Selling Your Home: 5 Common Myths

by Sandy Dodge

A heterosexual Black couple discussing the terms of a real estate transaction in their dining room with their real estate agent as they work together to sell their home. The couple’s child sits next to them doing homework.

1. Home Value Calculators Are 100% Accurate

Online Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) are a great starting point for understanding how much your home could be worth. However, they are merely a first step in determining home value; to say they are 100% accurate is a myth. When it comes to pricing your home, you need to rely on your real estate agent’s Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which uses vast amounts of historical and current data on real estate listings to arrive at an accurate and competitive figure.

2. Selling FSBO Will Save You Money

Selling a home requires an intimate knowledge of the housing industry and how to solve the complex situations that arise throughout a real estate transaction. Despite this, some sellers will go it alone and attempt to sell their property without being represented by an agent.

Selling For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is a risky proposition. It requires the seller to bear added liability, fills their schedule with various marketing and promotional responsibilities, and can leave money on the table by inaccurately pricing the property, causing it to sit on the market for too long. The potential costs of selling a home on your own far outweigh the commission real estate agents earn on a home sale.

3. You Must Remodel to Sell Your Home

The question you’ll face when preparing to sell your home is whether to sell as is or remodel. The answer usually lies somewhere in between, but it depends on your situation and what kinds of home upgrades are driving buyer interest locally. When making improvements to your home, lean toward high ROI remodeling projects to get the best bang for your buck, and avoid trendy projects that can delay listing your home. If you’re considering major upscale renovations, talk to your agent about which projects buyers in your area are looking for.

5. Home Staging Doesn’t Make a Big Difference

Staging your home is so much more than a cosmetic touchup; it has been proven to help sell homes faster and at a higher price than non-staged homes.Staging ensures that your home has universal appeal, which attracts the widest possible pool of potential buyers. When buyers are able to easily imagine living in your home, they become more connected to the property. You should stage your home regardless of your local market conditions, but it can be especially helpful in competitive markets with limited inventory where even the slightest edge can make all the difference for sellers.

How to Declutter Before Selling Your Home

by Sandy Dodge

A woman starts to declutter before selling her home. She is organizing items in the living room. She holds a small pile of winter clothing and prepares to place it in a box labeled “donation” on the floor.

To sell your home for the best price, it needs to be in pristine condition. You’ll work with your agent to identify high-ROI remodeling projects and various ways to improve the property, but all that is a moot point if you don’t declutter before selling your home. Here are some helpful tips to get started.

Declutter Before Selling Your Home

Getting your home cleaned up and organized is a precursor to capturing appealing listing photos and having successful open houses. You’ll be opening your doors to crowds of interested buyers, and it’s essential that your home feels like a place they want to live. Decluttering will also get you prepared for home staging, whether you’re hiring a professional or staging your home DIY. All these preparatory measures work together to make your home as appealing as possible to a wide pool of buyers.

Decluttering also helps to kickstart the transition of moving out. Homeowners are attached to their homes, and the selling process can bring a lot of those emotions to the surface. By going through your home room by room, sorting through your possessions and paring them down, you’re simultaneously beginning to process the life changes in your near future. Plus, by getting an early jump on organizing your home, it will make moving day a whole lot easier.

For buyers, space equals opportunity, so a tidy, uncluttered home allows them to fill it with their imagination. As such, it’s crucial that buyers see decluttered, spacious areas when they walk into your home or browse through listing photos online.

A young Caucasian woman starts to declutter before selling her home. She places books into a box labeled “donation books” in her home office.

How to Declutter Your Home

Take a deep breath; your decluttering doesn’t have to get done all in one sitting. Tackle your home room by room, taking stock of items as you go. The tried-and-true home organization method of keeping boxes labeled “donate,” “keep,” and “throw away” applies here. Separating items by their destinations will help you reduce piles of clutter in no time.

To properly declutter before selling, consider your moving timeline. Between your discussions with your agent and your preparations for your next home, moving day can go from a seemingly distant point in the future to tomorrow in a hurry. Planning a yard sale can help to give yourself a specific deadline by which you need to have finished giving the house a clean sweep.

Emphasize tidiness in small and narrow areas such as hallways, closets, and storage rooms and consider hanging mirrors to make these areas feel less cramped. These little tricks of the trade can help to give the impression that even the spatially limited areas of your home feel bigger. Scrub, wash, and dust the house top to bottom, even the commonly missed cleaning spots. A home that’s sparkling clean is more welcoming to buyers.

Deciding to Sell Your Home 

by Sandy Dodge

An elderly man and woman discuss selling their home with their Windermere agent.

Deciding when to sell your home can depend on a variety of factors. Perhaps your local market conditions are favorable to sellers, or you’ve recently changed jobs, or your family is growing and you need to upsize. Whatever the case may be, making the decision to sell your home is the first step in your selling journey

Deciding to Sell Your Home

Once you know it’s time to sell your home, it’s natural to feel a wave of emotions. A home is an integral part of a homeowner’s life. They provide countless memories and, for many homeowners, are their greatest investment. But once you’ve decided to sell, it’s important to look at your home with an objective eye to appeal to a wide variety of buyers.

Which repairs should I make before selling my home?

To get your house in top selling shape, identify its outstanding repairs. As you fill out your list, separate the projects into categories which are DIY-eligible, and which require a professional. This will help you to budget for your overall repair expenses and build a reasonable timeline. Some of the most important repairs to make before listing your home include fixing appliances, making sure your sinks and faucets work properly, repairing any cracks or holes in the walls, fixing all leaks and water damage, and ensuring that all systems in the home are functioning properly. Making repairs before you list your home will bode well for home inspections, negotiations, and can even give your home an advantage over other listings. Your agent may suggest a pre-listing inspection to make your home more competitive in a seller’s market.

Which upgrades should I make before selling my home? 

When you sell your home, you’re inevitably competing against other listings in your area. The aesthetics of a house play a significant role in its ability to catch buyer’s attention, which emphasizes the importance of improving your curb appeal as you prepare to hit the market. Landscaping projects, new exterior paint, and upgrading your front entry are just a few ways you can spruce up the outside of your home.

And what about the interior? Consider upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient models, which are known for their high ROI potential. This is a great time to repaint your home’s interior as well. Consider using a neutral color palette to make it as appealing as possible to a wide-array of buyers. It’s also a good idea to identify rooms in which the flooring should be replaced or repaired. If it makes most sense to completely re-do your home’s flooring, choose a material that is within budget and has good resale value.

Working with an agent 

Listing agents are trained professionals who work with homeowners to sell their homes. Your listing agent will be there to answer any questions you may have throughout the selling process and will negotiate with buyers’ agents to get the best price for your home. But their value doesn’t stop there. A listing agent will list the home, coordinate showings and open houses, and market the home. When choosing an agent, find someone with whom you are compatible both emotionally and professionally, and who cares about the goals of you and your household.

What’s my home worth?

Homeowners can get a general idea of how much their home is worth by using online home value estimators, like Windermere’s free Home Worth Calculator. Though these tools can provide some context behind the value of your home, nothing compares to the in-depth analysis of an agent’s Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Using a CMA, an agent can accurately price your home to get it sold quickly.

For more information on your local housing market and how to sell your home, connect with a Windermere agent today by clicking on the button below.