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Real estate myths exposed

by Meg White

Real estate myths exposed

Just because something is repeated over and over again doesn’t make it true. We asked our panel of experts to identify outdated ideas about real estate they keep hearing consumers, agents and brokers say, regardless of the fact that it’s not accurate or pertinent to the real world. Here’s a list of the ideas they wish they could finally put to rest in 2020.

“I don’t need a broker to buy a property.”

We have seen many consumers try to navigate a deal on their own without a local market expert, and most of the time they end up in need of professional guidance. I always ask, “Is it worth saving $10,000 if you end up paying $50,000 more for the property by not working with someone who really understands home values?” Using a local expert ensures you are getting the guidance you need when investing in your biggest asset. — Amy Corr, executive vice president of culture and agent development at @properties

“The emergence of iBuyers means the sky is falling for real estate.”

Every industry is evolving as a result of technology, and there are always pros and cons that come along with that. Real estate is no different. If we think a technology platform can ever replace everything we do on behalf of the buyers and sellers we work with, we’re limiting our own value. — Brian Kwilosz, managing broker-owner at EXIT Real Estate Partners and president of Mainstreet Organization of Realtors

“Lending is stuck in the past.”

People may not realize that the mortgage industry has made unprecedented advances to its technology, improving efficiencies for customers, loan originators and valued business partners. We are constantly challenging ourselves to build simple, real-world solutions that fit best with today’s rapidly changing marketplace and increasingly connected customers. One of the latest innovations, full eClosings, is a perfect example. Completely remote online notarization empowers our loan originators and agents with new tools and allows customers to close on properties at any time, from anywhere with an Internet-connected device. — Nik Athanasiou, chief operating officer at Guaranteed Rate

“Associations are an old boys’ club, only here to collect a check and provide no real benefit to members.”

Our members want connection — and the association is uniquely capable of providing that for them. From education events to networking mixers and advocacy updates, our diverse programming really helps us deliver on our members’ needs. Also, diversity of leadership is something we really pride ourselves on. — Michelle Mills Clement, CEO of the Chicago Association of Realtors

“To provide service to your sellers, you need to show your listings in person.”

The reality is that buyers search online and prefer to see and experience themselves in the space. The last thing they want is the listing agent to be hovering over them and pointing out where a bathroom or kitchen is. If determined to show in person, ensure you are creating real value for that buyer and their agent. Arm the buyer’s agent with the information and tools to help them convey to their client how fantastic the home is. Be available for second showings, but for first showings, let them come and experience the home for themselves. This approach allows agents to work smarter, not harder. Leveraging a lockbox, great marketing, and providing key additional info can make buyers feel more at home and help convert showings into offers. — Rebecca Thomson, regional vice president at Coldwell Banker in Chicago

“Taxes are driving down property values throughout Illinois.”

[State and local taxes] have affected many homeowners and slowed appreciation. However, property values have continued to increase this year and last year in the Chicago metro area. In fact, since 2013 Chicagoland home values have appreciated 51 percent, according to InfoSparks. On the upside, the slowed appreciation has increased housing affordability in the current booming economic environment of more jobs and higher wages. — John Matthews, senior vice president of residential sales at Baird & Warner Oak Park/River Forest

“It’s best to wait until the spring market to list a home.”

Any time your client’s home is not on the market, they are missing out on the opportunity to sell. Also, if they wait, their home will face more competition. — Mark Pasquesi, president of brokerage for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group

“Association members are a monolithic group.”

Nothing could be further from the case in this ever-changing, entrepreneurial profession represented by infinite diversity and infinite combination! We need to do a far better job as associations of approaching our membership as more highly individuated and be more effectively positioned to assist them and address their needs at whatever stage of their careers they may be. — Steve Volkodav, CEO of the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors

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