Popular myths haunt real
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
Do you know what a myth is? According to Merriam-Webster’s
online dictionary a myth is "a popular belief or tradition
that has grown up around something or someone embodying the
ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society." Those
of us who have been involved in the real estate industry
understand that it is rife with myths and misconceptions.
These are some of the more popular ones and why they either
have or do not have any validity:
The first offer is always the best. It may turn out that
way, particularly if buyers have been looking for a long
time and really want your home. But so much of this myth
is market driven and reflects buyer’s personalities
that it’s probably one you should not have a lot of
faith in. Sellers should always be open to offers and not
be insulted by a low bid. Consider it a starting point.
Lower commissions mean a higher net to sellers. You always
get what you pay for in this world. If sellers negotiate
lower commissions with Realtors or decide on "discount" brokers,
chances are they won’t get much marketing or assistance
with their sale. You also run the risk of other brokers not
wanting to show your property because of a lower selling
commission. This is especially true in an overstocked market.
The longer your home is on the market, the more it’s
In addition, if you decide to sell your home on your own
in order to save all the commission, you may be surprised
at how much time, work and money is required. Hiring a real
estate professional gives you the added benefit of providing
you with an advocate to help you work through one of the
most emotional processes in your life.
If a house sells in a few days, it was under priced. More
likely it was priced exactly right, and the buyers knew it.
If you don’t want to make repairs, lower your price.
The perception of a house in disrepair can lower offers far
more than the cost to actually fix the problems. It sends
the message that this house could have a lot of other hidden
issues. Condition is critical to getting top dollar and moving
a property fast. If you can’t do everything at least
make the property cosmetically pleasing.
Attorneys add an unnecessary complication. Using an attorney
in a real estate transaction is frequently based on local
custom. In some regions of the country, you must have an
attorney and in others, people think you’re nuts to
pay for one. This is a personal decision. If you feel your
rights need to be protected or you have been presented with
a complicated contract of sale, you may save a few sleepless
nights if you get some legal advice.
Buyers lose interest if sellers are present at showings.
It’s better for sellers not to be on the premises so
buyers can discuss concerns freely, but the seller’s
presence probably won’t be a serious detriment if you
have a serious buyer. If the sellers remain, they should
keep a very low profile.
Don’t buy stigmatized property. Chances are if you
don’t have a problem with whatever happened in the
house previously, future buyers also won’t have a problem.
It’s always best for all parties to disclose everything
they know about a property.
Stash the myths on the same shelf as the fairytales. Even if
you’re selling your beloved home or buying your dream,
real estate is a business and best dealt with within the realm