Debunking Real Estate Myths
Like any important life decision, buying or selling a home should be done with all the facts in hand. Especially if you are new to the endeavor, it can be tempting to listen to relatives or friends who try to offer advice. But in the end, it’s best to consult an experienced agent who can give you the straight story on market trends and selling strategies. To help clear the air, T&S asked real estate professionals to dispel some common misconceptions.
Myth No. 1:
It’s more difficult to sell your home in the fall.
Holly Bry – Glady Manion Real Estate
Everyone used to think you could only put your home on the market in spring or summer. Many sellers would find a new home first, then put the existing one up for sale because they were confident about selling it quickly. But ever since the real estate downturn of 2008, those ideas no longer apply. Now, sellers want to know their current property is either sold or under contract before signing on the dotted line for a new one, and that is happening year-round. When you add in the ability to ‘shop’ for a home online at any time of the year, the result is that selling becomes pretty seasonless.
Katie Dooley Curran – Janet McAfee Real Estate
People are reevaluating their lifestyles because of the pandemic, and all previous real estate timelines have gone out the window. Owners need new home offices and study spaces for their kids, and many are having in-laws move in. Because interest rates are low, people can buy more, so they are putting their homes on the market even though we are heading into the fall. It’s also an election year, so those who feel uncertain about the future may decide now is a good time to move.
Suzie Wells – Dielmann Sotheby’s International Real Estate
The opposite is true. As people experience the briskness of fall approaching, they naturally feel a sense of renewal. It recharges clients and agents alike and gives us a robust new level of insight, energy and openness to change. I think this translates directly into the real estate market and makes fall a wonderful time to sell a home.
Myth No. 2:
You can save money by not using an established real estate firm.
Not true. You’ll have the benefit of better marketing resources with an established company, and an experienced agent will help you negotiate price, inspection details, repairs and credits effectively. Also, if you try to sell a home on your own but don’t succeed and end up listing with an agency later, your property will already be old news in the neighborhood. You may end up getting less for it than if you had listed with a good agency in the first place.
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. So much proactive work goes into a real estate transaction that you really need the resources of a strong company. You want an agent who is active in getting your house ready to sell and who understands what is going on in the neighborhood. For example, an experienced agent knows about resale values and whether commercial construction is coming to the area.
This could not be further from the truth. Our roles as agents and brokers allow us to identify what works and what doesn’t in selling a home, and our extensive, global marketing and advertising platforms are not available to individual agents or sellers.
Myth No. 3:
No one is showing homes during the pandemic.
Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how busy the market has been. My theory is people are showing their properties now because they’ve been at home a lot and have had plenty of time to realize what they don’t like about their houses. Also, the low interest rates make it an advantageous time to buy. Things slowed down for a couple of months after the pandemic began, but the market heated back up in June, and homes are selling well in every price range. I’m hearing from owners I worked with 20 years ago who are ready to move again because it’s a good time to do it.
Agents have had to get creative with their home-showing strategies, but it seems to be working. In the beginning, I actually took buyers on ‘peeping Tom tours’ where we made an appointment to walk around the house and look in the windows. As time went on, we were able to take clients inside as long as they wore masks and didn’t touch surfaces. I wear gloves and open doors and cabinets for people, and we have been staggering our viewing times. People are always getting married and adding to their families, so the need to show homes never goes away.
In fact, there is a lot of reason for optimism in the current residential market. We tell people that showing homes in a virtual world has never been easier, and positive sales figures are proving that. Because of strong online interest, a number of our recent listings have gone under contract even before hitting the market.