We’ve all been fed—and have sometimes believed—more than a few old wives’ tales: feed a cold, starve a fever, put some brandy on your baby’s gums, handling toads cause warts, etc . But what about the popular myths in real estate?

Real estate myths are often passed around among buyers and sellers. Some of them have some truth; others are outright false; and still others depend on a variety of factors that we are happy to discuss with you. Ask a question below!

Myth #1: Always change bold paint colors to neutrals before selling.

Reality check: False

Bold doesn’t automatically mean bad. Sometimes, a room calls for a grand color in order to play up an architectural feature, divide a room in two visually, or add cheer when there’s little natural light. But even if a room sports a bold shade of paint, home owners don’t always have to grab a brush to change it up before listing. Sellers can tone down a strong color with a neutral counterpart, such as a calming rug or tranquil array of fresh greenery. We do, however, recommend limiting bold colors to a small portion of the house and not having too many color changes throughout the house.

Myth #2: Never buy the biggest house on a street.

Reality check: Usually true

The largest house on a block or in a neighborhood often is the most expensive, which may affect its appraisal and make its price much higher than other homes in the same neighborhood on comparative analyses. Most buyers today are concerned about value when making an investment in a home, so we caution about limiting your pool of future buyers by pricing yourself out of or above the local market.

Myth #3: Sellers should expect to earn back everything they invested in remodeling projects at resale time.

Reality check: False, but…

A quick check of the annual “Cost vs. Value” survey demonstrates that it’s nearly impossible to get 100 percent of the money you put into a redo back when you sell. A siding replacement of fiber-cement brought the highest return in the most recent survey in the upscale project category, and that percentage was 84.3 percent. Remodeled kitchens and bathrooms continue to be huge selling points to prospective buyers. They make a home more attractive to potential buyers—and help you avoid doing the work. We agree that it pays to keep a house updated and in line with similarly priced homes in the community.

Myth #4: To sell quickly in this market, you must have the most popular features buyers are seeking.

Reality check: False, but…

It’s true that items such as master bedroom walk-in closets and first-floor master suites are all the rage now. Two story homes dominate the landscape in our area, but don’t despair if your master is upstairs. Right now, we have little inventory and a lot of buyers — including absentee owners and investors — making purchasers more flexible. Every home will sell, but at the right price. Price is the great equalizer.

Myth #5: If buyers don’t like an exterior, they’ll never go inside.

Reality check: Often true

Without some curb appeal, most buyers assume the inside will similarly lack anything worth viewing. Whether their first view is on the internet or a drive by, buyers will either have a good or bad first impression based on the outside of your home. Exterior changes may be as simple as adding landscaping that dresses up part of the offending façade, painting shutters and a door to focus attention, or upgrading a walkway with a nicer material. We are happy to provide a cost effective plan if you have a future sale in mind!

So what’s always true?

We are ready, willing and able to help you navigate the often confusing world of real estate. Send us your questions by using the

Ask A&E feature below.

Fill out my online form.