Travel agents........? .. are they even still around....?
Biggest Real Estate Myths
On The Web
By Vivian Marino
Published: April 8, 2007
Thereâ€™s little wonder that most people approach home-buying with trepidation. This year alone, Americans are expected to borrow a whopping $1.33 trillion in acquiring 7.4 million houses, condominiums and co-ops. Besides being the average personâ€™s largest financial transaction, buying or selling a home is simply one of those areas where mistrust and misconceptions naturally abound. And as the real estate market continues to evolve and new technology gains ground, even widely accepted beliefs that were true a few years back may not be valid today. Here are five prevailing myths to watch out for:
1. Only a licensed real estate broker should sell your home.
Reality. The National Association of Realtors tends to propagate this assertion: Youâ€™d turn to a doctor when sick, so why not have a broker handle your most valued asset? But not everyone needs a third party. After all, who knows more about your home than you? Around 15% of todayâ€™s existing home sales are FSBOs, or for sale by owner transactions, says Colby Sambrotto, chief operating officer of ForSaleByOwner.com.
Sambrotto thinks most people are anxious simply because they buy or sell homes so infrequently, but he says the Internet already has removed much of the mystique by giving people access to prices and demographic data or letting them market their homes directly online. (Surveys show that 80% of house hunters search the Internet first.) If you do take the do-it-yourself route, however, be prepared to workâ€”especially in this market, where a slowdown in sales has sparked a buildup of inventory.
2. Your broker wants to get the highest price for your home.
Reality. Most brokers just want to get a deal done, says John T. Reed, author and publisher of the Real Estate Investorâ€™s Monthly newsletter. â€œTheyâ€™ll tell you, â€˜Iâ€™ll be pushing for the higher price, because my commission is linked to the price,â€™â€ he says. But agents may often be pushing for the first reasonable offer. Blame it on the way sales commissions are splitâ€”typically, four ways: between sellersâ€™ agents and their brokerage firms and between buyersâ€™ agents and their firms. So waiting a few weeks or even days for an offer of, say, $10,000 higher on a $300,000 home will yield only $150 more for the agent, based on a 6% commission.
Still, Thomas R. Kunz, chief executive of Century 21 Real Estate, points out that the highest price may not always constitute the best deal, especially when considering other terms like closing dates.
Ah yes, travel agents ... I remember them well.
in 3 years:
Ah yes, realtors ... I remember them well.