6 real estate myths busted
31 August 2015 Caroline James
The property market can be confusing enough without throwing in tall tales and outdated assumptions.
We set out to bust some popular myths in the real estate business with a little help from the experts.
“Myths are perpetuated in two main ways in real estate,” says Craig Heppell, CEO of Agent in a Box.
“They are either fed by ourselves as agents and by sellers, and probably also by buyers too.”
Let’s shine a bright light on six of the most commonly heard untruths:
1. Good agents can command armies of buyers to fight for your home
The market is red hot in Sydney and Melbourne and warming up in parts of southeast Queensland and other regional coastal cities.
But don’t think that means every home going to market will attract a tsunami of desperate buyers.
“There is a bit of a myth out there that agents have all these buyers gathered in a field somewhere right now,” Heppell says.
“That all you have to do as vendor is list your home and the agent will release these buyers and they will all go at it hammer and tong to compete for your home … I am sorry to say but that one is completely untrue.”
2. Never sell in the winter
We’ve all heard this old chestnut, that the only people who put their homes on the market when the weather is coldest are poor, desperate souls who will accept any price to pay for some firewood.
But Simon Cohen and Ben Handler of Cohen Handler buyers’ agency, confirm it’s simply not true that there are specific months or seasons to sell property.
Yes, Melbourne is known to go a little bit AFL-crazy during its cooler months and a few years ago auction crowd sizes tended to be smaller on big game days.
But Australia’s property market today is proving so active year-round that even sports nuts visit open houses before the footy.
Study 2015’s auction clearance rates and price growth across Australia and you’ll see this whole ‘avoid winter’ theory is dead-set myth material.
3. Beware of accidentally selling too low
“I have been selling real estate for 13 years and would say nine out of 10 sellers have inflated views of the value of their own properties,” Heppell says.
“One of the biggest myths is created by sellers concerned they will undersell their own properties.”
The Sunshine Coast based agent says vendors get anxious about accepting an offer under the ‘real worth’ of their home.
“What they don’t realise is that you cannot make a mistake on this front; when it all boils down to it, the market will decide what the sale price will be at any given time, not the vendor.”
4. Property law is a complicated and terrifying beast
Some people are mortified about the legal side of transacting property. Yes, buying or selling a home does mean following a legally binding process. There are potentially costly penalties for those who do not.
However, it is not some big bad monster to be feared, Heppell says.
“Many people get very concerned about the legals of the deal but it is pretty simple really and the legal side of it doesn’t even come into it until you have a solicitor or legal representative for both sides sign-off on it and then it is a solicitor or conveyancer’s job to carry through the carriage of sale,” he says.
“It should be straight forward as long as there’s an expert overseeing this for you and that person is a good communicator.”
5. An agent has a magic bag of tricks to sell a house
Sorry guys but they don’t, Heppell reveals.
“We only have a limited range of things we can use to sell your home, things we can adjust, and all are controlled by the vendor,” he says.
“These are the ‘3 Ps’ of presenting it properly, pricing it properly and promoting it well and in a hot market these three things may not be the deal-breakers to securing a sale but at the end of the day, while we will make suggestions to the vendor – i.e. adjust the price or tidy up the home – it is always up to the seller to make the ultimate decisions.”
6. Young adults have no hope of home ownership
Not true, says Director of Precision Funding, Corey Batt. Batt, who runs the property investment-based mortgage broking firm, helps young people buy their first homes every day.
“This idea that it is ‘impossible’ for young people to get their first home is the biggest myth,” Batt says.
“We have young people getting their first, second, third-plus properties every day, showing grit and determination.
“Simple finance tips plus understanding expectations and how to move to your long-term goals through to progressing up the ladder.”
6 August 2015