Let’s admit it, when thinking about selling or buying a house, it’s tempting to jump on the internet and read about how to carry out the process on our own, just to get away from working with a realtor. We’d also be likely to seek the opinion of family, friends and colleagues, only to be inundated with myths about real estate we might mistake for gospel truths.
More often than not, these myths are quashed with real estate honest truths. Here is some information to clear up some of the misconceptions about selling your home or buying a new home. We hope this helps guide you in your real estate transaction.
Myth#1: Real Estate Agents Are All the Same
Thinking that real estate agents are all the same can lead to negative outcomes when engaging in a real estate transaction. Many buyers and sellers choose an agent with whom they have personal connections with such as a friend or family member. This choice is made based on the fact that their loved one has a real estate license. Often there is total disregard for the lack of services that this person has to offer, which a seasoned, full time realtor employs. It’s easy to assume that a friend or family member can do the same or will even do more for them based on their emotional tie. The truth of the matter is, every real estate agent is different and unique – personality, techniques, strategies and most especially skill set are important factors. A real estate agent who worked in the industry for 15 years will have a different knowledge base than an agent who has worked the market as a side job. Good research and interviews with different agents will definitely help you find the right Realtor.
Myth #2: Selling or Buying on Your Own Will Save You a Lot of Money
This myth generally comes from the fact that you don’t have to pay a commission when you don’t use the services of a realtor. While this can be easily believed as a correct statement, since the proceeds from a sale are bigger without having to pay commission, consider that the real estate transaction is a tedious process and there is a lot of room to make mistakes. One of the most common oversights is pricing the home wrong. If priced too low, the seller will be proud of the fact that they sold their own home so quickly, but will end the process with less money in their pockets. More commonly, unrepresented owners will price their homes too high. The result, a home that sits on the market for too long and therefore gets tied to a negative stigma in the mind of buyers. Real estate professionals, especially those with years of experience, can navigate pricing, negotiate offers and find you the most qualified buyer for your property in a shorter amount of time. This saves you marketing costs and all the headaches that come along with selling a property. Simply put, you could self-diagnose and treat your own illness…but wouldn’t it be less risky and less painful to consult a doctor? When selling your own house, partner with a professional who has the market knowledge, marketing, negotiating skills and capabilities to carry your transaction from listing to close. Afterall, we all have our own specialized set of skills and we cannot do everything by ourselves. Need more of a reason? This myth is disproven by stats provided by the National Association of Realtors. 87% of homes purchased in 2016 were through a real estate agent and only 8% of homes in 2016 were sold without Realtors. Further, homes sold without realtors were in fact sold below market value.
Myth #3: Real Estate Agents Will Blatantly Lie Just to Make a Sale
This myth surfaces from various experiences with the sales industry in general. Whether it be real estate, car sales or vacuum sales, we’ve all heard stories of a sales person deliberately omitting some information about a product or service just to make a sale. This statement may hold true in some cases, but top producing real estate agents do not engage in such activity. Why? It’s a simple fact that successful sales people in real estate maintain their business mainly on repeat business, a referral system, and word of mouth. Blatantly lying to clients will not get them the continued business they need to reach high levels of production. Word about their unethical practices would spread faster than a wildfire, thus making them lose business. Their license would also be at stake, because false representation or deliberately giving misleading statements is punishable by the federal law. Standards are also closely governed by both federal, state and local governing bodies.
Myth #4: Staging A Home in the Market is Not Necessary
This myth is one of the greatest misconceptions in the real estate business. Missing this vital step could make your home sit on the market longer than the first crucial 4 weeks. After the 4th week, an unfavorable undertone can develop and can cost the seller thousands of dollars in losses. Put yourself in the buyers shoes, you would probably be more apt to choose a home that looks beautiful and current over something that you perceive to need a lot of work.
Myth #5: Overpricing A Home More Than Its Market Value Will Yield Bigger Money in Your Pocket
If you don’t want your home to sit on the market with a history of price reductions, this is one practice you want to stay away from. More often than not, sellers go this route to leave room for negotiation, presuming this strategy will get them their desired price. But this has been squashed time and time again and this is why - most buyers use a buyer’s agent to represent their best interest. It’s the buyer’s agent’s job to find the perfect home for the buyer. Foremost, they are seeking a home that is priced correctly. Diligence in efficiently meeting their clients’ needs will in turn earn the agent a good reputation, leading them to referrals and repeat business. With that being said, buyers and buyer’s agents would not even look at over-priced properties, leaving your property to sit on the market for a couple of months with a history of price reductions. As the property sits, it develops a connotation that the home is not selling within the normal 3-4 week range because of some problem it may have, keeping even more potential buyers away.