Busting the biggest myths about selling a home, from timing to doing it yourself

Whether the property market is running hot or in the midst of a slump, it seems everybody has a theory about how best to sell a home.

Do you sell your current place before you buy? Is it wise to list in winter? 

The old theory of ‘always sell in spring’ has gone out the window. The reasons your garden looks better is very old school. Good properties will always sell well whatever the season. In winter there tends to be less stock come onto the market, however that doesn’t always mean there are less buyers. There is usually less competition from other sellers.

Sell first before you buy your next home

If you sell first you are going to panic about being homeless and having to rent. The reality is if you say you have to sell first, what if you don’t want to rent? Then the other reality is if you buy first, you have to make sure you have based it on a very conservative price for your home before you’ve bought. 

If you do sell first you need to be aware that there is a very high probability that you are going to have to rent, otherwise you are going to end up buying something you don’t really want.

A good house will sell itself 

But how do you know you have got the best price? With competition, you are going to get a better price so it could drastically affect the price. It’s not about saleability, it’s about level of interest and sale price.

Sellers should never assume that potential buyers will always recognise the good things about their home. Some of them might be hidden. Don’t be afraid to point out the obvious in your home because not everybody is going to see it.

A quick sale means the house was priced too low

They are several factors at play when it comes to how quickly a home is sold. It is more about the right offer, rather than how quickly it happens. The right offer can come in on day one, day 15, or day 150.

The reason is that it’s less about how long the seller has had the property on the market for and more about how long the buyer has been in the market and what their back story is, which means your agent has to have superior communication skills.

The advice to the seller is that they need to understand the buyer’s story in order to help them decide whether to accept an offer, no matter when it comes in, and failing to do that may mean they pass up a premium price. If you have been looking for a home for six months, you have seen a lot of homes and know exactly what you are looking for. 

You don’t need to worry about styling or maintenance

Believing that potential buyers will look past certain aspects of the home you are selling is unlikely to be true.

If I need to paint a house, it’s $10,000, a buyer will look at it and say” ‘That’s going to be $30,000 to $40,000 to paint that house.’ So, they’ll always add to it. So it’s best to do those maintenance items prior to selling. The other reason is that if someone sees that other things are not quite right in a certain area of the home, they assume there are many more hidden things, or work that they can’t see.

The key aspect for sellers to remember is that the best result is presenting a property well otherwise most buyers will move on to something that is presented well that doesn’t need a lot.