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Top 5 Real Estate Myths

February 13, 2019

A myth is a widely-held belief that is purported to be true but has no factual basis in reality. When it comes to real estate, many myths tend to circulate and pop up from time to time. Some of these are brand new, others have been around for decades.

The average person buys and sells but a few houses in their entire lifetime, so they don’t have much experience to pull from. Coupled with the vast amounts of misinformation floating around Facebook groups and the internet, it’s no wonder why some myths just refuse to die.

We’re going to look at and dispel the top 5 real estate myths that I have seen crop up over the years.  

Myth #1: School Districts Are Irrelevant to People Without Children

Many people tend to think that a home located near a school district is irrelevant if they don’t have children. While this may seem true to those who are childless and have no intention of having children, buying a home near a school district has a distinct advantage – regardless of whether or not you have children.

At some point the house you own will be sold. If the home is located near a good school district, it immediately adds value for those who have or are planning on having children. 

Generally speaking, homes that reside within a good school district tend to cost more than those that don’t. Childless people should view a house in a good school district as something that adds value to the home they will one day sell.

Myth #2: You Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home

This one comes up time and time again. There are many people who think that their credit score has to be over 800 to purchase a home. While it’s true that people with good credit will get a more favorable interest rate and have the ability to find more lenders who are willing to work with them, that doesn’t mean that people with poor credit can’t get a loan.

Life happens. Medical bills, unforeseen bankruptcies, and unexpected life events can all cause a person’s credit rating to plummet. Some banks and lenders realize this and are more willing to work with people who have poor credit. It might take some research, shopping around, or time to build up enough cash reserves for an acceptable down payment, but eventually you will find a reputable lender willing to make you a loan!

Myth #3: A Mortgage Is Your Only Monthly Expense

While your mortgage is probably your #1 monthly expense, as a homeowner, it’s not your only one. You’ll also need to pay property taxes every year (smart homeowners stash away a little bit of money every month to pay the property tax bill when it’s due). Depending on the cost of your home and the city it resides in, that can add up to several thousand dollars or more annually.

Water, trash, sewer, unexpected home repairs, and maybe even Homeowner Association (HOA) fees can all add up to several thousand dollars or more per year. When trying to determine how much house you can afford, keep these expenses in mind.

Myth #4: Home Inspections are Unnecessary

Home inspections serve a dual purpose. For starters, they will tell you if there’s anything wrong with the house. The last thing you want is to close escrow, only to realize in the rainy season that you need a brand-new roof. 

The second reason a home inspection is so necessary is that it can give you leverage when negotiating the cost a home. If the inspector finds something the home seller did not disclose, you can negotiate the cost of repairs into the final price.

Myth# 5: Selling a Home FSBO (For Sale, By Owner) Can Save Money

Some people think that they can save on the agent’s commission by putting their house up for sale and handling all the paperwork themselves. While this is a perfectly legal, reasonable, and acceptable way of selling a home, it’s generally not recommended.

A professional realtor has gone through extensive training and is licensed to sell homes. This means the realtor has the knowledge to help facilitate a smooth real estate transaction. The realtor will also help market and show the home – on their own personal time. 

This is what some people forget: realtors don’t get paid until the home is sold. Any time or money spent that they take to show or market the house comes out of their own pocket. 

The percentage of sale fee that realtors get pales in comparison with the value and benefits that they bring to the table. There have been many cases of FSBO’s getting in way over their heads and having to pay out way more money than they would have given to a realtor that sold their house.

Seattle Realtor Scott Haveson

When it comes to selling or buying a home, a realtor is an invaluable ally to have on your side. Their expert advice and knowledge of the local neighborhood can not only save you money but time and unnecessary aggravation as well.

Buying or selling a home in the Seattle area is a huge undertaking. Give me a call at (206) 953-8311 or email me to learn more about how I can help take the busy work off your plate so you can focus on moving into your new home.

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Scott is more than just a realtor: in the short time that I have known him he has become a trusted advisor and friend.  I first had the pleasure of working with Scott when I decided to sell my property on the East side.  He went well beyond what I came to expect from other brokers and helped me in every aspect of getting my house ready for sale.  He also gathered the most up-to-date market intelligence so that we could set the right offering price.  Once the sale was done, Scott gave me the education I needed to purchase my new home in Seattle with confidence.  Throughout the process he provided personalized service and had a team of specialists on standby to assist in every aspect of the transaction.  If you’ve spent any time looking at real estate in Seattle recently, you know that every advantage counts.  In today’s competitive market, you need a person like Scott on your side. ~ Mark M.

Buying or selling your perfect Seattle home?

shaveson@windermere.com • (206) 953-8311
214 W McGraw St. Seattle, WA 98119