Buying and selling a home is a big undertaking with a lot at stake. While it may be tempting to seek out as much public wisdom as possible, there is a lot of misleading or downright false information treated as fact. Today we’d like to address and correct some of the most common myths that persist about real estate.
Myth #1: You’ll make more money if you sell your home yourself.
Many sellers think that going the “For Sale By Owner” route will be more profitable since they won’t have to turn over a portion of the sale price to a realtor. This usually stems from a false assumption that selling a home is easy. In reality, most people who attempt to sell their own house end up losing money as a result. Without the advice of a professional realtor, it’s easy to make any number of mistakes: overpricing your home, mishandling the negotiations, or improperly navigating the inspection and loan application processes. You’ll almost always recoup what you spend on your agent’s commission with a higher final sale price.
Myth #2: Spending money on renovations will pay for itself.
It may seem like your home will be more attractive to buyers with updated bathrooms or kitchen appliances, but recent renovations can actually pose a liability. If prospective buyers don’t share your taste but can tell the renovations are recent, it can be a turn-off, as they may not want to invest in remodeling something so new.
Investing in less cosmetic upgrades like a new roof or air conditioning system can likewise backfire. You may sell your home more quickly, but you are unlikely to earn back what you spent because these upgrades are now considered standard.
Myth #3: Real estate agents can only show their own listings.
People commonly believe that a real estate agent will only be able to show you homes listed by their own company. This is not true. Your agent will be able to show you any home listed on the MLS.
Myth #4: Real estate agents are untrustworthy.
Perhaps it stems from a general distrust of salespeople, but people often assume that a real estate agent will do anything to make a sale, including lie and mislead. In fact, a good realtor will be your trusted advocate with a vested interest in securing you the best offer possible.
Most realtors abide by a code of ethics as part of their membership to the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, realtors are reliant on referrals. Deceiving clients for the sake of one sale would sabotage their reputation, making it impossible for them to generate future business. That said, it’s important to work with a realtor you trust. If it’s not a good fit, don’t hesitate to find someone you are more comfortable with.