9 Common Real Estate Myths That Plague Buyers And Sellers

Dated: 10/01/2017

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It is not everyday most people buy or sell their home.  Maybe once every ten years, or even once in a lifetime. Despite the fact that most people enter the world of real estate only rarely, some think they know how it works, based on the experiences of friends and family members, stories heard or things read.


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There are a number of myths that circulate about how real estate actually works. Buying into those can hurt your chances of buying or selling the right home at the right price.

The danger with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you money when it's time to buy or sell a home. Here are nine of the most common ones that can trip up buyers and sellers:

Set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Listing your home at too high a price may actually net you a lower price.   That's because shoppers and their real estate agents often don't even look at homes that are priced above market value. It's true you can always lower the price if the house doesn't garner any offers in the first few weeks. But that comes with its own set of problems. Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks.  In our area, where multiple offers are common, sellers will actually price their homes for less than they expect to get, in the hopes of getting multiple offers above asking price. However, if you do this in a declining market, the danger is that all the offers will come in at the asking price or lower.

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don't use a real estate agent.  That's just not the case. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don't have an agent, the seller's agent will receive the entire commission.

You can save money selling your home yourself. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It's not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you'll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It's not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you'd get with an agent, but it's not easy.

The market will only go up. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values.  Sometimes people think that the market only goes up and they don't think about when a correction will come.  The recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices can indeed fall, and fall a lot.  The great thing about Dallas/Fort Worth is that the prices have not exceeded the cost of construction, which means it is tougher to have a real estate bust.  

You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don't want to redo something that has just been renovated.  You're better off adjusting your price accordingly.  

You'll earn back what you spend on renovations. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won't recoup what you spent.   The only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You're likely to recoup only 67.8% of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70% of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home.

All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online. Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it never hurts to verify that yours will.  You can access all properties on the MLS HERE

Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent choose not to have an open house, it probably doesn't hurt your sale chances.

The agent who shows you homes or lists your home represents your interests. Maybe and maybe not.   In Texas, a customer has the option of signing an agreement for the agent to represent him as a listing agent or as a buyer's agent.  Most brokerages require buyers and sellers to sign a form indicating that they understand whom the agent represents.  See more details HERE.  


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Original Post By Teresa Myers


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