Have you ever thought that paying a real estate agent six percent to sell your home just didn’t seem worth it?  I mean, how hard could it be?  Or on the other end of the spectrum, you do choose to use an agent; you place the call, put your home on the market, and wait for the buyers to line up. Selling will be a breeze, right?

You might be living in an altered dream state of thinking; a fairytale world if you will.  Well-meaning storytellers will want to tell you how it’s done, but be warned, do not fall for some of the most common misconceptions about selling your home.

Myth No. 1: You can do it solo

There are several things you need to ask yourself before you can even consider this as an option.

Do you have the time to show the home when someone calls or randomly stops by or the ability to give up your Saturday and Sunday to schedule open houses? Or, the time let the inspector in, the appraiser in, and any other repair person in?

Do you have the legal expertise to make sure you have all your legal documents ready for when you do have an offer?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  You may not realize everything the realtor does for you.  Essentially, a realtor does all of the heavy lifting for you by negotiating to make sure you get the best deal, attracting the best buyer, making sure the person is pre-qualified and much, much more.

Myth No. 2: You know best what your home is really worth

Stop right there.  This is where it gets tricky.  You are emotionally attached to your home.  My parents were recently listing their home by owner.  My mother is a retired real estate agent and of course she thought her personal expertise would help them in their selling process, but my father who had placed his blood sweat and tears into the home over the years was set on a price point.  He thought he knew best what the home was worth.  Even with my mothers’ expertise, they were convinced they knew the value of the home.

As a result the home sat on the market with zero showings.  They learned the hard way that selling their home was an emotional transaction and they may did not think clearly about its true value.

Myth No. 3: It’s fine to sell your home as is

We simply can’t emphasize it enough. You might think your home is in great shape (or at least adequate enough to sell), but you’re probably overlooking some necessary changes that could boost your profits.

Myth No. 4: Upgrades should be drastic

Not true!

When you make too many improvements, you might be wasting money.  You may sell your home more quickly, but you are unlikely to earn back what you spent because these upgrades are now considered standard.

Simple things make a big difference.  Freshen up the kitchen, landscape the yard, and remove personal items and clutter.  You would also be surprised what a fresh coat of paint can do to a home.

Myth No. 5: Spring is the best time to sell a home

The idea of spring as the prime real estate season began because parents waited until the end of the school year to move and wanted to get into a new home before the next school year began.

But home sales are no longer driven mainly by young families with school-aged children. Childless homeowners like retirees looking to downsize and twenty-somethings looking for their first home have shifted the buying season, making fall and winter just as competitive, if not more so.

The best advice is to know what’s going on in your local housing market; the truth is that any season can be the best.  If you’re planning on selling your home, don’t wait around for the right season; get it on the market now.

Myth No. 6: Pass on the first offer and wait for something better

When the first offer comes in and it’s below asking price, many sellers make the mistake of passing in the hopes that they can land a better offer later. The problem is, the first offer is sometimes the only offer and weeks later the homeowners are kicking themselves for their mistake. If a home stays on the market for more than a month or two, buyers start to sense weakness. As those “days on market” numbers tick up, buyers will make increasingly stingy offers, betting on the possibility that you might be desperate to sell. Take every offer seriously and don’t reject the first one assuming something better will come down the road.