If you listen to my podcast, the Real Estate Rebel, you’ll remember that one of my first episodes was all about debunking real estate myths. My guest, Frank Leo (who happens to be the #1 selling ReMax agent in the world AND a member of my Trusted Agent program) and I got into the nitty-gritty of what the most popular myths are, and why they shouldn’t always be believed.
Real Estate Myth #1 – It’s too expensive to get into the market now
If I’ve heard this once I’ve heard it a million times. Yes, the markets can fluctuate, but if there’s one thing you need to remember it’s that timing the market isn’t nearly as important as time in the market. Ten years ago it was expensive to invest, but guess what? Prices have continued to climb, so all the people who invested ten, twenty or thirty years ago have seen their homes rise in value. Everyone who waited ended up paying more. Go back for the last 50 years and you’ll see the same thing. My advice when it comes to deciding when to buy is to look at your own financial situation and consider your long-term goals, and forget about timing the markets. Remember, when it comes to investing in real estate, today is not as good as yesterday, but it’s always better than tomorrow.
Real Estate Myth #2 – You should always buy the worst house on the best street
In most cases, this is great advice. I’ve said it myself many times. But it comes with a caveat. Buying the worst house on the best street only works if you don’t overpay, and if you have the budget to properly upgrade the house. Ultimately fixer uppers are great, and they can provide you with a lot of room to raise the home’s value, but you have to do the math and make sure you can afford to bring the house up to par. What good is having a fixer upper that you can’t fix up?
Real Estate Myth #3 – You should wait until Spring to sell
We all know that Spring is traditionally when the most buying and selling happens. Real estate agents are busy, inventory is moving, and everybody’s happy, right? Not necessarily. Every year there are different factors that affect the market, and as far as Frank Leo and I are concerned, right now there’s no such thing as downtime in the market. Sellers who need to make a move in fall or winter stand just as great a chance of getting top dollar as they do at any other time. The key is to work with a Trusted Agent who knows the local market and is aware of what’s going on. There’s no need to put your life on hold waiting until the Spring.
Real Estate Myth #4 – You can make more money by not using an agent
I’ve always believed that with anything you do in life, you should seek the help of experts. Real estate is no different. There are people out there who think that because they’re good negotiators or have great sales skills, they can sell their own home. Perhaps they can, but there’s no substitute for the knowledge that comes with experience. Real estate agents are familiar with all of the contract details, clauses that can be included, the trends in the market, and so on. The money you might save on a commission could be peanuts compared to what a good agent can negotiate for you. When you’re dealing in real estate you’re dealing with big money, and you should be using the best tools you have available. A good agent is a no-brainer.
Real Estate Myth #5 – It’s better to list your house on the high side
This is a popular myth that people need to forget about. We all want to sell our properties for as much as possible, but listing too high can have the opposite effect. In 99% of cases, it’s better to price realistically in order to drum up interest. The more interest you get, the larger audience you have and the more chance that you’ll get multiple offers. When you list too high people get suspicious – or worse, people dismiss it right away. Your audience shrinks, and with that, so does your negotiating power. Time and time again I’ve seen people list too high, get little to no interest, and end up selling for less.
What do you think? Do you agree with these myths or do you have more to add? Feel free to leave your comments below. And for more information on these real estate myths, as well as a few important truths, check out episode #2 of the Real Estate Rebel Podcast.