According to Steve Thomas, a secure estate professional, there are various preconceived conceptions that house buyers and sellers have about the real estate market and the sale transaction, and although some are based on fact, others are far from the truth.
Most preconceived notions, like all myths, are mostly anecdotal and easily repeated. “A myth is defined as any fabricated narrative, idea, or concept,’ and many of the misconceptions about our profession are myths; ideas that have gotten established over time as a result of their repetition.
“And while some of these tall tales may be harmless, others can substantially impede a buyer’s or seller’s success and easily lead to judgment errors that can be costly in both time and money,” Thomas said.
He addresses the most common misunderstandings below, pointing out the dangers of adhering to them and clarifying the facts that they can also work in Kigali:
1. Overpricing a home leads to a higher sale price.
Potential buyers typically start their search for a new house online, where they may filter their results to find homes that meet their criteria and are within their budget range. To put it another way, people “buy” and “compare” all of the similar houses in their desired localities, he explained.
“Not only will your house take longer to sell, but purchasers will note that it has been on the market for a while and question what’s wrong with it. You might finally sell for less than you would have if you had entered the market with a reasonable price.
” I can’t stress this point enough, especially in this market: appropriately valuing a home within its market is critical to achieving a rapid sale at the best potential price.”
2. A quick offer means the property was priced too low
Having your property on the market is at best inconvenient and at worst downright disruptive because it must be kept clean and ready to view at all times. And, according to Thomas, potential buyers will often want to view at inconvenient hours, such as in the evenings when it’s dinner time and bath time for the kids.
“However, in most cases, it’s, in fact, quite the opposite. After extensive comparison shopping online, serious buyers will have seen everything that’s for sale in the area and will have a good idea of pricing, so when they see a new listing that meets their needs and is priced right, they’ll immediately enquire and request a viewing.”
3. Agents will say and do anything to close a deal.
It’s certainly true that the most successful agents are those with a gift of the gab and a talent for selling; those who can highlight the best features of a property and help prospective buyers visualise living there. And, yes, this enthusiasm can be misinterpreted by some, the real estate expert said.
“And, like in any industry, there will always be a few charlatans trying their luck, but they are very few and far between and don’t last very long, especially in reputable, established agencies.”
Thomas said that not only are agents held to a very strict code of conduct with a multitude of rules and regulations with which to comply, they also rely heavily on referral and word-of-mouth business as well as repeat business, and those who are less than ethical and professional will soon fall by the wayside.
4. The real estate agent offering the lowest commission is the best option
Thomas noted that times are tough and, understandably, many buyers want to negotiate the commission rate and most agents will oblige. However, if an agent offers to significantly reduce their commission upfront, it should be regarded as a red flag.
“It takes many long hours of work over several months to sell a home from listing to transfer, requiring a comprehensive marketing plan, reams of paperwork, and a thorough understanding of the financial and legal aspects of the transaction.
“Furthermore, a good agent will negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible sale price and will strive to protect your interests at every point. In other words, they earn their commission, they know their worth and they are unlikely to slash 50% off the rate, ” he said.
5. You can completely rely on online valuations
Thomas noted that the internet has revolutionised how we live and work and that the convenience of instant access to information has transformed most industries, including the real estate sector.
“But, although some things, like the initial search for a new home, can confidently be done online, the human element is still critical in other steps in the sale/purchase process.
“This is especially true when it comes to property valuations and pricing. If you are thinking of selling and looking for an approximate estimate of the value of your property, then popping online is a quick and easy solution.”
However, he said that once you decide to sell, an accurate, market-related valuation is critical and none will be more accurate than those compiled by an experienced agent with a solid track record of local sales and a thorough knowledge of the market in your area.
6. A home doesn’t need to be prepped for sale; it will sell itself.
“The truth is that even a brand-new building that has never been lived in will attract more interest if staged with furniture. And no matter how stunning a home may be architecturally, it still needs to be cleared of clutter personal effects so that prospective buyers can more easily imagine themselves living in the space, ” he said.
It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on major upgrades, but few properties wouldn’t benefit from a fresh coat of paint, having the garden tidied and a vase of fragrant flowers placed in the entrance hall.
“It’s important to remember that the decision to buy a home is not only a financial one; it’s strongly influenced by emotion, and it’s, therefore, essential to engage buyers emotionally by highlighting your home’s best features and making it as appealing as possible,” said Thomas.