Real Estate Myths for Minnesota Buyers & Sellers
Given the complexity and complications of most real estate transactions, it’s no wonder that non-professionals have heard things that simply aren’t true about buying and selling homes.
Karen Amato – Karen grew up in the Philadelphia area and moved to Minnesota to study Business Education at the University of Minnesota. A Real Estate Broker since 1984, her background also includes Real Estate Appraiser, Mortgage Originator and Investor. She is a member of Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association and has owned several rental properties and renovated homes. As a former business owner, she is now pursuing her passion in real estate and her experience in accounting provides expertise to Buyers and Sellers throughout the entire real estate process. Karen has lived in Prior Lake for over 30 years and enjoys traveling, sailing, swimming and golf and loves to share her experiences she has had over the years. Phone 952-237-5333
Some of the most common myths about real estate transactions are:
- Myth: Open Houses Sell Homes – Reality: Fewer than 1% of homes, nationwide, sell at an open house. Sellers often want their agent to conduct multiple open houses for their MLS listed home, because it looks like the agent is actively working on making a sale. Most people coming to open houses, though, don’t buy the homes they visit. It’s a great way for agents to meet prospective buyers, but chances are they won’t buy your home. Most home sales come through individual showings.
- Myth: I need a real estate company in my own area. – Reality: The agent who lists your home is rarely the agent who sells it. Instead your listing agent actively markets your home through various means. Buyers find homes when their own agents show them or by searching homes online listed with participants of Northstar MLS. Instead of a local agent, your listing agent should be a top-performing marketing agent who can expose your home to the maximum number of people looking for a home. A combination of internet, radio, television, and other marketing strategies are far more important than where your listing agent’s office is located.
- Myth: Sellers should start with a high price, then lower it later. – Reality: During the first month to six weeks your home is on the market, more prospective buyers will see your home than any time later. Today’s buyers have educated themselves on housing prices in the communities they’re looking for, and won’t return to an overpriced home, even if the price is lowered. More likely, they will have already made a purchase. Setting a fair price initially will stimulate qualified buyers to make an offer during that initial time the multiple listing property is on the market. Real estate agents know how long a home has been on the market, and often choose to show their clients more recent Minnesota MLS listings instead of a stale listing.
- Myth: I can sell my home by owner and avoid high commissions. – Reality: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes have a history of being sold at lower prices compared to list prices than homes represented by real estate agents. Add to that the complexity of most real estate transactions, which often results in sales that fall through or late closings, and the benefits of professional listings by licensed Realtors and brokers are clear. You need an agent who can take your home through the entire process smoothly and correctly. Real estate selling is no job for amateurs.
- Myth: I need an agent who will actively show my home. – Reality: Your agent’s job is to market your home so that it gets shown to qualified, motivated home buyers. Today, most buyers have a buyer’s agent, and are actively working with that agent to find a home that matches their needs. Your listing agent’s real job is to represent you during the transaction, once a buyer has been found. Listing agents rarely sell the homes they list. Expert agents who market homes through the Internet, on radio shows, and on television get multiple showings for the homes they list, and that leads to sales.
- Myth: I need my listing agent and me to be at every showing. – Reality: Most buyers don’t like having listing agents or owners at showings. It makes them uncomfortable and interferes with their seeing the home at their own pace. In addition, they may not be comfortable with discussing their likes and dislikes with their buyer’s agent if the seller or seller’s agent is present. Your listing agent’s primary job is to handle marketing and offers.
- Myth: Discount brokers mean more money for me. – Reality: In today’s market, discount brokers historically get a lower sale to list price percentage than full service brokers. The difference is marketing. Without effective marketing, fewer potential buyers will see your home, and marketing costs money. Would you rather have your home property marketed and shown to plenty of home buyers, or rely on poor marketing and few showings? Today’s homebuyers are smart, and are searching for homes on their own, and in many ways. If you cut corners on marketing, you may soon be cutting your price after your home doesn’t find a buyer.
- Myth: After many showings, my listing agent couldn’t sell my home. – Reality: Your listing agent’s job is to get people to look at your home. Homes sell themselves if they are priced properly and presented well. Most buyers look at many MLS listed properties in their search, and they know when a home is overpriced. In addition, homes that have obvious, uncorrected flaws, no matter how minor, don’t sell quickly, especially if they’re overpriced. Listen to your listing agent on pricing and take care of problems that may put off prospective buyers.
- Myth: I don’t need an agent to buy a house. – Reality: Without a buyer’s agent, you’re far more likely to overpay for your home. A buyer’s agent will compare the asking price with comparable homes in that specific area for you, and advise you on pricing issues. Remember, the listing agent works for the seller. The buyer’s agent works for you. Whose advice will best represent your interests? And remember, an MN buyer’s agent has the ability to access the actual Minnesota MLS. He or she can do additional searching for you.
- Myth: I can arrange my own financing from the Internet. – Reality: You can, but will you get the best interest rate and timely funding of your mortgage loan? How about surprise costs and fees at closing? Researching that information is difficult for the non-professional. Choosing a reliable lender, either a financial institution familiar to you or one recommended by a trusted agent, is your best assurance of good terms and a timely closing.
Understanding Minnesota Real Estate Buying & Selling
Whether you’re buying or selling a Minneapolis St. Paul home, protecting your interests is a crucial issue. Don’t pick your real estate agent at random. Instead choose a leader in real estate transactions who will represent your interests and assure you of a successful, satisfying transaction. Since 2006, our REMAX team has been the #1 Real Estate Team in Minnesota. We’ve achieved and maintained that status through our professional representation of buyers and sellers throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Our team of licensed, experienced, professional Realtors and agents have expertise and long experience in all aspects of real estate in this market.