To the uninitiated, the real estate industry can be complex and confusing, which is why it’s common for first-time buyers and sellers to have ill-founded notions or unrealistic expectations. So, we asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to set the record straight about some prevalent real estate myths.
Myth #1: You should only buy a home under certain market conditions.
Michele Replogle – David Lyng Real Estate
As a realtor, my clients often ask me if it’s a good time to buy or sell a home, depending on the current state of the housing market. My typical response is it depends what you want to do. If you have a family and are looking to buy your first home, it doesn’t matter what the market is doing—what matters most is your current circumstances. As long as you can find the right house and a financial situation that works for you, now is the right time. The same is true if you’re a seller: if you’re all set to move, now is the right time to sell. The market will always have ups and downs, but life doesn’t always wait for ideal market conditions.
Myth #2: It makes no difference whether you choose a local or online lender.
Mike Young – Real Estate Broker/Agent
Many homebuyers wonder if it’s better to get preapproved by a local or online mortgage lender. While either option will work, my advice is always to go with the local lender. Having a lender whose face—or, at the very least, street address—sellers can recognize will be an additional asset to your offer package. Also, a local lender has a reputation to maintain in the local community, whereas a lender based in a far-off location does not. Overall, choosing a local lender can bolster confidence for sellers and buyers alike.
Myth #3: You should only sell your home during certain times of the year.
Michelle Carr Crowe – Michelle Carr Crowe and the Get Results Team
In many areas of the United States, selling a home is a seasonal affair that’s dictated by factors such as harsh winter weather. Fortunately for Bay Area homeowners, the temperate local climate enables home sales to take place all year long, so there isn’t a particular season that’s more advantageous for selling.
Myth #4: I won’t be able to get a home without getting caught in a bidding war.
Tori Atwell – Alain Pinel Realtors
By reevaluating your home-hunting approach, you may discover an excellent opportunity to get a good home without getting caught in a bidding war. For instance, instead of looking at homes that are attracting a lot of attention, take a look at those that aren’t selling as quickly. In many cases, these are perfectly good homes—they may just be staged ineffectively or lack particular features. Even if the bulk of home shoppers aren’t able to see beyond the exterior details, a wiser buyer can recognize a home’s potential even if it’s not obvious outright.
Myth #5: I should take the first offer I can get on my home.
Marc Guay – Coldwell Banker
A common mistake home sellers make is accepting the first reasonable offer that comes their way. As a rule, you should plan to leave your home on the market for one to two weeks before accepting any offers. Why? If you accept an offer on the first day, you eliminate the possibility of other competing bids. In contrast, by being patient and considering multiple offers, you can drum up competition between buyers, resulting in a bidding war that hikes up the price of your home.