Fact or Fiction? Real Estate Myths Unraveled

Yellow signs with the word myth on one and the word facts on the other sign.

Myths are this way and Facts are that way.

The time has come to buy or sell your Chicago home! You will inevitably hear a lot of chatter from various people. Everyone thinks he or she is an expert, but whom should you believe? Are your friends a trustworthy source or should you rely on your real estate agent? With so many new ways to get your information, your head will be spinning.
The Internet is a wealth of information for buyers and sellers, but is it all accurate? You’re probably familiar with the ironic saying “If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.” While technology has drastically changed the way homes are sold and bought over the years, some aspects haven’t changed since your parents bought their last home. One fact that hasn’t changed is that everyone wants to save money when it comes time to buying or selling a home. Knowing what advice is a fact and what is a myth can help you in the long run. Here are some common real estate myths that can really trip up sellers and buyers.
MYTH #1: Set the price of your home higher than what you are expecting to get. If you list your home too high, you might actually net a lower price than what you wanted. The reasoning is that most buyers and their real estate agents don’t always look at a home that is priced about the market value. Even though you have the option to lower the price if you don’t get any bites, this can cause some issues as well.  Unfortunately, buyers become suspicious of homes that have been on the market longer than three weeks. By starting your home off at the right asking price, you can avoid the problems that go along with setting the price for your Chicago home too high.
MYTH #2: A buyer can get a better deal if they don’t use a real estate agent.  This is completely false! Remember, if a real estate agent lists a house, the total sales commission is actually built into the price. Some buyers aren’t aware that if they don’t use an agent, then the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.
MYTH #3: You will save money if you sell your home yourself. It is true that some sellers are able to successfully sell their home on their own. However, they don’t always have the skills to get their home listed online, market their home effectively, negotiate the contract and deal with any issues that may develop during the loan application process or home inspection. It isn’t impossible to sell your own home, but there is one thing you should know before attempting to go it alone. Buyers will be expecting a sizable discount when a home is for sale by the owner. You might be saving money on a real estate commission, but you will also need to lower the price of your home. Again, it’s not impossible to sell your home by yourself and still receive the same price you’d get with an agent, but it won’t be easy.
MYTH #4: Renovate your bathroom and kitchen before you sell. If your kitchen and bathroom look presentable and are fully functional, remodeling might actually backfire. Not everyone shares your taste, especially prospective buyers. Buyers also will not want to redo a room that was just remodeled to add their own style once they have moved in. It is best to adjust your offering price accordingly to account for any updates the home may need.
Remember to keep these myths in mind, whether you are purchasing or selling your home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and gather as much information as you can before making any final decisions.
For more information on Chicago real estate, go to www.ChicagoRealEstateForum.com.