If you're in the market to buy or sell a home, chances are you've heard some whoppers on what to do.
"Never accept the first offer."
"Three bedrooms sell better than two bedrooms."
"Now is a terrible time to sell."
The list goes on. There are countless pieces of real estate advice out there, so let's separate myth from reality.
1. The first offer you get is never the best offer.
Real estate agent Jan Collier says that's a myth. "The first offer is usually going to be your best offer. Nobody believes it, but it's true. And then six months later when you're on your third offer, they go, 'I should have taken that first offer!'"
2. You should price your home high to leave room for negotiating.
Collier says that's not a good idea. "Everyone's going to have to negotiate a little bit, but if you put it higher and give yourself a lot of room to come down, you're not going to get an offer. You're going to sit there longer. People are educated; the buyers are educated. You need to look at the comparable sales in the neighborhood, and price your house comparable to those sales."
3. When it comes to renovation, is the kitchen really the best room to invest in before you list your home?
Collier says, "Yes. It's the most expensive room to renovate, but it will give you the biggest return."
Now - what if you're in the market to buy?
4. A buyer's market means you can make lower offers.
Collier isn't a fan of this. "They can make as low an offer as they want to, but most of the time if you make a ridiculous offer, it's going to insult the seller, and you don't want to start out totally insulting the seller if you really want the house."
Instead, buyers should make a reasonable offer that they know they are willing to pay.
5. The longer a house sits on the market, the better the deal you can get.
"That's not necessarily true, because sellers get in their mind that they have to have a certain price. The longer it's on the market, sometimes they're more motivated," says Collier. "And motivated sometimes means sellers are more flexible on price, but sometimes it doesn't."
6. If you look long enough, you'll eventually find your perfect home.
Collier says, "No - that's not true. No one finds the perfect house. I mean, houses are great and you can find the house that fits you, but it's not perfect."