Let's face it, everyone either knows a real estate agent, or is connected to one through six (probably less) degrees of separation. Between friends and relatives, and the stereotypical representation of real estate agents on television and in pop culture, the general public has adopted some assumptions about agents that are very far from the truth. Here are ten things that people assume about real estate agents that just aren’t true:
1. They make “easy money”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. The only people who could ever possibly make the case that being an agent is an easy way to make money are those who have never done it. It’s hard, uncertain work, with many instances of months wasted on a deal that doesn’t ever close. The only thing easy about it is reading the Lighter Side of Real Estate.
2. They are required to show you houses even if you’re not pre-approved
There are definitely agents who will show you houses without a pre-approval (or at minimum a pre-qualification), but an agent is not required to, and most experienced agents probably won’t. The ability to qualify for financing dictates whether or not a deal is even possible, so an agent is simply saving you from disappointment (or worse) by asking you to get pre-approved.
3. Zillow is more accurate than they are
It would be wonderful if Zillow (and similar websites) were accurate in their home valuations, but if you compared their results to actual appraised values, in most cases you’d burst out laughing. Real estate agents want you to get as much money as possible for your house, but oftentimes reality gets in the way. Trust your realtor to give you a fair market assessment for your...
So your home's on the market — are you jazzed about getting it sold? Good. But there are a few things you need to know. More specifically, ten things. They’re called “The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home.”
Read them. Absorb them. Emblazon them to memory, because one tiny mis-step can make your dream of moving on to your next home come crashing down like a sandcastle at high tide.
(See below for text transcription)
The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home
- Thou shalt vacate the house for all showings.
- Thou shalt assume every day is a showing day. Keep it clean and clutter free, with pets properly secured.
- Thou shalt not turn off utilities before closing.
- Thou shalt fill out property condition disclosure completely and disclose all known defects.
- Thou shalt not stop paying the mortgage.
- Thou shalt not rely upon Zillow to determine your sales price (that’s what your agent is for).
- Thou shalt make all beds before all showings (which includes NOT being in bed during showings).
- Thou shalt send anyone inquiring about the property to your agent.
- Thou shalt not call your agent at 11 PM.
- Thou shall not cook broccoli.
There’s no denying that it’s tough out there for buyers. The inventory shortage has created a market that’s more competitive than normal. As a potential buyer, you might be thinking “I should probably wait until next year to make a move.”
But if you want to get the best deal on a home, you should probably rethink that idea.
According to the most recent US Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, home prices are expected to rise 5.7% year-over-year—meaning a house you might be considering buying today will be 5.7% more expensive if you wait until this time next year to make a purchase.
What does that look like? Let’s say the house you’re considering making an offer on today is priced at $275,000. With a 5.7% increase, at this time next year that same house is projected to be listed at $290,675—$15,675 more than you’d pay today.
Not only are home prices projected to go up, but so are mortgage rates; Freddie Mac predicts that by the end of 2018, mortgage rates will increase an entire percentage point year-over-year—which will only make buying a home more expensive.
If you’re waiting to buy a home in the hopes it will be affordable next year, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor—stop waiting and make a purchase.