As with any major purchase, you spend a lot of time worrying about if you’re being steered right or not when you’re buying or selling a home. Whether you’re nearing the finish line to buy or sell a house or have yet to even start looking or listing, you’ve probably heard some commonly held real estate misconceptions. Here are a few you should dispel if you’re looking to buy or sell.
1: “The appraisal shows the home’s definite market value.”
Almost always, the appraisal actually comes in under the market value.
2: “You’ll need to put 20% down to buy.”
This is a classic misconception; today, you can put as little as 3% down for a home depending on your credit, income, and statistics to support you.
3: “The best time to buy is spring.”
Years ago when these supporting statistics were counted, the market was mostly full of families with children who needed to find a home based around the school year. Today, however, there are many buyers who aren’t families with kids. Winter is actually a great time to sell your home, because that’s when inventory is low.
4: “If a buyer is interested in a house, they’ll put an offer in no matter what the asking price is.”
Even though negotiations are a common occurrence in real estate, buyers will see them as a pain they’ll have to deal with. This could potentially prevent them from pursuing their interest in the home. If a house is initially priced unreasonably high, they’ll see it as something that will occur throughout the entire transaction.
5: “Since everything’s online, you don’t really need an agent.”
Yes, a lot of the information for available houses out there is online, but there are still some things that you should have an expert helping you with. The terms, contracts, and negotiations can be very confusing, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, etc. It helps to have someone who wants to help you, and will be an objective voice of reason when the going gets rough.
6: “You’ll get the same exposure and service from every agent.”
Not every agent is going to work for you in the same ways. You need a local agent with the right marketing system and tools which effectively get the job done. It’s also necessary that they can negotiate the highest possible price and have a commitment to excellence. Look for an agent with a large selling record and good recommendations, and be sure to follow up with the recommendations they give you!
7: “Open houses aren’t necessary to sell.”
This goes along with the previous point; sellers figure that since everything is online, buyers can simply see everything they need to know from there. However, that is just not the case. Seeing pictures of the home in 2-D is much different than actually being there and seeing it in person.