We live in the information age, but sometimes it seems more like the “misinformation” age. There are truths, half-truths, stories and lore all around us. Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Often, it doesn’t make a significant different. When it comes to real estate, however, misinformation can be costly. Here are some of the top real estate myths.
1. All Real Estate Agents Are the Same
Even though real estate agents have similar objectives—at least on the surface—that doesn’t mean they’re the same. People sometimes make the mistake of assuming that because two agents are both capable of helping you buy or sell the same property, they do the same things. This could not be farther from the truth.
Much of the difference depends on experience. More experienced agents can often get the job done smoother, quicker, and save you money along the way. They have skills and connections that set them apart from the newer players.
There’s nothing wrong with asking a realtor about how they plan on attacking a challenge. You may like what you hear or choose to move on to someone else.
2. You Should Overprice a Home Higher to Start Negotiations Higher
This is a common myth. Some people assume that because negotiations usually happen, you’re in a better position if you start high when selling. Not only does conventional wisdom dictate that an accurate price is the best place to start, but the internet has debunked tons of overpricing strategies.
Buyers can search for comparable homes in the same area online. If they see that yours is significantly more than similar properties, they will likely check out the rest. On the other hand, if it’s somewhat close, then you’re in the ball game.
3. You Should Get Pre-Approved After You Find a Home You Like
The logic behind this myth goes something like this: During pre-approval, I am going to learn how much a bank thinks I can afford. Therefore, I should know the number we’re shooting for beforehand. This is errant thinking.
In fact, it’s the other way around. You should know what you can afford before you find a home you like. Doing it the other way around could lead to disappointment because you may not have the finances to get a home that has already started pulling at your heart strings.
4. You Save a lot of Money When You Sell Your Home Yourself
Selling a home is not like selling a bike, a couch, or even a car. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, and plenty of room for mistakes and miscalculations.
It would be easy to:
- Accidentally overprice your home and leave it stranded on the market for many months
- Make a mistake during the transaction that could cause the sale to fall through.
- Negotiate the wrong price and accidentally sell the house for less than it’s worth.
These are some of the top myths, but there are more. The best way to cut to the truth is to hire an experienced realtor. Ask plenty of questions and get to know the process and the reasoning behind each step. In this information age, some of the best knowledge comes from turning away from the screen and talking to a real person.