There is an overabundance of information about buying and selling homes available to customers online. Some agents have clients incredibly well informed so the process moves smoothly. However, there are several topics for which clients are either misinformed or completely in the dark. Bad information can be dangerous in the case of buying a home. To help clear up some of the confusion, here are some of the more frequently seen myths.
Real estate agents are paid a salary.
Contrary to how agents appear, most live paycheck to paycheck. The mileage on their car, food at open houses, and closing gifts you receive is coming out of their pocket. The time they spend with a client that doesn’t buy a home for 6 months or doesn’t buy at all is time they are not getting a paid. Their pay day only comes once a deal is officially closed.
The agent keeps all of the commission.
As much as they would like to, that is not the case. As mentioned above, there are expenses with selling a home. On top of that, they spend money on marketing materials and getting photos or videos of the property that cut into the final check. The brokerage also takes a portion and if the agent is working with an assistant or a team, there may be a portion going to others as well.
Agents get a 6% commission.
Six percent is the total amount that is split between the seller’s agent AND the buyer’s agent. That means that each agent takes a 3% paycheck home, before all the expenses mentioned above. This is why the question of negotiating a lower commission from the client is often met with a less than enthusiastic response from the agent.
A home either passes or fails an inspection.
A home inspection is an in depth review of its condition but there is no final “grade.” It is up to the buyer to decide if they want to move forward with the purchase based on the results of the inspection. Some are willing to undertake a long list of necessary fixes while others are looking for a turn-key home and will back out due to what others may consider a superficial issue.
Inspectors are on the side of the buyer.
These are independent contractors. They will inspect the house regardless if the sale goes through or not. If they find something, it is simply because no home is 100% perfect. It is up to the buyer to decide whether it is a deal breaker.
Zillow’s Zestimates are accurate.
These are great starting points but the only way to get a true and accurate value of a property is to pull the comparables, see the current home condition, and get an accurate CMA. There is no substitute for an actual agent because a website cannot provide the same market analysis that they can.
There were a lot of people at the open house, that must mean a lot of offers are on the way.
While open houses are a great way to get your house seen by a large number of people at one time, it doesn’t always equate to serious buyers. Often you will find people who just want to stop in for the free snacks and the free tour. People that were in the neighborhood that just wanted to see what the house looked like will often stop in because it was open. Don’t over value the open house visits over the scheduled showings.
It’s best to price high so you can negotiate down.
No. Buyers will skip over listings due to price without even considering negotiating a lower offer. It will simply mean that your house will sit on the market for longer than it needs to and will not get marketed to as wide of an audience as it could it you priced it accurately.
Offer low so you can negotiate.
Again, no. There is nothing wrong with negotiating, but starting out with a really low offer will simply make you look as though you are not a serious buyer. If the seller has priced their property well, they might just decline the offer rather than counter.
The longer a home is on the market, the better deal I can get.
That’s not always the case. There are a lot of factors to consider; does the home have a hard to sell layout or odd location that is keeping it from selling quickly? If so, then you might be able to negotiate with a motivated seller. Some sellers are quite the opposite and have a firm price in mind and are unwilling to budge, hence the length of time on the market.
If the seller reduces their price, it means they are desperate.
As mentioned previously, a well-priced home is better targeted to a wider audience and will get more offers. Lowering the price usually means the seller is trying to be more competitive, rather than desperate.
One of the most important things to remember about real estate is that not all agents are created equal. Do your research before buying or selling your home. A home purchase is usually the biggest transaction a person will make in their lifetime so it’s important to have someone you can trust at your side. Speak to friends and family for referrals and conduct some interviews before making your final choice.
If you are ready to find an amazing agent to help you through the process of buying or selling your home, click here to find a BHGRE Metro Brokers agent in your area.