The Contrarian’s Guide to Real Estate
Everything brokers tried to hide
And nothing they want you to see
Selling a home can be time consuming, frustrating, complicated and expensive. It’s a daunting experience trying to manage deadlines and vendors while also keeping an eye on your money. The Contrarian’s Guide to Real Estate helps you navigate your home sale by uncovering the hidden secrets behind the incentives, commissions, pricing, and everything you don’t need to do. These insights often turn the conventional wisdom and narrative around home sales on its head, so don’t be surprised if these ideas singe a few eyebrows.
The best outcome for every home seller is a smooth transaction, conducted in a timely manner while producing the highest net proceeds possible. Maximizing net proceeds means taking home as much money as possible after escrow without paying unnecessary costs. If you want the best shot at keeping your net proceeds, it will be essential to get a firm grasp on a few topics before you wade into the process of listing your home with a broker.
First, consider the landscape of the residential real estate market and the fact that most of what you hear about selling homes is not true. When you understand that the language of the conventional narrative in residential real estate is designed to separate you from your net proceeds, you can take action to re-control the flow of that money. Otherwise, it’s easy to watch your funds get eaten up by other parties who know more.
To get the highest net proceeds possible from any home sale you need to understand how commissions and pricing work. Both topics are fraught with inaccurate and misleading claims which any homeowner will hear if they talk to anyone about real estate. Understanding that commissions work against you unnecessarily gives you more control over getting the best financial outcome and avoiding them. Furthermore, owners who are misled in pricing guidance from brokers or kick off a plan based on inaccurate automated home valuation models from Zillow or Redfin, end up losing money from under-pricing while chasing multiple offers or just wasting a lot time. If the risks to net proceeds are not managed appropriately, owners can lose out on more than 10% of the value of their home, or more. These are serious dollars, and home sellers are well advised to spend more than a few hours reading up on these topics as well as well as spending the time to price their own home.
Finally, once the pricing research is complete and the broker selected, it is time to get your home ready to list. A solid looking listing and the right amount of staging puts you in the best position to maintain leverage as a seller through the entire transaction. A well-executed transaction is one where the seller uses this leverage to exit escrow with the highest net proceeds possible.
At the end of the day, it pays to recognize that much conventional wisdom in real estate is just plain wrong and designed to separate you from your money. Contrarian thinking may not be what brokers and agents want to encourage since they benefit from the status quo, but once you understand the relevant variables that influence the net proceeds in your home sale, the payoff for not toeing the party line can be tremendous.