4 Home Pricing Myths Sellers Need to Know Now

In an effort to make a profit, many sellers in the real estate market tend to fall for certain myths when it comes to putting a price on their home. This is especially true in places like Palm Beach where a record-setting $105 million deal went through for a property on Ocean Blvd. was closed just last December, underscoring the city’s booming local real estate market.

While market optimism is a good quality for any seller to have, it shouldn’t lead to believing in certain myths that can only prolong the sale of your home and make the process more difficult. If you have some concerns regarding the pricing of a home you want to sell, let’s discuss the truths behind some of real estate’s most prominent myths.

Myth: Renovations automatically result in a higher value or asking price.

Truth: Not all renovations have a positive ROI, which is why it’s important to remain cautious about this — especially given the capital involved, whether it’s coming from your savings or from a loan.

Desert Sun indicates that there are a variety of transformative renovations that can actually allow you to raise your asking price and result in a decent ROI. From simply replacing your garage door to going for a full kitchen remodel – which usually costs on average $1,750 and $20,830, respectively – there are a variety of options you can take in terms of renovating towards a higher market valuation. While doing a major renovation may necessitate dipping into your savings or taking on loans, the ROI could be worth the time, money, and effort to renovate. Fortunately, The Federal Housing Administration’s 203(k) program lets homeowners borrow up to $35,000, which can give you ample room to plan out renovations that can actually increase your ROI. If you’re aiming at major renovations but worried about making payments, there’s no shortage of personal loan options that can cushion the blow. Marcus details that personal loans can be used for debt consolidation and subsidizing other loans as well. However much you’re willing to spend or borrow, what’s important is to choose the renovations carefully so your capital doesn’t go to waste.

Myth: The longer you wait, the better the offers.

Truth: This is rarely the case. The more likely scenario is that the longer your home is on the market, the worse the offers will tend to get. In fact, according to real estate experts from The Balance, listings that have lingered on the market for over 30 days have a greater chance of being low-balled by buyers. Rather than prolonging a sale and waiting for a better offer, it might be better to compare the initial offers you’ve already gotten and choose the best one. A related myth is that getting immediate offers means that your price is too low – what this really means is that the price is likely just right, which is why serious buyers considered it in the first place.

Myth: Potential homeowners are mainly interested in the ‘bones’ of a house.

Truth: While the structural integrity of your house is an important and valid concern, it’s far from the only thing that buyers consider before making a decision. In our article ‘Revisit Your Listing’s Curb Appeal: Have You Done Enough?’ we detailed how the way your home looks from the outside can greatly influence whether or not buyers think that the price is right.

It’s important to remember that anyone who’s in the market for a house wants to be able to move in and not have to do any cosmetic or practical repairs for at least one year. While there are some buyers looking for a structure with ‘good bones’ that they can renovate to their liking, most buyers want a blank canvas.

Myth: You don’t need an agent to sell for the right price.

Truth: This is only true for agents themselves or those with at least a decade of professional experience in real estate. While agent commissions can seem like a lot, finding the right agent can make the process a lot less stressful, which is something you can’t put a price on. The right agent can not only help you identify the ideal price range to start listing your home, but also put you in touch with the right potential buyers. While you technically don’t need an agent to sell a home, that’s like saying that you don’t need a ship to cross the sea because you can swim.

Debunking these myths is the first step to landing an attractive offer that will satisfy both you and your potential homebuyer. The more accurately you can ascribe a value to your home, the smoother the process will be.

Guest post written for carolinecarter.com by Rania Jazzy

Short Term Storage: Godsend or Black Hole?

The self-storage industry is currently a $39 billion-dollar industry with positive projected growth over the next five years. This industry has figured out how to play our emotions like a fiddle.

Let’s take a look at what has helped to fuel the growth of this industry:

  • USA Today reports that 40 million Americans move each year
  • The U.S. Census Bureau states that the average American in the U.S. moves more than 11.7 times throughout their lifetime. And,
  • According to the LA Times, most American homes contain 300,000 items

There are many reasons we choose to rent a short-term storage unit and for some it makes solid financial sense:

  • Those of us that choose a more urban footprint and knowingly store larger everyday items we need frequent access to; winter clothes and sports equipment, outdoor furniture, bikes, lawnmowers etc. These folks have figured the monthly cost of short-term storage into the monthly budget and justify the rental cost.
  • The commercial use of self-storage as a way to house additional inventory they need access to.

And the rest of us? We are fueling the growth of this industry. Why?

We allow our emotions to affect the financial decisions we make. It’s that simple.

We’ve all done it. We are moving, again. We carefully pack away the heirlooms we will absolutely never use or display but cannot bear to give away, or the pricey furniture mistakes we have made, the items we are saving because “you never know, the kids may want them”. Trust me, the “kids” won’t want them.

Yet, we store them. We are using self-storage as a way to defer making difficult emotional decisions and its costing some of us dearly, month after month, year after year.

Let’s look at the current US Self-Storage Industry data:

Annual industry revenue                                                     $39 billion

Number of storage facilities (range)                                    45,000-60,000

Total rentable self-storage space.                                         1.7 billion square feet

Self-storage space per person                                               5.4 square feet

Percentage of households that rent a self-storage unit.   9.4 percent

Average monthly cost for a self-storage unit.                    $87.89

*Source: SpareFoot Storage Beat 3/20

What are 9.4% of US consumers storing in 5.4 square feet that they are willing to pay $87.89 per month for? Only they know.

What I know is why they are storing it and how it has led to the growth of a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Our emotional indecision. Yup, our inability to let go of our stuff.

It’s that simple. Our knee-jerk reaction to getting rid of anything we are emotionally attached to-so we don’t get rid of it-we store it.

