Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top Ten Misconceptions about Buying/Selling

10.  Only the Realtor with the sign in the yard (Listing agent) can show me that house.
  • Actually, any Realtor can show you pretty much ANY property on the market.  Through the Multiple Listing Service, agents agree to allow other agents access to their listings.
9.  If I use a Realtor to help me buy a house I'll have to pay him a commission
  • All commission are typically paid by the seller.  Buyers have very little reason not to use a Realtor to guide them through the process.  Brokerages typically charge very low flat fees for buyer services (under $200) and the agent can (and if they're good) will negotiate the best deal possible for their client.  Why spend all your time looking up houses.  Let an agent do it for you!
8.  Realtors get kick-backs if you use businesses affiliated with their brokerage.
  • Simple not true and simply illegal.  Our network of affiliates is simply one more tool to make buying and selling as stress-free as possible.
7.  Any agent can place my house on the MLS so it doesn't matter who I list with...
  • While all agents will place your home on the MLS, that is where the similarities end.  A good agent will have pictures, videos, and text descriptions that leave a standard agent's effort in the dust.  2 pictures vs. 15 pictures, no video vs. video on Youtube, 2 sentences of text vs. a paragrapgh.  You get the idea.
6.  After my home is listed the agent sits back and waits for his big payday.
  • The sub-par agent might just sit back... but then he will never see that big payday.  A good agent is positioning your home on the internet and every other available avenue for traffic.  He is giving you updates weekly and keeping you informed.  He is also helping you navigate the closing process.  Then, and only then does he or she see that payday.
5.  All Realtors have access to the same stuff... afterall, they're all on the MLS
  • A good agent has the power of his brokerage, his own marketing strategy, and his knowledge of the market.  For example, my brokerage (Coldwell Banker West Shell) gives me access to a worldwide network of other Coldwell Banker agents.  My clients benefit from national advertising and brand recognition, and I benefit from excellent training and educational materials.  A good agent knows the For Sale By Owners in his area and that is something you WILL NOT find on the good ol' MLS.
4.  If I use an agent to help me buy he'll only show me listings in his company.
  • An agent is hired to be YOUR agent.  We will show you and sell you the houses that you are interested in making your home.  Thanks to provisions in the listing agreement, agents for buyers get paid a commission from the seller whether the listing is with our company or not.
3.  The lower commission, the more the seller will make off the sale.
  • In real estate, you get what you pay for.  A broker may take a listing at a cut-throat commission rate, but the services rendered are often much less.  Think about it, would you work as hard at your job if the boss wanted to pay you half as much?  The end result could mean your house stays on the market for much longer or even worse the listing expires without the home selling.  If your home takes several more months to sell at the lower commission then the cost associated with carrying your mortgage and other costs (not to mention the stress) far outweigh the money you saved with your discount brokerage.
2.  I should just sell it myself.  People do it all the time.
  • It is true that people try to sell their homes without any help all the time.  Some are successful, and we wish everyone nothing but success.  The hard truth is that most are not trained in real estate and are trying to sell their most valuable asset without the help of a professional.  A good analogy:  some people try online investing (especially with smaller amount of money) but trust their big stuff (retirement, college funds) to someone that is trained to handle these large assets.  Your home is no different.  This is why eventually almost 90% of FSBOs list with a Realtor.  If you know your stuff then by all means... have at it, but if you're nervous a Realtor is well worth the money.
1.  Agents will say anything to get the sale.
  • Most importantly, most Realtors are governed by their own set of high ethics and values.  We are here to help you, not make a sale.  If our own ethics aren't enough to convince you we care, we are also governed by our national, state, and local boards and governments.  There are strict regulations regarding what we can and can't say or do.  In the end, a good agent is there to help you and be your resource for life.

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