1. Listing a higher price than you expect to get is a good idea
Myth. In a market where homes often sell for under-asking, it can be temping to build the expected discount into the price, but this can backfire badly. If a home is listed above market value, savvy buyers and agents will sniff this out and might not bother to look at it. And, it could cause your home – which might have sold quickly at the right asking price – to sit on the market long than it should. If the asking price is truly justified and the seller can afford to wait for the right buyer, that’s another thing altogether.
2. Open houses sell properties
A bit of both. The truth is, open houses aren’t usually a direct route to finding your buyer. Qualified buyers are doing their research online and making informed decisions about which properties to visit. The chances that your buyer is going to walk in off the street because of an open house sign on the corner are slim to none. However, open houses do have value. For one thing, they can generate excitement and a sense of urgency, especially when shared on date-driven social media like Facebook. They can also offer an opportunity to get honest feedback about your listing, which is why it’s important that your open house is hosted by your agent or at least someone on the team. Some agents use open houses as an opportunity to cruise for new clients. Make sure yours has good reason for suggesting the open house, and offers real feedback on the experience.
3. Agents sell their own homes for more
Myth. In Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt posit that Realtors interests are not always aligned with their clients’. To prove their point, they looked at how agents sell their own homes. Looking at data from pre-2005 Chicago, they found that agents leave their own homes on the market for an average of 10 days longer and net 3% more than their non-agent compatriots. Sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it? But it’s important to note that the market has changed drastically since 2005. In fact, that 3% number had already dropped from 4.9% over the previous 10 years. What changed? The internet arrived in a big way, erasing the major advantage agents had over non-agents. It would be fascinating to see this topic revisited by the Freakonomics duo now that MLS has levelled the field.
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