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The Agent next door: The 10 most common (false) myths about Agents and Real Estate

The 10 most common (false) myths about Agents and Real Estate – by Arianna Sturla

The 9th of April 2018, on a cold and rainy day here in London, I began my career as a Real Estate Agent at Marylebone Properties International.

I gotta say from the very beginning I was amused by the property world all of us are so used to, but which is so foreign at the same time, that is the real estate industry.

Everybody (or most of us at least) have been in a point in our life where we needed to relocate -might it be for school, work or life choices. And we all had to search for a new place to call home.

Many of us decided to do so through a Real Estate agent to facilitate and speed up the process. But you would be surprised to know there is a very large number of people that still don’t trust agents.

Why? Because, as for many other jobs, the figure of the Estate Agent is surrounded by common believes, some -I’m afraid- true and some absolutely false.

In this first article of mine, I will make a list of the 10 most common myths about Agents and Real Estate I came across in my time working in London Let’s clarify for whoever has to approach the Real Estate world in London.

1) Real Estate Agents in London are always late for appointments

A pretty common belief is also that Real Estate Agents are always late for appointments because they need to show the clients that they have a lot of deals going on and since their time is precious.

This myth is as far from the truth as you can get, actually.

All respectable agents will try to be at the appointment at least 10-15 minutes early to make sure everything is alright and to make a good impression on their clients.

Would you wish to be late for a job interview? No, and neither do we, and I can assure you that, as much as it does in a job interview, punctuality and professionalism play an important role in any real estate negotiation.

If it ever happens that your agent is a few minutes late, she might simply be stuck in traffic because she just had another viewing on the other side of the City.

2) A Real Estate Agent will say and do anything to make a sale

Although you’ll find some dishonest agents who will lie to you, not all agents would be willing to do so in order to make a sale. Doing so would cost as our reputation after all!

A Top Agent doesn’t need to lie to get new clients and close the deals, and those Agent who -like me- do this job because they actually enjoy doing it honestly and truthfully are very careful to uphold a client’s trust: also, making a false statement is against the law, and Agents who fail to disclose important material facts are subject to legal prosecution.

3) Paying rent is like throwing your money away

Many people believe that owning your home is better than paying the rent because in the second case you spend money without actually owning anything, but what they often forget is that, in a city like London, renting properties often makes more sense: the rent for a room in a shared house in Zone 2 can be around £600-800 a month, while having your own house usually costs you in maintenance cost, bills and council tax.

4) The longer a home stays on the market, the more negotiable is the deal

It works the other way around, actually.

It’s like that the home everybody fancies has been on the market for a while now likely due to its just slightly negotiable asking price: the seller may be unrealistic about their asking price or want the market to pay more than it is willing to bear.

5) When making an offer on a home, you need to start with a low offer and then raise it

Just as sellers can make the mistake of overpricing their properties, buyers can mistakenly start with a really low offer.

Although there is nothing wrong with negotiating, if the property you are putting an offer on is priced within a certain range, an unrealistically low offer is only going to put the seller on the position of not taking you seriously, with the unpleasant result of blowing up the deal before the negotiation even starts.

6) “Location, Location, Location” and “Homes Under The Hammer” shows common people how the Real Estate industry works

Reality Shows about millionaire properties and super-rich agents don’t’ make the standard, day to day deal Real Estate Agents close in reality.

While these shows raised the interest of the public towards the real estate industry, they depict the real estate world in London wrongly. For every millionaire properties’ deal, there are thousands of small rents and commercial sales we have to go through first. Also in Marylebone.

7) New Agents don’t have the Know-How

How many times I’ve herd it, since working at Marylebone Properties International.

Some clients may look specifically for agents with at least one years of experience in the field because they are convinced that agents in training don’t have the proper know-how.

This decision could also turn out to be a bad idea after all.

Experience certainly know how to do their job efficiently. But being quite new in the industry mean that you give a better customer service. You are more of a go-getter since everything is so exciting and new. You work very hard to prove your worth to others and to yourself.

8) Selling a home “For Sale By Owner” saves lots of money

The main reason sellers choose to put their house privately is because they think that way they will save lots of money.

Many sellers who attempt to sell their home will end up losing money by not hiring a professional real estate agent. That could lead to a series of mistakes made by the house owner for not being practical with the real estate market.

Did the private landlord overprice their home and it didn’t sell for several months? Did he not know how to negotiate the best price and terms for his/her home?

9) The less commission you pay to sell, the more you make

Agent will claim they can make you save money because they charge less than the average market price.

The truth is agents who excel in this business do not discount their services. An agent that charges you 0,1% will give you much less consideration than one that charges you 2% or more.

10) All Real Estate Agents make too much money

An agent’s average annual salary is often less than $40,000 a year, and many of the Agents are actually freelancer who get paid on a contract basis.

Has anybody ever told you: “Every penny more you pay for that house makes the agent more money. Don’t trust them.”?

What a common misunderstanding. The difference between $400,000 and $410,000 is about $200 to an agent. Said Agent won’t pay much attention to the commission difference of a $10,000 spread.

So be wise, make your decisions carefully and thoughtfully, and when possible choose a professional.

We make everything easier and smoother for both sellers and buyers.

That’s all for now.

Follow my blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for more advices and interesting stories from the Real Estate world.

Your personal Alice in Wonderland,

Arianna Sturla

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