Selling your home is a life-changing event that can induce a flood of questions and, quite often, a lot of confusion. It doesn’t help that there are endless myths around what to do and what not to do to ensure a successful sale. To help separate fact from fiction, we asked Charles Tarbey, Chairman of Century 21 Australia, to debunk six popular property myths so you can cut to the chase and get your property sold.
Myth 1 – A seller should never accept the first offer made
Understandably, sellers may be tempted to refuse the first offer made in the hope of receiving a more favourable one as interest in the property increases. While optimism is great, holding out for a better offer can oftentimes work against the vendor’s best interests. “On so many occasions in my career, I have seen examples of the first offer being the best and, when not accepted, the vendor was left taking a lower offer sometime down the track,” says Mr Tarbey. So, how can you know whether to accept the first offer or not? Seek the advice of an expert. Your agent should be a trained negotiator and will know how to bring the highest possible offer from a buyer to a seller. They can then advise you when an offer is acceptable or not.
Myth 2 – Spring is the best time of year to sell your home
In strong market environments, as we have experienced in Australia during the last few years, there is no one time of year that is better for selling your home than others. Although sales have been consistent throughout the seasons, it is worth noting more people do tend to move during spring, however, that doesn’t translate to it being the ‘best’ time to sell. Keep in mind the more properties on the market, the more competition you will face as a seller.
Myth 3 – Renovating the main bathroom prior to selling will increase the home’s value
Just like the kitchen, the bathroom rates as one of the most important rooms of your home so, if you are selling and your bathroom is looking a little reminiscent of yesteryear, a modest renovation will do wonders to improve on presentation. A full renovation is not necessarily advised as there is no guarantee the monetary value gained with the sale will cover the cost of an expensive upgrade. You also run the risk of your taste differing to that of your potential buyers. Ensuring your bathroom is well presented may not dramatically increase the value of your home, but there is a good chance it may help you to sell faster.
Myth 4 – Depersonalising your home will help it sell quicker
Your home may be filled with loving memories that have made it special to you, but when selling, it is important to give potential buyers the opportunity to imagine their own lives in the property. Presentation is crucial and personal tastes can differ immensely so, if budget allows, it is worth engaging a property stylist who can present your home with enough neutrality to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Decluttering memorabilia and removing personal objects, such as photographs, will make it much easier for buyers to connect to the property as a blank canvas they can build upon themselves. As difficult as it may be, do your best to remove emotions from the equation and to keep your focus on the sale.
Myth 5 – Overpricing your home will lead to better offers
Overpricing your home is, more often than not, a risk not worth taking. As Mr Tarbey says: “The myth that overpricing your home will lead to better offers is definitely not true. By overpricing, you immediately reduce the number of prospective buyers and thus reduce the level of competition that is needed to sell your home for the best price in the shortest amount of time.”
Myth 6 – Online home valuations are accurate
All appraisals, whether made in person or online, should only be used as an estimate of a property’s value and never taken as gospel. As advanced as technology may be, when it comes to appraising a home, the results can be very inaccurate. An experienced agent will take the home’s details and overall feel of the property into account when conducting a valuation, something an app or website simply can’t do. If you are thinking of selling, request a market appraisal with an experienced agent.