If you are new (or even not so new) to the home buying process, there are 10 myths about buying a home that you need to stop believing NOW!
ALL REAL ESTATE AGENTS ARE THE SAME
FACT: Buyers think anyone with a real estate license is equally capable of assisting them in buying a home. But does everyone with a driver’s license operate a vehicle the same way? Of course not. And just as drivers approach roads differently, so do real estate agents vary considerably in how well they perform for their clients. Before selecting a real estate agent to help you find a home, you want to find out about an agent's experience, training, reviews from past clients, what types of real estate he/she specializes in and where, etc.
THE AGENT WHO IS ON THE “FOR SALE” SIGN WILL LOOK OUT FOR MY INTERESTS IF I BUY THE HOME THROUGH THEM
FACT: The agent whose name is on the “For Sale” sign by law must represent the sellers’ best interests and NOT the buyers’ best interests. Buyers should “shop” for an agent who will assist you in finding the right home and will represent your best interests. Afterall, the seller has representation, so why shouldn't you?
I CAN FIND ALL PROPERTIES FOR SALE ON MY OWN
FACT: Not all available properties are advertised or have a sign. Some don't even appear in the multiple listing service. Not all available properties are listed on the internet even if it seems like they area. Updates to many online real estate portals can lag real-time changes in status, particularly during hot markets. Buyers need an agent who can make sure they are seeing the latest home listings first. And don’t forget about Myth #2… sellers and their agents have no obligation to represent any of your interests if you do find a home on your own.
If I JUST WAIT LONG ENOUGH, I’LL FIND THE PERFECT HOME FOR ME
FACT: There really is no such thing as a “perfect” home. Regardless of budget, buying a house requires compromise, dose of reality, and some knowledge of market conditions. Unless your name is Bill Gates and “money is no object” in your purchase, there will always be compromises in the final purchase decision. Let your agent help you figure out the appropriate compromises for your needs and lifestyle. Before you start house hunting develop your list of "must haves." "would like to haves" and "nice to haves." That way you'll know when and what to compromise.
I'LL IMPROVE MY ODDS OF FINDING THE RIGHT HOUSE IMPROVE IF I WORK WITH MORE THAN ONE AGENT
FACT: In reality, agents work harder for clients who are loyal to them. When you commit to one agent under an Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement, it ensures that the agent is working strictly for your best interests. And exclusive means exlcusive.... you can’t have more than one Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement at the same time. Work with more than one agent and you’ll soon find no one is looking out for you! The best agents won’t work with buyers without an exclusive buyer representation agreement. If you want loyalty and attention from your agent you need to reciprocate with your loyalty and attention. Think about bankers... don't they pay more attention to the client who has all or most of their money in a specific bank rather than to one who maintains only a small portion of their assets in the bank? It's the same in real estate... agents have only so much time each day and that time will be devoted to loyal clients.
BUYING A HOUSE IS SIMPLE: AGREE ON A PRICE, SIGN A CONTRACT, WRITE AN EARNEST MONEY CHECK
FACT: wouldn't it be nice if it were that simple! Purchasing a home involves many other issues beyond price… property disclosures, legal issues, financing issues, inspection issues, loan approvals, appraisals, title search, insurance issues, etc. Your agent will coordinate the entire process for you and ensure that nothing drops between the cracks... something hard to do on your own if you don't know what you don't know.
FORECLOSURES ARE THE BEST DEALS
FACT: Not all foreclosure sales are “deals." Some have undesirable conditions attached to them. To determine whether or not a foreclosure truly offers a good value requires considerable research, lots of due diligence, and patience (another good reason to have a top agent representing your interests in this type of transaction). And don't forget that with foreclosures what you see is what you get—and what you don’t see is also what you get. And all this assumes you are buying at a time when the market has foreclosures available to buy, which is not always the case.
I'M FINANCIALLY QUALIFIED, SO GETTING A MORTGAGE SHOULD BE QUICK & EASY
FACT: These days, the paperwork involved in applying for and getting approval for a mortgage is enormous. Thorough documentation and creditworthiness will be critical to getting a loan approved. Your real estate agent can help introduce you to the appropriate mortgage professionals to ensure you actually qualify for a mortgage and that the mortgage professional is one who can get the job done.
ALL MORTGAGES/MORTGAGE LENDERS ARE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME
FACT: All mortgages are not the same! There is considerable complexity in choosing the right mortgage, a decision that should be made together with a top mortgage professional. Just some of the key questions to ask are: how does one rate compare to another over the long haul? How does the APR affect total long term costs? How long will you be in your home? What are your long-term investment goals? And oh yes, what kind of a loan you can qualify for based on your credit scores, income, down payment resources, etc. Like real estate agents, all mortgage lenders are not the same... experience counts, specialization in certain lending counts, etc.
WHATEVER SHOWS UP ON MY INSPECTION REPORT, THE SELLER MUST FIX IT FOR ME
FACT: Each state has its own regulations and practices as to what a seller must address pursuant to an inspection report. And many states have "as-is" contracts. Inspection results canresult in re-negotiations on a house. Knowing how hard to push for repairs or price adjustments may be difficult for both buyers and sellers not experienced in this kind of negotiation and who may also be emotionally involved in the transaction. When emotions run high the result might be a cancelled contract, which no one really wants. Depend on your real estate professional to help you navigate the murky waters of inspections and repairs. And it's also important to remember that the purpose of an inspection is not to deliver you a "like new" home, but to let you, as the buyer, understand what issues might be facing you in the future as the homeowner.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE THE ANSWERS!
This information about home buying myths is provided by Nina Hollander/Carolinas Realty Partners with RE/MAX Executive. Contact me if you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the Charlotte metro area.
If you are considering selling or purchasing a home in the Charlotte metro area, I would love an opportunity to earn your business, exceed your expectations, and to prove to you that:
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