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One of the hardest parts of selling your home is all the unknowns: Who will buy your place, and for how much? How long will it take? That uncertainty might make you particularly eager to soak up advice from just about anyone who's willing to share. Problem is, just because your sister or co-worker swear by certain rules that worked for them, it doesn't mean they'll be a magic solution for you, too. Fact is, a lot of the real estate advice circulating out there is outdated, region-specific, or just plain wrong
Every market is different, and what's great advice in one area can be terrible advice in another. Besides, when it comes to deciding when to list a home, there are two sides to the coin. Busier times mean more buyers, but also more sellers and more competition. Listing your home when inventory is low could snag the right buyer quickly. Life is unpredictable, and there will always be buyers looking in the "off season," too.
You'll find your buyer at an open house
Open houses are exciting, akin to a debutante ball where your home makes its fresh-faced appearance to scads of suitors all at once. And that's fine, but don't expect this to be the venue where you find "the one" who makes an offer.
Of course, you don't want to skip the open house entirely. It's a great way for people to browse, and hey, you never know. Maybe your looky-loo neighbor has a family member who would love to buy your place after all.
You can save money by paying less in commission
Reluctant to fork over the 6% commission that real estate agents typically request to sell your home? Sure, that may seem like a lot of money, but what you might not realize is just how much work an agent does behind the scenes.
Agents' commissions pay for their time and for marketing materials. Posters, flyers, broker open houses, and yard signs all come from the money you pay your agent.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for, and a higher commission can often justify itself in the sense that you can reel in tons of buyers, and (hopefully) spark a bidding war that'll fetch top dollar.
Price your home high—and hold out for a buyer who'll pay it
Of course you want to get the most you can for your property. Still, pricing it sky-high and hoping a gullible buyer will fall for this aspirational sum? Not a great plan.
The best way to avoid this debacle is to price a house right from the start—not too high, not too low—and then seriously consider any offers that roll in, even if they aren't as great as you'd hoped. To start things off, you can enter your address in a home value estimator to get a ballpark figure of how much your home is worth, then fine-tune that number with an agent's help.
Here's what the market is going to look like next year...
Sure, it makes sense that real estate professionals will make educated guesses to help guide buyers' and sellers' decision-making. The operative word here is "educated." Fact is, nobody really knows what the market is going to do; if they did, the housing crash of 2008 would have looked a lot different!