Do you think you know everything about real estate? A lot of what you may know could actually be a myth.
Today I have a list of 15 real estate myths that people actually believe and the truths behind them. Here are the ones you need to keep an eye on:
1. Real estate agents are paid a salary. 99% of agents work on commission split with their brokerage firm. They only get a percentage for themselves.
2. The agent keeps all of the commission. There are overhead and expenses with any firm—employees, insurance, marketing costs, etc., all have to be paid.
3. The typical commission is 6%. It depends on the property, actually. Some places such as a piece of land, have a higher commission rate.
4. An agent’s gas mileage and other transportation expenses are reimbursable. We do get to write them off, but if we don’t have income, write-offs do not help us. If your income is zero, then your expense write-off is still zero.
5. Marketing expenses aren’t the agent’s responsibility. They are. In fact, agents pay a lot of money every month to market and sell your property.
6. The home either passes or fails an inspection. This is all in the eyes of the beholder. One thing may be an issue for one client that is not for another.
7. Inspectors have to find something. While they may seem like they do, their overall objective is to find any material defect in a structure. It could be something as simple as a GFI on an outside deck that is not tripping. It is their job to find it so that future accidents do not happen.
8. Weekends bring out the most serious buyers. We are in a second home market, so that's not necessarily true. Weekdays during this time of year actually bring out a lot of buyers—if it's raining.
9. Zillow says it’s the case, therefore it is. 98% of the information on Zillow, because of the algorithms they use to combine data, is incorrect. For those that love to look at Zillow’s Zestimate, be aware that your home may not be worth as much as the quote.
10. It is better to price a home high as a seller. After all, you can always come down, right? The reality is that buyers will actually look past you and buy other homes which are priced to the market. The market dictates prices based on what buyers are willing to spend and sellers are willing to take.
11. When making an offer on a home, you need to start low. You have to be realistic about the current market and the home’s condition. As long as the property is not overpriced to the market conditions compared to similar homes with similar features, you have to go in with a realistic offer. In some areas, homes listed properly will actually sell above asking.
12. The longer the home is on the market, the more negotiable the deal. There are some markets like that, but here we have 3.5 years of inventory in a certain area. If a home sits on the market for a year and the average time on the market is a year, you do not have a big negotiating point.
I personally prize candor and truthfulness when dealing with buyers and sellers.13. Multiple price reductions means the seller is desperate to sell. Actually, they may just be trying to feel the market to see where they can attract the most buyers.
14. Multiple offers give the seller an advantage. Sometimes this is true. Buyers may really love the house so they up their offer if they know that there are other people interested. They may even make the contingencies less restrictive for the seller.
15. All agents are the same. They are not. I personally prize candor and truthfulness when dealing with buyers and sellers. The reality is that I am watching the market every day as a full-time profession. Someone who does this job part-time cannot understand the market if they are spending time elsewhere.
If you have any questions, comments, or real estate needs in our area, please feel free to reach out to me. Even if you are looking in another area, please contact me. I will gladly refer you to another great agent that can help you. I hope to hear from you soon. See you on the beach!
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Summer is approaching fast, so if you have a second home or an investment property in the Outer Banks area, here are a few tips that will prepare and protect that home for the season:
1. Make sure your home is adequately insured. This is tough in our area because most of our insurance for investment properties is done through a federal fund with the state. Reach out to your insurance agent and ask them if you’re adequately insured for the coming season. Talk about what you need to do or whether you need to amend your policy in certain areas.
2. Take a proactive position in maintaining your home. This point was reiterated to me just this morning—a client of mine in Frisco had their hot water tank fail even though they installed it brand new back in 2016. They got it replaced and now they’re being proactive with upgrades that will make their home look better and rent better in the long term.
3. Keep an eye on your plumbing and fixtures. This primarily means keeping an eye on any drippy faucets or running toilets. Monitoring these items can save you a lot in terms of repair costs.
4. Have an electrician walk through your home and make sure your outlets are working. The GFI outlets in your bathrooms and on your deck should be functioning properly. In the second home market, this is especially important to pay attention to as we head toward summer. If you have a property management company, you can give them a call and have them do this for you.
5. Check your fire alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. Hopefully you never have to use these items, but you should make sure they’re working and their batteries are up to date. Remember, these items are now required to have 10-year batteries.
Be proactive with any upgrades your home needs.6. Have your roof inspected. Wind loads will be picking up as we approach summer, and we may have a storm or two as well. Historically, shingle tabs (especially cap shingles) can peel or prop during high wind loads, so make sure there’s no potential for water infiltration around your home’s attic space.
7. Trim your trees. If you have trees up against your property, you can reach out to one of the tree-trimming services here on the island and have them thin them out. If you’re considering selling, this will help with your home’s curb appeal.
If you have any questions about any of these tips or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help you.
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