the price of a home, sellers do.  Agents are here to give you current market information in order for you to make an informed decision to price the home in line with what is currently selling.  The worst thing to do is price it higher than what is selling—all you end up doing is chasing the market from a losing position.

Myth #2:  The carpet needs replacing.  Why can’t I offer a credit at closing for new carpet?

Truth: Today’s buyers are looking for houses online and first impressions are critical!   More than 87 percent of today’s buyers are searching for homes online.  They are quite Internet savvy and know what they are looking for.  If your home looks great in the pictures, then chances are good that they will linger on your home’s listing a bit longer.  When they see worn carpeting (and yes, it does show up in the pictures) or outdated appliances they immediately proceed to the next home for sale. They don’t read anything beyond that.

Before your home’s initial debut online, it is important that it show well to draw the potential buyers in—not turn them away!  What seems like a savings for the seller in the beginning of your home’s market time might end up costing much more in the long run.  Remember, buyers are comparing your home to other homes that are currently on the market.  Your home should be inviting so that everyone who looks at it can see themselves living there.

Myth #3:  Updates are not necessary.  Let’s just list the house and see what happens.

Truth: Buyers probably won’t make it to your doorstep if your home doesn’t appeal to them online.  Again we need to be mindful of first impressions.  In today’s market, your home’s online presence is vital to drawing in buyers.  If the pictures of your home look great but the cabinets are circa 1970 and your appliances are old, then chances are good that they will be on to the next listing without batting an eye!  You don’t always have to replace the cabinets.  Sometimes a coat of paint and some new hardware will add life to your home and freshen up its appearance.  This is where a good agent’s expertise comes in handy.

Beware of agents who will not share constructive criticism with you.  They are probably not all that interested in getting your home sold as they are in getting the listing.  Your agent is the professional here and his/her real estate advice should be aimed at getting your home sold as quickly as possible and in the shortest amount of time…”