• Sheena Saydam

3 Real Estate Myths DEBUNKED

It's a fact: When you work with Saydam Properties Group, you're more informed than 99% of all other Buyers and Sellers.

1.  The property is worth X amount because Zillow says so.

Remember when you went to WebMD’s symptom checker to figure out what that strange rash/pain/cough was and the first six potential diagnoses were cancer? That’s a lot like Zillow — exciting people in often delicate emotional states regarding a serious issue.

The Zestimate provided by Zillow is almost always inaccurate. Why? It’s just an automated system that creates an estimate of one property based on what other properties of similar square footage have sold for nearby. This is as bad as a real estate agent who sends you a few properties in the same building/general area and says “Here are the comps [comparables/recently sold properties]” without any sort of analysis.

These “solutions” are unthoughtful and hurt more than they help. You deserve better. An excellent real estate agent will show his/her worth by providing you in-depth analysis of critical factors beyond the numbers (including commentary on the comparable condition of the subject property and a summary of the local market) to help you determine a property’s value.

2. If you want the best “deal,” you should focus on finding bank-owned* and short sale properties.

Just like everything else, you typically get what you pay for (except movie theatre popcorn, Georgetown Cupcake, and getting an Uber during a rainstorm). Purchasing a bank-owned property or short sale often involves a lot more time, money, and (most importantly) risk than most expect.

For example, with a short sale, a seller and his/her agent will often price the home under market value in order to attract a lot of interest. Unfortunately for excited buyers, the bank, who had no say in the list price, has the final say on whether to accept or reject an offer. Banks do their own analysis, and if the offer price is significantly lower than what the lender considers fair market value, the lender will simply reject the offer. And, that’s after holding onto the offer several weeks and even months. So, if it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

If it seems like the property you’re considering is super underpriced, pursue with caution and ask a lot of questions before committing.

*The term “foreclosure” is often used interchangeably with “bank-owned,” although they are different beasts. After a home has been foreclosed upon, the lender will put the property up for sale at auction — buyers here are all cash and there are no inspections of the property. If the property doesn't sell, it becomes a bank-owned or real estate owned property, often referred to as REO properties.

3. I don’t need a real estate agent if I’m buying a new home.

Every so often, something brand new doesn’t work as it should. When it comes to a 6-month building process, a whole lot can go wrong. A few examples that our team has helped buyers through: addressing unusual contract terms, negotiating credits for extensive delays, identifying and rectifying construction issues, and helping find the best loan program (because the builder’s preferred lender doesn’t always work out). All kinds of things can go awry.

Stay informed and protected by bringing an experienced real estate agent to represent you.

Remember, just like in a resale home, the seller pays the commission.

Know anyone who’s getting married or having babies and needs more space? Thinking of selling in the spring? Now is the time to start preparing. Please forward these real estate myths onto anyone who might want awesome representation and let us know if they’d like our Buyer and/or Seller Guides. We are ready and excited to serve you, your family and your friends! Thank you in advance — and do let us know if you refer us so that we can send you a sweet treat.