For real estate agents, dealing with common real estate myths that are ingrained into the minds of buyers and sellers can be a challenge.
According to US News & World Report, technology today has radically changed the way homes are bought and sold, and the Internet has made much more information available to consumers, but not all the information is equal, or even accurate.
Another common myth is that you should set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Many potential buyers instruct their agents to pass up houses that are priced above market value, and the end result could be getting an even lower price.
“Setting your home at a reasonable price is a good way to get buyers to show some interest and not be scared off by sticker shock,” said Tucker Robbins of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
And everyone should dispense with the myth that buyers can get a better deal without a real estate agent. As a general rule, you won’t save much, if anything, by not using an agent. Buyers will find this to be particularly true, since the commission comes out of the sale price. If you don’t have an agent, the seller’s agent will simply take the full commission.
Selling your home yourself can be a risky proposition. Tony Guerra, a former Realtor in California, said experienced agents and brokers are skilled negotiators.
“A good real estate agent knows the local market, knows what a particular home should sell for and works hard to see that it sells for that price,” he said. “Most home sellers working without agents may not be prepared for sales negotiations, renegotiations, offers, counteroffers and the like.”
Since the housing bust in 2008, a growing myth has been that the market will only go up. Even in a hot market, there are never guarantees. During the recession that ended in 2009, many homes lost value, aiding in the collapse of the real estate market. If the unemployment rate rises and incomes fall, people will may be forced to sell their homes.
Sharel Hebert, Realtor with Century 21 Bessette Realty in Lake Charles, La., pointed out that another myth is to renovate before selling, a move that could backfire.
“Prospective buyers might not share your taste, and they might not want to redo something that has just been renovated,” says Hebert. “It’s better to adjust the price accordingly. Most buyers want to put their own stamp on the aesthetics of a home.”
There also is no guarantee that you will recoup the money you spend on renovations, another popular myth. You won’t necessarily receive a dollar-for-dollar match.
Moreover, there are no guarantees that all properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online. Some agents (at the request of their clients) opt for in-house or ‘pocket’ listings which hold them back from anyone the agent isn’t in personal contact with.
Open houses can prove to be a valuable tool to sell a property, especially if a Realtor or agent has participated in best-practices seminars.
“I treat Sunday as the most important day of the week,” says Wendy Cutrufelli, a sales associate at Alain Pinel Realtors in Walnut Creek, Calif. “When else will you be in a room full of buyers and sellers? You spend a lot of marketing dollars to reach these people, and open houses put you right in front of them.”
There are many great open house techniques that can work, so this is proof that there can be an exception to every rule.