Debunking Real Estate Myths
By Sheree Klasen
For the outside world, the real estate industry may represent a whirlwind of artful talkers, big commissions, and fast sales. Over the years the non-real estate world has developed a wide range of preconceived notions about property agents. Just because you read a myth on the internet or hear it spoken from a family member or friend does not mean it is true. Real estate myths are all too common. However, these myths can be ‘debunked’ with a clear explanation. I know you are asking yourself what myths could there be in real estate?
So here are ten real estate myths that are commonly heard or exaggerated by the general public.
1. All agents are the same.
This would have to be one of the most common myths. This myth can lead to buyers and sellers making huge mistakes when selecting an estate agent. Every agent has different skills, experiences, traits and commitment levels. As the saying goes ‘no two people are the same’ this is relevant to your real estate agent as well. Working with the correct agent is invaluable and will ensure a stress-free process and a smooth transition period.
2. Agents say and do anything to make a sale.
Its sad to think that some agents lie, but that is the unfortunate truth. However, top estate agents who are passionate about their career, the real estate field and their reputation always speak the truth to their clients. Real estate agents are held to an extremely strict code of ethics, rules and regulations. Many believe that any real estate agent will say anything to make a sale. This myth could certainly be possible, although for most it is simply a myth. Most of an agent’s business relies heavily on referral business, word of mouth and repeat sales. It is extremely important to select a trustworthy agent who has high morals, a great reputation and who you are comfortable with. You as the client should be the main focus for the agent.
3. A home does not need to be prepared for a sale.
This myth can cost the homeowner thousands when it comes to the sale price. Properly preparing a home for the market can be the difference of it selling fast or sitting on the market without interest where it may develop a negative stigma. As the seller it is highly important you do not list your home before it is market ready. Today’s buyers are often looking for move-in ready homes. If a home is prepared properly, it will garner more interest. Simple preparations such as staging, a simple clean, minor improvements or pre-listing inspections can all assist with the time the home spends on the market. A well presented home may in fact lead to a higher sale price.
4. Property managers just collect rent.
Property managers have a lot more to manage than just collecting rent. Maintaining occupancy is one of the top priorities for a property manager. This means constant inspections, liaising with potential prospective tenants, working with the homeowners and sifting through hundreds of home applications to ensure the correct tenants are placed with the right home for them. One myth that that surrounds this role is once this process is done then the property manager can sit back and watch the rent money come in. This could not be further from the truth. Property managers handle maintenance, legislation, lease renewals, rent reviews and they act as the in between person for the tenants and the landlords. Collecting rent for property managers is not always sunshine and butterflies. If a tenant is late with payments, property managers must instil their diplomacy skills to chase up the payments.
5. You do not need to depersonalise a home before sale.
Staging can help sell houses. Taking away personalised items such as photos and items can assist in creating a neutral space for a potential buyer to envision themselves in the home. Encouraging the homeowner to use generalised staging also removes the connection of them to the property. Although not all buyers will be fazed by a home that contains personalised items, a depersonalised one will help with their connection to the home.
6. Great houses can sell themselves.
While it might seem that a great home can sell itself, in a busy property market this is not the case. All homes, regardless of their features or how the market is needs to be marketed properly. Numerous home buyers when viewing homes they did not like on paper, may in fact love the home when seen in person. This is due to poor presentation and materials not doing the home justice. It is highly important for marketing tools to be professional, clear and well-presented when placing a home on the market.
7. It’s better to price a home on the high side.
There is a multitude of pricing strategies and which one will work best for your property depends on the market, your home and the location. Buyers are increasingly savvier and have a higher understanding of the industry than ever before. The myth of pricing a home higher than its value is one of the biggest real estate myths. Pricing a home higher so there is room for negotiations can potentially lead to frustration for the seller and buyer. At times this can lead to a home sitting on the market for a long time. A potential buyer will not explore a potential home if they believe it is overpriced. An agent must price the home correctly to increase the interest and traffic to the home.
8. New agents do not have the know-how.
Being new to any field can be a daunting experience. As a new real estate agent, it simply does not mean you have not got the ‘know-how’. As with any jobs the skills you possess, your persona and continued training will allow any new agent to become a real estate superstar. Clients must trust and believe in your ability.
9. Only sell in Summer.
Contrary to this popular belief, only people who do not like the cold do not sell in Winter. The Australian property market is hot throughout the entire year. Your agent will know the particulars of the retrospective market and will adjust the marketing plan to suite the current season. Although Summer and Spring tend to be the most popular seasons for sales, Winter has its advantages as well. The Winter period might be slower from an activity point, however, the reduced number of inventories will enhance the chance of sales due to less competition. Believing the myth of only sell in Summer is outdated!
10. The longer a home is on the market, the easier it is to negotiate a deal.
Days on the market is a term that in the property industry means how many days a home stays open for sale. When a house does not sell quickly, it can seem stale and interested parties may start to ask questions. As a trend, homes that do not sell fast tend to sell for less than asking price. Choosing the correct agent, pricing tools and marketing can all lead to a quicker sale for your home. Ensuring the home is clean and presented properly when selling may increase the potential for a quicker sale. A seller must consider the area they are selling in. Are homes sitting on the market or flying out the door?