Common misconceptions about real estate agents make many people begin their search online or visit open houses by themselves long before contacting an agent to begin a serious home search. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, don’t be scared to call us today! It is the best way to protect yourself legally and have industry knowledge on your side. Here are some of the most common real estate agent misconceptions:
1) The Best Way to Purchase a House For Sale is by Calling the Listing Agent
While this seems like it would make a lot of sense to call the listing agent of a home to express your interest in purchasing the home, this is usually not in your best interest. This creates a situation where the agent is working for both you and the sellers called “limited agency.” Rather than being able to provide you with advice on what the home is truly worth or provide suggestions during negotiations, an agent in this situation can only provide you with “pertinent information.” Call an agent who you feel most comfortable with and ask them to show you the home. Agents can show any listing in their market, regardless of whom they are listed by, not just their listings!
2) You Need 20% Down to Buy a Home
While lending rules have tightened since the housing crisis, this one simply isn’t true! You can buy a home in today’s market with as little as 3% down. It is important to have good credit, assets and verifiable income in order to get approved for these programs. We advise our clients to reach out to a lender long before they are ready to buy. This allows for time to get any potential issues resolved prior to the time you need to be in your new home. Also, in today’s competitive market, having a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender to submit with your offer is almost a necessity.
3) You Don’t Need an Agent To Build a New Home
Although many people think they only need a real estate agent to buy an existing home. Not true! Using an agent to help you build a new home costs you nothing extra and their experience with the process is very valuable. We attend all meetings and walk thrus with our clients and make sure your interests are best represented to the builder.
4) You Know Your Home’s Market Value from The Internet
While the internet is a great source of information, it is not always accurate and real estate professionals have access to more information than internet sources. Often times people look at tools such a Zillow’s “Zestimate” and assume that value is accurate. These estimates can be as much as 10-20% off in either direction. Without consulting a professional, you could be significantly over or under pricing your home.
5) Now is a Bad Time to Buy
One common misconception about today’s market is that due to constrained inventory, now is a bad time to buy. While inventory in the Indianapolis market continues to be below last year, there are still homes available. We keep an eye on new listings that meet our clients criteria and make ourselves available to go see these homes the same day they go on the market. We then can construct an offer that makes you very competitive in the market to get you into the home of your dreams. With interest rates expected to rise over the next year, waiting may only decrease your buying power!