5 myths sellers believe

If you are a home seller in Wisconsin, this article may be of interest to you. Let us know what you think. Scott Swick of First Weber writes about myths and opinions below:

In today’s uncertain real estate market, fear runs rampant.  Many sellers are listening to the national media and coming to the conclusion that it is a bad time to sell their home.  But like most myths, these need debunking. Here are five myths sellers tend to believe.


Seller Myth No. 1:  “Now is the worst time to sell your home.”

Real estate is local. It depends on where you live. Many of the worst hit markets, like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Miami, are already turning around and are experiencing huge sales increases. Here in Fond du Lac County, we saw home prices drop only 2.6% last year.  If you are a homeowner who wants to trade up to a new home, the lower price you might get on your current home will be more than offset by the bargain you’ll receive on the next one.  Don’t measure your financial status by what your home sells for, but by the net gain or loss of the sale of your existing home PLUS the purchase of your next home. It almost always works out in your favor.

Seller Myth No. 2:  “Never respond to a low ball bid.”  

Right now, it’s true that you are going to see more low ball offers than we did a few years ago. And today, with all the stories in the media, buyers today almost feel obligated to put in a low ball offer to see if the seller will bite. But if you respond with a reasonable counter offer, most buyers can be convinced to come up in price and make the deal.  I have a philosophy at our office with all our real estate professionals, “As much as it depends on you, don’t let the offer die in your client’s lap.”  Always come back with a counter offer. You will be surprised at how many times they other party stays in the negotiation and you finally come to common ground and a deal can be made. Never let it die in your lap.

Seller Myth No. 3: “The first offer is never the best offer.” 

While the first offer may not be the best offer, what is really true, 4 times out of 5, is the first buyer is the best buyer.  A lot of sellers believe that it’s smart to hold out for someone better. But the first buyer is most likely going to finally agree to the highest price you’ll ever get for your home. That’s because 75% of the prospective buyers are going to come to your house in the first 30 days you listed it. After you walk away from that buyer who actually made an offer hoping you’ll get something better, the other prospects have walked away too and gone on to another home…and probably written an offer on it.

Seller Myth No. 4: “I can always reduce my price later.” 

Sellers often want to price their home high for a few weeks just to test the market. But buyers shop by price bracket and if your house is in the wrong one, you’ll just help sell everyone else’s home while yours sits there…overpriced.  Reducing your price later in small increments puts you in the position of chasing the tide as it goes out. We can spend a million dollars to advertise a home, but if it’s not priced right, it will not sell. We need to wake up that this is a buyer’s market. Unless you are willing to wait a year or so to sell your house, price your home to sell within the next 4 months or less. Because if you price it too high, the only house that will sell is your neighbors’.

Sellers Myth No. 5: “I have to have my home sold before I can buy or build a new one.”

The fact is that you as soon as you have your home on the market, you should be either making an offer on an existing home, or selecting a builder to build a new one. You can always structure your offer to be contingent on the sale of your existing home if you prefer. If you decide to build, there are a few builders who have financing programs such as a “no payments during construction loan,” or a “commission rebate program,” or a “trade up program” where they will buy your existing home if it hasn’t sold by the time they are finished building your new home. Building has become incredibly attractive this last year. A local lumber company told me last week that lumber prices are the same level we had back in 1977, a 32 year low. With the lower prices we are seeing from subcontractors and suppliers, building a new home is an incredible deal right now.

The buyer’s market window is closing in 2009. Don’t miss out on your chance to move up by buying into someone else’s myth.

By Scott Swick, General Manager, Fond du Lac First Weber Group

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