One myth that persists in the real estate market today is that due to the recent increases in interest rates home prices have come down. Not true! In fact, in the US it’s a tale of two housing markets, with prices falling in the West but not the East according to this recent article by the Wall Street Journal

In the local market here is the NJ Suburbs 30-45 mins from NYC, an acute lack of inventory is making it incredibly tough to be a buyer. In order to compete, buyers are having to offer all sorts of enticing terms to sellers on top of a purchase price many thousands- sometimes many hundreds of thousands- over asking. This can be really heartbreaking for buyers (and for agents who put so much time and effort into showing homes and preparing offers for them.) Obviously, not so heartbreaking for sellers! 

Here are 5 other long standing real estate myths that I will debunk for you.

Myth: You should list your home a high to give yourself “negotiating room” on the price.

Time and time again I have seen how positioning a home at an attractive price is a seller’s most effective marketing too. Right pricing your home from the beginning ensures that your home commands attention from and creates urgency in the buyer pool. Pricing competitively allows buyers to overlook some of your home’s shortcomings and compete well against other homes on the market. If you are looking to maximize your profit- don’t ask for too much. When buyers perceive a value they will deliver you the best price and terms. 

Myth: All real estate agents are the same.

Not all real estate agents are created equal. Yes, all agents have a license and can throw a listing up on the MLS but this is a minimum standard. What really matters is a proven track record of success, local market knowledge and the ability to get the most eyes on your property. Look for an agent who can:

  • Advise you about the most impactful home preparations to undertake before you go to market
  • Explain where to correctly price your home based on detailed market research
  • Provide a robust marketing plan with the best ability to market your home to buyers and agents in SOMA’s top feeder markets
  • Advise you well on negotiating your offer(s) and home inspections
  • Has great relationships with other professionals like attorneys, lenders, contractor and service providers and, not to be understated, other real estate agents

This truly is your key to success. 

Myth: I can’t sell my house because it needs work and it will cost me too much to get it ready for sale.

Don’t get me wrong, preparing your home for sale both cosmetically and repair-wise is important. Yet, you don’t necessarily need to spend tons of money to get your home ready for showtime. Sometimes just a few tweaks or fixes are the difference between a decent result and a stellar one. One of the things I love the most about consulting with sellers is the smiles on their faces when I tell them what they don’t have to do! I just had a seller who was on the verge of buying all new appliances for the kitchen and I advised against it. In today’s market sometimes selling a home in completely “as is” condition can be your best strategy. Every home needs a different approach. By working with a local real estate expert you won’t end up spending where you don’t have to. 

Myth: I should take the highest offer I get for my house.

The highest offer is not necessarily your best offer. Terms are incredibly important and an offer should be looked at holistically. Can the buyer meet your desired closing date, how strong is their financing, are they offering any concessions in terms of their home inspection or mortgage appraisal, and how easy it is to work with their team of agent/attorney/lender? 

Myth: I am going to save money by selling my house myself. 

FSBOs accounted for 10% of home sales in 2021. The typical FSBO home sold for $225,000 compared to $330,000 for agent-assisted home sales. That’s a huge differential. That’s a 46% difference. The small percentage discount you save in commission will likely be lost through lack of full exposure and inexperience with the process. It can also leave you open to legal jeopardy if you aren’t familiar with the contracts and forms that are part and parcel of a typical real estate transaction. 

I am always happy to talk “real estate” with you. Do not hesitate to email me at [email protected]. You may not be ready to buy or sell right now but your questions are welcomed.

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair/Glen Ridge, West Orange, Morristown and the surrounding NJ towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our reviews here.