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Five common misconceptions about real estate sales

Posted 3 | 11 | 2020
Categories Real Estate

There are certain popular beliefs that lead sellers to make poor decisions, jeopardising the sale of their properties. Here are five of the most common misconceptions, as well as our explanations and advice concerning each one.


#1: Listing a property on a maximum number of real estate websites and portals will result in a quicker, more profitable sale

In reality, having a listing on all available real estate portals is not a wise decision.

Like a commercial that plays over and over all day long, a real estate listing that is posted in an untargeted manner runs the risk of inspiring mistrust on the part of potential buyers. They will wonder what the seller is trying to hide by resorting to such mass advertising and why the property has not yet been sold.

They will likely jump to quick conclusions that are not particularly flattering to your property: if it is having difficulty selling despite high visibility, there must be significant hidden defects.

Our advice: by choosing to work exclusively with a real estate agency that has mastered the process of marketing and selling properties, you can rest assured that the advertising will be appropriate. Your home will attract potential buyers that see it as an opportunity to be seized, rather than a scam to be avoided.


#2: It is very expensive to hire a real estate broker

Unlike low-cost agencies and brokers that charge fees in advance simply to prepare the initial paperwork, established agencies and brokers only bill you for their services when your property sells. In other words: if there are no results, you pay no fees.

Furthermore, the final sum will be to your advantage. In fact, it has been demonstrated that working with a real estate professional will enable you to increase your final sales price by as much as 17 percent (source: OCSTAT numbers 2013-2017).

Brokers will not cause you to lose money. Instead, they will help you make more money by setting the ideal sales price for your property and then employing all their experience, know-how and negotiation skills to make the best possible sale.

For example: if you were selling your home yourself or through a low-cost agency or broker for a price of CHF 900,000, a reputable real estate agent could get up to CHF 1,053,000. When you call on the services of a qualified broker, even after deducting the professional agency commissions, your net total will be higher.

Our advice: based on the above example, even if the broker commission was CHF 41,000, you would still make CHF 1,012,000, i.e. CHF 112,000 more than you would make by managing the sale on your own. Therefore, you are obviously better off hiring a real estate professional.


#3: Choosing the highest appraisal will guarantee the highest purchase price

The third misconception you should be aware of before selling a property concerns the appraisal and resulting listing price.

Setting a fair price from the very beginning is one of the most effective ways of ensuring a successful sale. It may be tempting to choose the highest listing price. However, far from being the secret to the most profitable sale, this strategy often backfires. Posting an excessively high listing price ‘just to see what happens’ generally ends up frightening off the most serious potential buyers. Moreover, after several weeks or months without a sale, you will be led to lower the price. Potential buyers will perceive this as a sign of weakness and will not hesitate to take advantage of it during the negotiation process.

Our advice: call on an experienced, qualified broker from the start in order to define the best sales price based on the current market and the specifics or your property.


#4: The quality of the listing is not very important

In reality, as they say, the first impression is the one that counts. Everything begins with the listing. Therefore, it must be prepared with care.

Your future buyer will decide to contact you based on the interest your real estate listing elicits. This is why it is essential for the photos to be taken by a professional who knows how to choose the best lighting and the most flattering angles. The description must also be well-written and accurate.

Our advice: let your agent prepare and post your listing. For your part, you should get your home ready for the professional photographer’s visit. Remove any obtrusive items, store your personal belongings out of sight, perform a thorough cleaning and perhaps add a few plants to lend a touch of warmth.


#5: Buyers prefer to negotiate directly with property owners

In reality, buyers tend to feel more reassured when they deal with a real estate professional. When a property owner manages a sale directly, an atmosphere of mistrust often prevails.

When there is no intermediary, the surge of emotions inevitably linked to the sale can jeopardise the negotiation process. Most importantly, when a professional is involved, the potential buyer knows that the transaction will be serious and risk-free.

Our advice: for 60 years, we have been guiding and supporting buyers and sellers through each step of the process. We take our role as consultants seriously, with the goal of guaranteeing the best results by effectively channelling the emotions that can arise along the way.


There are other misconceptions about real estate sales, but the five covered here are the most common. To avoid errors and ensure that the sale of your property will be a success, contact our brokers!

Real estate agencies of the SPG-Rytz Group:

Geneva: Route de Chêne 36 – 1208 Geneva – Tel.: 022 539 13 18
Nyon: Avenue Alfred-Cortot 7 – 1260 Nyon – Tel.: 022 539 11 85
Lausanne: Place de la Navigation 14 – 1007 Lausanne – Tel.: 021 539 13 17