Whether you’re looking to buy a home or sell your current home, real estate transactions can often seem like a daunting process. We’re here to debunk the 5 common real estate myths to make your home buying or selling process a whole lot smoother.
#1 Real Estate Myth: “Spring is the best time to sell”
Spring is peak home buying season, but there are still many benefits to listing your home in the off season. A recent study by Redfin showed that homes listed in the winter months had the highest chances of being sold within 6 months. Houses that were listed in winter also spent the least amount of time on the market compared to homes listed in other seasons. Individuals who are looking to buy or sell in the off season are usually more motivated to make a purchase quickly for some particular reason, such as a job relocation. Another reason the off season might be more beneficial is the lack of competition. While there are not a lot of buyers looking for homes, there are less homes on the market and those who are looking are usually very motivated.
#2 Real Estate Myth: “Not using a real estate agent will save you lots of money”
One of the most commonly touted real estate myths is that not using a real estate agent will end up saving you money. Since the individuals selling their home don’t have to pay a percentage of the sale price to their real estate agent, they believe that they will be making more money when the transaction is completed. Those who choose to sell their homes without hiring a professional real estate agent usually end up either wasting time or losing money for one or more reasons. For example, it is common for individuals who choose to sell their homes themselves to overprice their home, causing it to stay much longer on the market, wasting valuable time. Also, it is common for transactions to be mishandled leading to a loss of a prospective buyer and sometimes a loss of money from both parties. One of the most compelling reasons to hire a real estate professional is their ability to negotiate the best price and terms for a home, which is something that comes with years of experience.
#3 Real Estate Myth: “Choose a Realtor who says they will sell your home for the highest price”
While choosing the Realtor who says they can sell your home for the highest price seems like a good idea, it might not be the best choice. It’s important to find a Realtor who is knowledgeable about the local housing market and prices your home appropriately. Pricing your home too high will most likely end up wasting valuable time and resources while your house sits on the market much longer than necessary. Not only will you get less showings and few offers, but you will most likely have to lower the price eventually if your house doesn’t sell. When pricing your home it is important to realize that banks will loan a buyer up to the appraised value of a home and your house can only be sold for what someone is willing to pay for it.
#4 Real Estate Myth: “You should remove all holiday decorations when trying to sell”
When attempting to sell a home, most people remove all holiday decorations to avoid offending someone who doesn’t celebrate the holidays or who might not agree with your religious affiliations. Most real estate professionals agree that displaying holiday decorations in moderation is fine. While it is important to realize that not everyone celebrates certain holidays, it is nice to add a personal touch to your home without going over the top. Just try to remember, less or more.
#5 Real Estate Myth: “You need a 20% down payment”
While a 20% down payment is the optimal amount to put down if you can, many people can’t or don’t put down that much when buying a home. You no longer need a 20% down payment in order to qualify for a mortgage to purchase a home. FHA loans, for example, only require a buyer to put down 3.5% of the purchase price. A 5% down payment is required by many conventional mortgages and much less daunting than a 20% payment, which can cause many people to think they cannot afford to buy a house. Regardless of the percentage of the down payment, you’ll definitely want to save up and speak with a professional who can guide you in making the decision that’s best for you and your family.