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15 Property Selling Myths And The Truth Behind Them

House for sale

Selling your home is a big decision, but the chances are you’ll have either been through the process before, or you’ll know many people that have. When it comes to selling up, everyone has a theory of their own, and if you’re keen to get the ball rolling you might be open to suggestions in order to secure a quick sale.

But with so much conflicting advice, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best. Here, we put to bed 15 property selling myths so you know where you stand.

Myth 1: Your house will be snapped up in days

It’s normal to have some sort of emotional attachment to your home, especially if the walls hold many years of memories. As such, you might assume your property is just as appealing to others as it has been to you, but this isn’t always the case. On average, a UK property takes 50 days to secure a sale, so don’t be disheartened if it takes a lot longer than you expect.

Myth 2: Receiving a quick first offer means you’ve undervalued your home

So, what if your home does entice a buyer in the first week? You may be inclined to think that receiving an immediate offer is an indicator that your property has been undervalued. However, if it’s been valued fairly, it makes sense that your house is proving attractive to potential buyers, so don’t be deterred.

Myth 3: You should never accept the first offer

Listings tend to get the most attention during the first week on the market, so you would be wrong to assume a better offer will definitely come along. The longer a property sits on the market, the more likely people will question what is wrong with it, so don’t be hasty in turning down the first offer you receive: there is always room for negotiation.

Myth 4: Wait until spring to sell

Certain times of the year may prove to be busier for the property market, but that’s not to say your home won’t budge in the colder months. There is always a demand for houses, so don’t put it off if you feel ready to move.

Myth 5: You’ll always get a return on renovations

One of the biggest myths is that investing in a new kitchen or bathroom will add a lot of value to your home. However, spending a fortune on large improvements can be counterintuitive as not everyone has the same tastes and you’re unlikely to make your money back, let alone a profit. Smaller, more functional upgrades such as fixing cabinet handles and door may well bring in a higher return.

Myth 6: Minor improvements aren’t necessary

On the other end of the spectrum, some believe that even minor cosmetic or functional improvements make no difference to the value at all. Don’t overlook the flaws you’ve grown to live with over the years, as potential buyers will spot them straight away and may be more inclined to go for a similar house that has had a cosmetic spruce.

Myth 7: Inflating the asking price is a strategic move

Some homeowners overprice their property in the hope that they will then settle on the price that they actually wanted in the first place. While logically it may make sense, unrealistically valuing your home may result in potential buyers bypassing your property altogether in favour of a more reasonably priced house.

Myth 8: The interior is all that matters

First impressions count, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the myth that only the interior of your home matters. Keep your front door painted, windows clean and grass well-kept: it’ll make all the difference.

Myth 9: It’s cheaper to sell your home yourself

When adding up the costs of selling, it might seem a good idea to sell your home yourself: but this still comes at a cost. Without the expertise of an estate agent, you will miss out on vital marketing strategies, property portals and will have to handle all enquiries, negotiations and home viewings yourself.

Myth 10: Go with the estate agent that values your property the highest

Some people believe that the higher an estate agent values your home, the more they are invested in selling it for you. In actual fact, the estate agent who values your property fairly and at the market price are more likely to be acting in your best interests.

Myth 11: A south facing garden will dramatically increase the property value

While most of us would enjoy a south facing garden, the belief that they add a lot of value to your home is somewhat of a myth. While it is indeed a desirable feature, it doesn’t add as much value as you think.

Myth 12: Bake and offer coffee

Some believe the smell of home-cooked bread and cakes will make your home more appealing. However, your time will be far better spent on ensuring your house is clean and tidy before viewings.

Myth 13: Make a buyer wait when they make an offer

Making a potential buyer sweat in the hope that they might be more inclined to negotiate upwards may seem like a tactical move, but doing so may result in the buyer retracting their offer altogether if they think you are playing games.

Myth 14: Online valuations are the future

Online home valuations are increasing in popularity, and while they can be a good starting point for a rough guide figure, pricing a home is far more complex than an algorithm can account for. An estate agent will be better able to advise once they have seen your property and taken into account all of the necessary factors.

Myth 15: Buyers want to see a lived-in home

One final common myth is that potential buyers want to see a home well lived-in so they can easily imagine living there. It’s much more important to clean and declutter the place before viewings.