8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Real Estate Agent

8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Real Estate Agent

Here at Real Group, we believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question. And perhaps we share this with you a little tongue-in-cheek. It does, however, pay off to come into the real estate market with expectations set, and how to get the most from your real estate agent. Here are 8 things to avoid: 

1. "But, Zillow said..."

Of course, Zillow can be a great starting place when you're thinking about selling or buying, but it is only a starting place. 

You'd think a website with 73 million unique visitors in December 2014 alone would be a bit more accurate, but according to the Los Angeles Times, Zestimates (Zilllow's home value estimates) have a median error rate of 8%. "On a $500,000 house, that would be a $40,000 disparity–a lot of money on the table–and could create problems," the publication reports. With that in mind, it's great to do your research, but understand that Zillow is a very loose estimate.  

2. "I don't think I need to be pre-approved."

Well, you probably should. Most clients get a pre-approval before beginning the process to prevent deals from breaking and to show that they're taking their home search seriously. If you're looking for a place to begin with this, check out our list of trusted mortgage lenders. These are folks we've worked with in the past and to whom we would send our friends and family members. 

If you find a home that you really want to make an offer on before another buyer scoops it up, you need to already have a pre-approval in hand. Don't get your heart broken. If you want to ensure you aren't making all of your decisions about your big move based on the assumption that you'll be pre-approved, only to learn that your Major Phone Company mistakenly blew up your credit report 6 months ago, get a pre-approval. And, there are 10 other good reasons - trust us.

3. "Can you give me some advice about my house? I'm trying to avoid hiring an agent."

There are questions you should ask your real estate agent before you hire them, but asking a professional for a ton of free advice is unfair. It's kind of like booking an appointment for a haircut, but then showing up to the salon and asking for advice on how to cut your hair at home. Keep your questions to a couple simple ones if you're not looking to enter the market. We're always happy to answer a few questions and show you how smart we are!

4. "Why can't you take a small cut in your commission? You're already making so much." 

It might seem like your agent is making a killing, and while it's good to advocate for yourself, you might want to consider where that money actually goes. It's also good to remember that your agent doesn't make any money until closing, so there's a good amount of risk and delayed payoff that results in what looks like a large chunk of change. 

5. "I don't need to do any repairs."

If you're selling your home and want to come out with the best value you can get for your home, you'll probably need to make a few repairs. It will make your agent's skilled negotiations much smoother and prevent any financial blips during the buyer's inspection. 

6. "I already know what my home is worth." 

Many clients say this because of a personal connection to their neighborhoods and homes. Agents understand that, but when you're selling your home, it is important to keep an objective perspective on the intricacies involved when pricing a home to sell. It is really useful to share what your expectations are with your agent, however, and if they're out of line, a good agent will tell you.

Another thing to be ready for is the bank's appraisal of the property which will come down the line. Make sure that you understand the issues concerning these appraisals and the associated language. 

7. "My budget is between $30,000 and $30 million, and I don't really care about how many bedrooms I get."

Narrowing your budget and needs will help your agent find the right properties for you. Going in with a budget that is so open and a list of vague demands could result in frustration and lengthy home searches. Make a list of priorities and get a pre-approval. 

Would you truly be equally happy living in Rogers Park, Lincoln Park, or Garfield Park? We've never had a client say "yes."

8. "My credit score is perfect."

While 18.3% of the population has a credit score above 800, only .5% hits the 850 mark. Be real with yourself about your credit history and what's on it, as this will help you find a home that suits your means. 

If you're looking to build or rebuild your credit but still want to buy a home, it's going to require time and financial savvy. The good news is that it is possible to rebuild your score.

When you've decided to get into the Chicago housing market and are looking some real talk, drop the Real Group Team a line. We would love to begin a conversation about your next home!

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Chicago, IL 60614

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