First Time Buyer?
The number one comment I have received from first time buyers is how confusing the home-buying process has become. When's the best time to buy? What's the best loan for me? What am I responsible for? And then there's insurance, inspections, legal requirements, etc, etc.
My primary goal with all buyers is to eliminate the confusion by sitting down and explaining the A-Z's of the home buying process in plain english.
When I meet with buyers, there is no pressure and nothing to sign. And, if you do decide to move forward, there are no fees for buyer representation!
For more about the professional services you receive, click here.
Five Common Home Buying Myths
1. Foreclosures and short-sales are the best deals. Not necessarily. Typically, these types of properties are purposely priced low to attract offers. Initially, they appear to be "great deals". However, because of their low pricing, these properties usually get multiple offers, which drives the price up. The final selling price usually ends up being the fair market value, which would be comparable to other "regular sales" on the market.
2. I don't need a Realtor when buying, since it will save me costs. Not true. Although some agents may charge a fee to represent you, this is very rare. Buyer's Agents are paid a commission by the seller of the house you are buying, and therefore you receive professional representation at no cost to you. Plus, the showing of the homes, preparing offers, handling legal documents and disclosures, coordinating inspections, etc., are all handled by your Realtor.
3. I can't buy because my credit is less than perfect, or I don't have enough downpayment. The guidelines for loans are ever-changing. There are dozens of loan programs designed to help people with low credit scores or minimal downpayment. There are also government programs available for borrowers with low credit scores. Of course, even if you qualify with low scores or minimal downpayment, the main thing is to make sure you have enough reserves after paying your mortgage to have ample funds available for living expenses.
4. I'll get a better deal if I just call the agent on the Real Estate sign, so that the seller won't have to pay a commission to my Buyer's Agent. Not true, although many Listing Agents will try and convince you that this is the case. The reality is that if a Listing Agent represents both seller and buyer, this is called a "dual agency", whereby the Listing Agent receives a dual (or increased) commission. This does not save the seller any money, and therefore there is no incentive for the seller to reduce the price of the home. And more importantly is the fact that the Listing Agent always has the primary "fiduciary" duty to the seller - not the buyer - even though the Listing Agent is technically representing both parties. Obviously, this is a huge disservice to the buyer, with regard to the price negotiations, issues that arise from the Home Inspection, etc.
5. Large, well-known agencies are better to represent me than smaller, independent agencies. This is a common myth that the "biggies" would love for you to believe. Yes, there are many good agents working for large agencies, but it really boils down to the expertise of the individual agent. There are many inexperienced or unskilled negotiators working for large agencies. On a personal note, it has always bewildered my that the "top" agencies advertise that they have the "best" agents, and the "best" results. Frankly, these are just generic marketing tactics to lure clients. In fact, early on in my career, I sat down with three of the best-known agencies, and all three were incredibly eager to sign me up. Not one asked me about my work ethic, how I treat people, or my morals. They just wanted to add me to their team so they could make more money! I could have been the worst agent on the planet, but they still wanted me! So again, it's the experience and expertise of the agent, not the agency.