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Myths about Real Estate Agents

By Sadiya Anjum

Many people have several misconceptions when it comes to working with real estate agents. Most are either too wary and judgmental or overtly trusting with their agents. Always remember that agents are professionals who are working for you; if you hit it off with them no harm done. But being suspicious about their intentions will not help you either. Here are a few common myths that people harbor about real estate agents; breaking these myths may help you work better with them.

Myth: I should hire the agent who quotes the highest list price for my home.

May be your home is really worth every bit as much as he claims it is but its not the criteria on which you hire an agent. It is his expertise and experience that you should consider. Giving you an unrealistic price may just be a ploy to get your business. When your home does not sell in a few weeks he will ask you to bring the price down.

Myth: An agent cannot help me find a brand new home, he shows only previously owned homes.

It is untrue that agents work only for owners of homes because they get commissions only from them. Builders also pay agents commissions; hence agents can just as easily find a brand new home for you. You may consider hiring an agent who deals specially with new homes if you want.

Myth: Apart from listing agents, any other agent represents me when he shows me a home.

No matter how friendly an agent is he will put the seller’s interests first. Even if it is not the listing agent and you like a home, it is most likely that the agent will not completely represent you. Only by signing a buyer’s agency agreement will an agent truly and completely represent you.

Myth: If I have an agent he can handle the legal aspects too.

True an agent with a lot of experience can guide you with legal matters. But the bottom line is he is not an attorney. If you require legal help it will be an attorney with expertise in real estate who can give you an accurate picture. To draw up an agreement tailored to your needs, you may ultimately require an attorney.

Myth: The agent will value my property accurately.

Most agents use ‘comps’ or comparables to estimate the value of your home. But that is all it is – an estimate. A really good agent may come close to the actual market value of the home which can be determined with an appraisal. But it is only an appraiser who can officially indicate the value of a home. What the agent states is not the accurate or on-the-dot price.

 Myth: I should hire the agent with the most listings/ I should NOT hire the agent because he has too many listings.

Going to extremes is not the answer. An agent who has too many listings may not be capable of paying complete individual attention to you. But this does not mean that he does not have the capability to sell your home. An agent will have his own methods to deal with all his clients. But consider this rationally before you hire someone. If he has the right qualification and experience to sell your home, then why not? But if you need someone 24/7, this agent may not be able to live up to your expectations. Consider your needs and hire someone who fits your needs.

Such misconceptions can land you with the wrong agent or in a terrible mess. Clearing these myths can help you deal with agents better. Hiring an agent is a matter of choice but if you do decide to hire one, make sure you choose the right person. Everything your agent says is not a hard and fast rule but listening to his advice may prove valuable.

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