Home buying misconceptions
When it comes time to buy your first home, you just don’t know what you don’t know. And that’s OK. You weren’t born knowing how to ride a bike, drive a car or buy a house. That’s where we come in, with our list of home buying misconceptions busted.
MYTH: Using the listing agent gets you a better deal
Every real estate agent out there would love for you to believe that they are the only person who can sell you a house they have listed, but it’s just not true. As a matter of fact, it’s probably not in your best interests either, since they’ve already been hired to get the seller the highest price possible. The commission an agent is paid has already been negotiated before a house hits the market, so the odds of that agent taking a pay cut just to represent you are slim.
MYTH: You need a 20% down payment before you can get a mortgage
Nope, nope, nope. There are so many more options for home buying today. 3.5% down for FHA loans and even zero down loans for veterans or those buying in designated rural development areas. Your agent can give you a referral to a great lender who can educate you on your options without emptying your savings account.
MYTH: Your agent can’t help with For Sale by Owner properties
Au contraire. Most folks that are trying to sell their home on their own are open to working with agents who bring buyers. As a matter of fact, we’ve never heard one say “no, I won’t let you sell my house”. You don’t have to give up professional assistance just because a homeowner doesn’t think they need to have it. Give the information to your agent and he or she will be happy to get all of the information for you. Ask for an opinion on property value, since many For Sale by Owners have a tendency to overprice their homes.
MYTH: An agent can only show you their company’s listings
A long, long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was no MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Agents only knew about properties that were listed by their own brokerage. Today, everyone knows about everything. If you’re getting alerts and notifications from 12 different websites, you probably see some of the new listings before local agents do. That said, your agent can show you any property that’s on the market. Just ask.
MYTH: You don’t need an agent at all since properties are online
You probably don’t need an agent to find a house. After all, there are thousands of websites with homes for sale on them. But finding a home is the easy part. Getting through a sale while protecting your interests is the reason we get up and go to work every day, so we’re well versed in negotiating, inspections, appraisals, follow up, and the convoluted rules for closing timeframes.
Can you do it yourself? Sure.
Should you do it yourself? It begs the question….why?
Buyer agents are paid by the listing broker, even though they are hired to represent you. Our advice? Take advantage of their expertise and ability to protect you from what you don’t know. We’ve been riding this bike for years.