3 real estate myths debunked by REALTORS®

When it comes to buying and selling a home, there are many opinions on the real estate process. From when to sell to where to buy, how to negotiate and what to look for, there’s no shortage of information being thrown your way. Like with anything, what you read or hear isn’t always factual. Sure, it may be rooted in truths, but things can get twisted.

This is why we recommend contacting a REALTOR® to help you on your real estate journey. They’re the experts and can bring a multitude of professional experience, designations, and certifications to the table, helping you navigate an otherwise stressful process.

We reached out to a few REALTORS® across Canada to help provide some clarity on the most common real estate misconceptions. Last week we debunked four myths. Following are three more myths debunked by REALTORS®.

Misconception No. 1: Your list of wants is the same as your list of needs

Everyone has their idea of a dream home. Big windows! Three storeys! Massive yard! Sprawling kitchen! But everything you want in a home may be different from everything you need. You might not need floor-to-ceiling windows, but if you have a large family you may need more than three bedrooms.

“Unless you’re working with an unlimited budget, you’ll have to determine which are your must-have features in a new home and which features you would potentially be willing to give up. If you’re unwilling to compromise on any features and are having a hard time discerning wants and needs, you may have a difficult time finding that “perfect” fit,” says Eric Wilkinson, REALTOR® with CENTURY 21 Fusion in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

“Needs and wants are two different lists. Your needs are the things that are non-negotiable, under no circumstances are you buying a house without parking, as an example. Whereas your wants are things you’re willing to live without for the right house. It’s impossible to find a house that checks all your boxes, even if you build it yourself. I’ll always tell clients to clearly define your needs and wants and to keep in mind if you get 9/10 things then that’s as close to a perfect house as we’ll get,” says Daniel Engel, Broker with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. Brokerage in Toronto, Ontario.

“Needs and wants in a home could be very subjective, so I don’t try to set a boundary on what your needs and wants are. Instead, I suggest making a combined list of your needs and wants and number them in the order of importance. Find a number on that list you could start to give up if necessary,” says Joe Bae, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Crest Realty in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Misconception No. 2: Never accept the first offer

Offers are not like pancakes — the first one isn’t always a write-off. It’s a misconception that you have to say no to the first offer on your home when selling. Instead, you should be looking at what the potential buyer is actually offering and seeing if it meets your desires.

“Oftentimes, the first offer is the best offer. The longer your listing stays on the market, the more a buyer may try to negotiate on the price. It’s encouraged sellers do their best to work with the first offer in trying to come to an agreement that works for everyone,” says Wilkinson.

“Sometimes your first offer is your best offer. Different people have different negotiating styles and some people genuinely come with their best offer first. Look at the content of the offer and judge the agreement on its merits. Does this work for me and my goals? Is this what we want? Don’t just reject an offer because it’s the first one — you may never see that offer again,” says Engel.

Misconception No. 3: Selling a home without a REALTOR® saves you money

Selling your home without a REALTOR® could not only cost you actual dollars, the stress and uncertainty of the process can add unnecessary strife to your already hectic life.

“REALTORS® are professional marketers and negotiators. You may save yourself the cost of commission by not hiring a REALTOR®, but you very well may have left more money on the table by not having an agent represent you through the negotiation or by not reaching the correct buyer through marketing efforts. Speak to an agent, ask them for their sales statistics, ask the important questions, and make an informed decision,” says Engel.

“There are many ways to sell a home just like there are many ways to file your own taxes. Professionals exist for a reason and the majority of homeowners choose to hire a REALTOR® because they see it as the best fit. I’d never recommend selling your home on your own for the same reason I trust professionals to file my taxes, do my dental work, and prescribe medicine to my kids. A good REALTOR® knows the ins and outs of keeping your largest investment safe. They have a rolodex of professionals that will help you from start to finish and have the experience to stickhandle the negotiation process,” says Casey Archibald, REALTOR®, Archibald Real Estate Group, RE/MAX Crest Realty, Vancouver, British Columbia.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of real estate misconceptions, but it goes to show why working with a REALTOR® is so important. You always want to make sure you’re getting accurate, up-to-date information so buying or selling your home can be as stress-free as possible!

— Realtor.ca