Common Real Estate Myths for Home Buyers

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real estate myths for buyersHappy April Fool’s Day, readers! In honor of the unofficial holiday, we thought we’d take the time to correct some common home buying myths that have been fooling real estate consumers for years. Here’s a look at four real estate myths that frequently come up with first time buyers or buyers who haven’t been in the market for a while.

Share this with your clients at your office or on your website to help them make smart choices when preparing for one of the biggest purchases of their lives.

1. Working with multiple agents will improve my chances of finding the perfect home.

All agents have access to the same MLS listings in your area, so you are not going to gain access to more houses by working with more people. It is in your best interest to find an agent with a communication style and commitment level that matches yours, and let them do the hard work for you.

Not only is there no sense in working with multiple agents, there is no such thing as the perfect home. Homes come in all shapes and sizes and conditions and prices, but it is extremely likely that none will have the exact combination of features you’re looking for on the street you want at the price you like.

The thing to do is to prioritize your home wish list, so your dedicated real estate agent can find the homes that are the best fit for your needs… and that will most likely transform into your dream home after you move in.

2. If I see a house I like, I should call the number on the bottom of the yard sign.

The agent listed on the yard sign is the one who represents the seller, so they are being paid to act in the seller’s best interest. That is great and exactly as it should be, but it doesn’t mean that they will act in your best interest.

It is best to call the agent you are already working with and ask them to set up a time to view the house. This is yet another reason why it is good to establish a relationship with a dedicated buyer’s agent.

3. My first offer should be a lowball offer.

Of course it makes sense to offer a lower price than you ultimately planned to pay and negotiate your way up, but there are times when this strategy can backfire. In a hot market, a home may have multiple offers and the seller might move yours to the bottom of the pile without ever responding. Even if a property has been on the market for a while, an offer that is too low could offend an already-frustrated seller and prevent them from doing business with you. Or if they do decide to work with you, ill feelings caused by your initial offer could make negotiations even trickier.

The best thing to do is ask your real estate agent for advice and then make an offer that you are comfortable with. If you really want the house, this might not be the time to press your luck. If, on the other hand, this is just one of several you’re considering and you’re not entirely set on it, it might be worth the risk.

4. If a house appraises well, I don’t need a home inspection.

Home inspections and home appraisals are two entirely different things. A home appraisal is an estimate of the property’s value that is performed to safeguard the lender. A home inspection is an assessment of the condition of the home done to educate the buyer.

An appraiser notes the value, whereas an inspector notes the condition. Even if the home you make an offer on appraises for the sale price, there could still be broken or unsafe elements. In some instances, you can negotiate with the sellers to have these items fixed. This is just one way a home inspection comes in handy. Click here to discover what buyers need to know about home inspections.

Of course, there are many more home buying myths out there than we could possibly cover here in one post. The point is to start talking about some of the most common ones so hopefully they will *poof* disappear!

What’s the real estate myth you hear all the time from your buyers?

Coming up Thursday: Common Real Estate Myths for Home Sellers

8 Comments

  • Maria Lourdes Garcia says:

    How do I share this blog in my point2 agent’s website?

  • While I agree with points 1, 3, and 4, I disagree with number 2. Is it preferable to work with a different agent? Probably. But Realtors have to have their clients sign forms indicating that they are okay with them representing both parties, and are obliged to act in the best interest of both parties, as much as possible. While in certain cases, I could see there being loyalty to the seller, I don’t think it’s much of a big deal as it’s made out to be.

  • SaskatoonRealty.com: If you have worked really hard securing buyers, helping with their credit sometimes and getting them prequalified, going out and showing them homes, and a new listing pops up that your buyer drives by & calls the Listing agent – ALL that work the agent has done was for nothing…buyers do not understand sometimes that their agent only gets paid when they close escrow and they think it’s ‘your job’ to take them out, so I agree with #2, call the agent you have been working with. Some listing agents don’t even like working with buyers 😉

    • Chris Jagt says:

      As a Real Estate Agent, multiple representation can be a problem. A Seller has originally signed a brokerage to a representation agreement with the understanding that that brokerage will be representing the interests of that Seller. Half way through the process the seller looses that representation due to a multiple representation situation. We prefer to sign the new buyer as a customer not a client. This allows for the seller to remain the sole focus of the Real Estate brokerage while offering the buyer the services required to complete the sale. This is A much clearer way to ensure full disclosure

  • Denise LLewellyn says:

    #2 – If a buyer sees a sign on a property they are interested in they should contact the Agent they have been working with to arrange a showing of the property for them. However, if they are not working with an Agent and do call the number on the sign. As Realtors it is our fiduciary responsibility to represent both parties with ethics. This is called a Disclosed Duel Agent. There are appropriate form to be signed by both the Seller and Buyer when this case should arise.

  • #4 is very important, as Realtors we should always insist on a home inspection. Very good article and will share with friends.

    Thank you

  • Claudia Goertz says:

    another myth: “I looked it up on Zillow and it’s only worth $…(fill in the blanks). Many buyers think that actually means something. Zillow and similar sights post estimated values that are, for the most part, meaningless. However, because they saw it on the internet, most buyers believe that it is probably true. It is just one more hurdle we have to overcome in order to help buyers actually find the right home.

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