Common misconceptions about Selling a Home

Everyone has an opinion and people are more than willing to drop in their two cents’ worth upon hearing that you’re selling a property. Yet such advice on property matters could be more fiction than fact.


Before you make a potentially costly mistake, Domain has asked sales agent Mr Priddy of a prominent but non-Acton agency, to clear up five of the most commonly held selling misconceptions.

Myth 1: Save money through minimal advertising

“One of the biggest misconceptions I come up against is that people have too much faith in the internet. They think ‘I can just put my property on the internet and don’t need to spend any money on print advertising.’ In reality, you actually get the most buyers from a mix of print and online,” Mr Priddy points out.

“Any money you spend on advertising is an investment in selling your property. You must give yourself the very best opportunity to secure the very best buyer – the emotional buyer. And everyone knows that an emotional buyer pays more – they buy with the heart, then justify with the wallet. Yet an emotional buyer is not always internet-focused.”

Myth 2: Auctions cost more

According to Mr Priddy, some people believe that auctions cost a lot more than other sale methods. “They certainly don’t – an auction will only cost for an auctioneer to come to the home to perform the auction,” he says, noting that a typical auctioneer fee is only a few hundred dollars.

“I think it’s a dated view – maybe 20 years ago when auctions weren’t as popular, people viewed them as a bit of a production. But nowadays, in many of the best suburbs, they are the norm. Auctions bring the campaign to a head and send a clear message that the property is for sale, within a fixed timeframe. While they’re not always a buyer’s preference, they create certainty for sellers and that is a huge bonus. And ultimately less time on market means less stress [and cost] for vendors.”

Myth 3: Set the price high

“Some people think that when setting an asking price, you can set it really high and come down over time if needed. That is completely and utterly wrong,” Mr Priddy says.

“It’s much better to set an asking price that the market will pay, and adjust accordingly when you start getting buyer feedback. By setting a price too high, you discourage people from inspecting your property. The key point of a sales campaign is to encourage people through the door and to encourage competition.”

Myth 4: Hold out for more

Mr Priddy says another myth comes from the old green-eyed monster — greed.

“Many people think that if they wait another week, they’ll get a higher offer. Not always! If the agent is doing their job and feeding information through to the vendor effectively, then within two to three weeks the owner should know where their property sits in relation to the market.”

He goes further by issuing this warning to vendors: “It’s dangerous to keep pushing back a buyer who is ready and willing to exchange unconditionally – the danger being the buyer can change their mind, get offended, or many, many other factors.”

Myth 5: Mine is best

“We all want a premium for our homes, and that has to be the ultimate goal. But at the end of the day, the property is only worth what a buyer will pay,” Mr Priddy explains.

“A good agent will always strive to drive the price from the market price to the premium price result, regardless of the type of sales campaign. That is what you employ your agent to do. But often a vendor’s pride, ego and sometimes arrogance can overcome logic, and that can be a real problem.”

Removing emotional attachment to the property and viewing it realistically from a buyer’s point of view will help you see how your property really fares against comparable properties on the market.

Mr Priddy is keen to point out that central to virtually all selling misconceptions is one key aspect: “It’s a matter of logic versus emotion. Buyers are emotional and you want them to be, to pay the higher price, but as a vendor, you can’t afford to be. Do your best to suspend emotion and just look at the facts in front of you – that way you can make the best and most informed decisions.”