Here is a typical scenario:

We are moving-upsizing, downsizing, rightsizing and need to make quick decisions. Many of these decisions are easy to make and will fall into 3 categories:

Pack to move

Donate

Dump

The closer we get to the move date, the more stressed out, anxious and emotionally exhausted we become. Our ability to think clearly and make good quality decisions degrades over time. So, what do we do when we are running out of energy, time and can no longer make decisions?

Put it in storage!

Godsend.

We look locally for the best deal-one month free, two months free and happily choose to hand over a credit card for easy monthly pay and walk away knowing that our “treasures” are safe and secure. We breathe a sigh of relief and check this item of the move off our list. We mentally move on.

What we do not realize is that when renting our storage space and signing at the end of a multipage contract with teeny tiny legalese-we have agreed to a timed rental unit cost increase that has already been laid out in the contract. The built-in increase has already been agreed to by YOU.

While we may see the monthly invoices and the thought is always in the back of our minds to “deal with storage” the weeks become months then years before many of us actually begin to pay closer attention to the increases and decide to address these emotionally deferred decisions once and for all. Others look back years later not even remembering what they put in storage originally.

Black hole.

So, how do you avoid being a casualty of the self-storage industry?

  1. Take the time to truly think through the COST of storing each item over time.
  2. Set a time frame in which you agree to rent the space-6 months or 1 year
  3. Ask to see the fine print in the contract regarding automatic monthly increases
  4. Ask to be informed before a monthly increase will occur
  5. Create a visual and physical inventory of stored items-include measurements

Short term storage is a Godsend for many of us who need to utilize this readily available local option and have firm grip on exactly what is being stored, why it’s being stored and for how long.

It’s a black hole when used as a way to delay difficult decisions about the disposition of household goods, heirlooms and mementoes that we cannot let go of, put out of our conscious minds and not consider the rising cost of this option.

So, if you are one of the families using a short-term unit, ask yourself if you are ready to make decisions to dispose of the “treasures” you have stored in the 5.4 square feet once and for all and take a trip with the $1,000.00 yearly savings instead.

The Family is Moving. Who Will Do Most of the Work?

Mom, of course. Is she ready?

If you’re a mom, you understand immediately that most large family initiatives, like moving, will naturally fall to you to research, coordinate and supervise, ensuring that all “i’s” are dotted, and the “t’s” are crossed. Who better, right? Over the last 14 years of guiding 2000+ families through successful home transitions, I’ve seen this scenario play out again and again. Let me share some family moving tips to help you.

Mom Can Do It All – Family Moving Tips

The decision to sell and move is a major emotional, financial and physical life-changing event. Once the initial euphoria has worn off, promises of equitable distribution of duties by other family members can fall by the wayside and who is left holding the bag? Mom, of course. A recent article in Forbes sheds some light on the fact that Women Are Working More Than Ever, But They Still Take On Most Household Responsibilities. No surprise here. Are you ready to add the responsibility for this huge event to your already overflowing list of things to do? If so, you will need to know what to expect over the course of the transition and where to spend your time and money in order to minimize the anxiety that you, the family and even your pets will experience.

If you are like most moms, once the listing agreement is signed, you begin to panic. It’s the first official step in the process of home transition and the beginning of an intense, emotional roller coaster. Your mind goes into overdrive and you ask yourself, now what? You grab a notebook and a pen and then freeze, asking yourself… Where do I start? How do I pack up a lifetime? Who do I call? What do I do first? You realize that you need help-and fast. It’s overwhelming and you need a plan. You are not alone.

No one escapes the uncertainty of the sales and moving process, it’s universal, no matter where you live, the size and price point of your home, what you’re packing or where you’re going. There is no way around the process of selling and moving… only through it. I assure you, you’ve got this.

To begin, take my advice and avoid the 5 biggest mistakes most sellers make when getting their house ready to list and sell. Remember:

  1. It’s not about YOU, it’s about the BUYER
  2. Believing your house is the exception to the rule.
  3. Not removing your personal footprint.
  4. Not conducting an interior and exterior buyer assessment.
  5. Believing your buyer will see the value of your home the way you do

To ensure a successful sale and move, you will need to:

  • Strip the emotion from the decision-making process and adopt a business-like approach to the sale.
  • Change your mindset from homeowner to house seller and consider your home a house. It is now a marketable asset, so design it to sell for top dollar.
  • Understand current buyer expectations and what fast, easy and inexpensive updates will need to be made to meet these expectations and generate immediate interest.
  • Consider the sale of the house and move as one continuous process to save both time and money. If you are at least 60% packed to move, you can accept an offer with a faster close date than you anticipated. You’re ready.
  • Understand and research local storage and moving company options and compare apples to apples. Take charge of organizing the packing process and explain the way that you want it to be done. Movers are not the decision makers – you are.
  • Read all contracts carefully and understand the “fine print” about last minute add on’s, insurance options and damages. Get it in writing!
  • Keep a binder or online spreadsheet of all house related information in one place. You will refer to it often throughout the process and way beyond the unpacking of the last box in your new home.
  • Breathe. You will get through this, everyone does.

So, are you ready? Do you know all you need to know about the real estate and moving industries to create a successful home transition for your family? If not, you need a secret weapon that thousands of sellers rely on to act as a “cheat sheet”, SMART MOVES: How to Save Time and Money While Transitioning Your Home and Life. Order your copy today. Make the decision to be prepared and be a Smart Mover!

Caroline Carter is the founder and CEO of Done In A Day, a Washington D.C. and Palm Beach Gardens, FL based home transition company that has moved everyone from the Who’s Who in politics, business and media. She is a frequent guest expert on TV, radio, podcasts and in print where she discusses how to take the pain out of moving and moving on. She has just released her first book SMART MOVES – How To Save Time and Money While Transitioning Your Home and Life. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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