Myth: Real Estate isn't complicated, you don't need an agent to sell, or to buy.

There are many, many instances of complications that can and do arise.  Some of the people who give you this advice do mean well.  Your parents, or friends might think that if you sell on your own, then you will save the commission.  As we've shown time, and time again, we can put more money in your pocket, even after paying the commission.  Itâs all about the net.

 

The other people who will give you this advice run for sale by owner websites.  They have a vested interest in having you not list with an agent, and selling on their website instead.  The problem with this arrangement is that they get paid up front, whether you sell it or not, and whether you have any liability issues or not.  They have the waivers so they are not responsible, YOU are.  When you hire me, I am responsible for liabilities. 

 

Myth: It is a good idea to ask your friends and family to see your dream house before you write the offer.

Parents and friends, of course, often want to help out and offer their advice on buying a home.  There is nothing wrong with having your parents involved, but as any good agent will tell you, they need to be involved all the way through the process.  Have them come and look at every house, not just your favourite.  I have this discussion right up front with my clients so that they understand what can happen. 

If your agent does not have this discussion, then here is what can happen.  All of a sudden, the parent, or parent in law, comes and sees the house, but they haven't seen the previous 9 houses that you have seen, so they don't know the market.  They could tell you that the house is way over priced, and not worth $200,000.  If they had gone to see the other houses, that were awe full, then they would be in a better position to offer advice.

There is nothing wrong with having a family member look at the house, as long as they have looked at all of the houses with you.


Myth: Looking on REALTOR.ca is a great way to make sure your agent is looking out for you.

If you are working with a good agent, then they will have asked you for all of your parameters, entered them into the computer, and will automatically be notified, daily, of any house that fits your requirements, such as price, neighborhood, bedrooms, baths, etc.  In most cases, the houses you see on The MLS® System are already sold, as there is a time delay in the postings. 

What many people don't know, is that there are really 2 websites, and only REALTORS® can access the up to date one.  The website your REALTOR® uses has addresses, so they are looking for houses in the neighborhoods that you have specified.  Unfortunately, you are often looking at houses that are sold, and are in the wrong neighborhood.

Let your agent work hard for you, that's their job.  REALTOR.ca is not very useful for you.


Myth: It is always better to sell your home in the spring.

The average agent and the average buyer always believe that April-June is the best time to sell your house since the lawn is green and the flowers are in bloom.  That's possible, and there might be a lot of action then, but you absolutely want to be on the market when you have the least amount of competition. 

Right now there are very few homes on the market, and there are a lot of buyers.  No one can predict how long this will last.  There might be a lot of action in May, but if you've got this bungalow in Rosemont that I just sold, and there's 5 more for sale, you don't know the motivation of those other sellers.  They could have their home on at a "fire sale" price because they're getting divorced, or transferring to another city.  That's why you want to be on when you have the least amount of competition.

Myth: All agents are created equal.

Here's an example to illustrate why this is a myth.  We are in a time of multiple offers, we often get 6 or more offers on a house.  This happened to me.  I wrote an offer on a house, and the seller's agent told me that there were multiple competing offers, so I asked when we were presenting.  I asked if the other agent was presenting, and he said "no the other agent just faxed the offer over." 

I asked if I could present in person.  If your agent is not presenting, especially in this market of competing offers, then they are just not doing the job.  I arrive at 8:00, and my job is to get that seller to accept my buyer's offer.  If they don't like the offer, we want them to change the offer, and let my buyer decide if they'll take those changes.  When I go in there, I'm begging that seller to accept my buyer's offer.  ThatÃ'ÃÂÂÃâÃ's my job, to present their case.  The other agent didn't even show up, they just faxed it in.

I told the seller to look out the window.  My buyer is sitting there, in their van, with their baby, and their small child.  That is how bad my buyer wants this house.  I asked the seller to tell me if there is anything in the offer that is not acceptable to them, and to please give me the opportunity to walk out to their van, and see if they'll accept any changes that they made.

Who do you think got the deal?  My clients were outside waiting.  This is an excellent strategy, and it was planned out, in advance, with my buyers.  The other agent didn't even show up, he just faxed the offer in.  Before you hire an agent, make sure that they will be representing you, in person with every offer, AND get it in writing.

The offers were the same, the deposit was the same, the conditions were the same.  All agents are not created equal.

Myth: I'm going to have 5 or 6 agents work for me.  That way, I will get more people looking for a house for me.

A lady called me up not long ago on a property I had listed, and of course the house was sold.  She told me that she was doing this all the time, and the houses were always sold already.  I asked her why she didn't hire an agent, and she told me that she had 6 agents.  I had to explain to her that, while she had 6 agents, none of them were really working for her. 

All they will likely do is try to sell her a house before the next agent does, but they won't really do any work for her.  You want to commit to one agent, so that they know that at the end of the day, they are going to get paid.  With this commitment, they will be prepared to do all of the hard work that it takes to get you the house you want, and on the terms you need. 

A good agent will have their qualified buyers, who have committed to them, lined up and ready.  When a house that is what they are looking for comes up, these are the buyers who are going to get the call from their agent first.  One good committed agent is far better than 5 agents who are "looking out for you".

Myth: If I sell my house privately, then I will save the commission, and so I will come out ahead.

A lot of people believe that they can save money by selling their own house.  The key point to understand, is that it is all about the net.  In other words, it is about how much money you put in your pocket after the sale. 

There are a number of reasons why a good agent can get you more money for your house, but the most important points are these:

  1. Real estate agents have access to a pool of qualified buyers, who have professional agents working for them.  These agents have educated these buyers on how to write a successful offer in today's market.  Most clients who have hired an agent do not want to look at "for sale by owner" houses.  If you are not selling through an agent, you are excluding the best buyers from purchasing your house.
  2. A great agent is uniquely qualified to determine the ideal listing price for your home.  Anyone who list their home based on what comparable properties sold for is missing the boat.  Those properties are already sold, and may have been sold under different conditions.  Were there multiple properties in the same price range available at the same time?  This would drive the price down, since the supply was up.  Was the seller getting a divorce and forced to sell?  These are things that a private seller can not know.  I had a case where my client was about to sell for $175,000 privately.  I ended up selling his house for $215,000 in one day.

You can save the commission, but with a great agent, you can put more money in your pocket.


 

Irv Tremblay Irv Tremblay Realty Inc.
4420 Albert Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 6B4
Tel: (306)529-5267 Fax: (306) 525-1433
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