It’s not uncommon for buyers and sellers to have plenty of misconceptions about real estate agents. From the way they work to what they get paid, there are several myths floating around out there.
Before we get into some of the myths you should ignore, it’s important to understand, most real estate transactions probably involve two real estate agents. One agent will represent the buyer, and one will represent the seller. Now, let’s look at five of the most common real estate myths you should ignore.
Myth #1 – Once You Start Working with an Agent, You’re Stuck with Them
When you sell your home, you will sign a contract with a brokerage and an agent. Typically, the terms of this contract will last for six months to a year. While you may be stuck with the agent after signing a contract, it’s not always the case. Often, if things aren’t working out with the agent, you may ask them or the manager of the brokerage to release you from the agreement.
When you buy a home, you will often sign a contract with a brokerage and an agent. The terms of this contract will last for three to six months. Most buyers’ agents will work free for you until you find a home. While this process may take some time, the agent won’t get paid until you purchase a home, and the seller usually pays your agent’s commission too!
Myth #2 – All Real Estate Agents are Created Equal
Often, buyers and sellers think of real estate agents as the same as each other. However, they are not all as good as each other, and some are far better.
Sometimes, the agent you choose will be better at what you need than anybody else in town. For example, if you’re a physician and you’re relocating, choosing an agent that specializes in working with relocating physicians will be far better than just choosing any old agent.
In addition, a local agent provides advantages, and some simply work harder for you than others. Not all agents are created equal, and you will find this out if you hire an agent that doesn’t work as hard as another.
Myth #3 – Agents Get Paid a 6% Commission Every Time
Many buyers and sellers assume the agent they work with is making 6% of the deal no matter what. This isn’t the case.
First, the seller often pays the commission, and it will likely be split four ways. Each agent will get a portion, and so will each brokerage involved. In addition, the brokerage commission isn’t set in stone, and sometimes can be negotiated, if you are a repeat client or will complete more than one transaction with the agent.
Myth #4 – It’s Fine if You’re a Buyer and You Use the Home’s Listing Agent
Simply put, the listing agent for the property doesn’t represent you as the buyer. Unlike many things in our world today, real estate cannot just be purchased with a smartphone; especially if you want a good deal.
It’s important, as a buyer, to find your own real estate agent to represent you. Without proper representation, you may not get the best deal on the property you’re interested in.
Myth #5 – FSBO (for sale by owner) Homes are Off Limits if You have an Agent
This is simply not true. While some sellers of FSBO homes may prefer not to work with an agent, the majority will work with an agent if the deal is the right deal. Many FSBO sellers today understand it will be much harder to sell their home without allowing the buyer to have a real estate agent.
When you’re ready to buy or sell a home, make sure you have the right real estate agent on your side. The right agent can make a huge difference. Don’t believe everything you hear and before you believe a myth about agents, make sure you get the full story.
The decision to own or rent greatly depends on where you are in your career. Whether you’re a new resident or you’ve retired from practice will have a huge impact on the decision to rent or own as a doctor. For most doctors, after residency, it will make sense to buy, but not always.
Those in residency have a much different decision as they may be moving as soon as they complete their residency. There are several factors to consider before deciding to buy or to rent. Here’s a look at some of those factors to help you decide if it’s the right time to buy a home or if you should continue to rent.
How Permanent is your Position?
For many doctors or future doctors, moving is just a part of the territory. You may have moved when you went from your undergraduate degree into medical school and you may be preparing to move again as you complete your residency. Even once you’ve entered your field of work; it’s possible you could move every few years, depending on the opportunities and the type of medicine you practice.
One of the biggest factors in the decision of a doctor to rent or buy is how permanent the position you currently hold is and will be in the future. If you believe you will be working at the same location, in the same city for several years, buying makes sense. However, if you’re unsure if you’ll still be working at the same place, renting may be a better choice.
What’s your Financial Situation?
The financial situation of a physician changes over time. Often, you’re dealing with paying off massive student loans when you first graduate from medical school, but these loans won’t be there forever. Your financial situation will also play a rather large factor in the decision to rent or buy.
However, it may not play as big of a role as you might think. With the ability to use what is known as a doctor loan or physician loan, you may be able to buy with little or no money down, even if you have huge student loans to pay off and you don’t make a ton of cash yet.
The doctor loan program mitigates the risk for the lender by using future earnings as a factor. They come with several benefits, such as no need to purchase mortgage insurance and you don’t necessarily have to have paystubs to prove your income. Often, these loans will use an employment contract showing proof of future earnings and you will likely be required to keep an account with the lending bank for automatic electronic payments.
There are benefits to buying a house and renting a house for doctors. Not every situation is the same. However, if you plan to stay put for at least a few years, it makes more sense to buy than rent, in most circumstances.
Buying a home is an investment and allows you the ability to actually put your money into something you own instead of something your landlord owns. However, if you’re not sure how permanent your current position is, renting until you have a more permanent situation might be the right choice.
There is no wrong or right answer, but doctor loans do make it much easier to buy. When you buy, you also have the opportunity to turn your first property into a rental property when you’re ready to upgrade. This is also possible if your situation changes and you need to relocate for a new position.
45 Sycamore Drive, #1614, Charleston, SC 29407
For Sale: $189,900, Listed by The Pulse Charleston
Look no further! Fantastic condo listed for a great price! Perfect for professionals or students who need a low maintenance starter home with easy access to downtown or Avondale shopping, restaurants, and night life. Gated community with amenities, including two pools, two tennis courts, and a fitness center. Dog park/walking trails nearby too! First floor unit with two bedrooms and a private porch. COMES WITH A ONE CAR GARAGE! Unit is conveniently located next to one of the pools and an easy entrance out of the complex. Recent upgrades include smooth ceilings, painted walls throughout, hardwoods, stainless steel appliances, painted cabinets with new hardware, a new sink/faucet in the bathroom, new hot water heater, new shelving in the garage, and a new garage door opener! Great opportunity to own a turnkey condo 5 minutes from downtown under $190K!
322 Clayburne Drive, Goose Creek, SC 29445
SOLD: $225,000, Listed by The Pulse Charleston
4 Bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, with a loft/bonus area on a large private lot all for only 225K?! The open floor plan downstairs has wood-laminate floors in the main living areas, a roomy kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space as well as a bedroom with a half bath for guests. Upstairs is the large master suite with walk in closet, two additional bedrooms, a hall bathroom AND a loft currently used as a playroom. Don’t miss the airy screened porch, deck perfect for entertaining and the fully fenced backyard. Enjoy the privacy of woodlands behind the home and tons of storage in the two car attached garage! Liberty Hall has a beautiful pool, clubhouse, tons of walking trails and a playground. Don’t miss this house!
0 Stonewood Drive, Charleston, SC 29412
UNDER CONTRACT: $149,900, Listed by The Pulse Charleston
One of the only remaining vacant lots in James Island’s most charming community, Riverland Terrace, is now available! The coveted and historic neighborhood is home to the Avenue of Oaks, a 100 year old grand oak tree canopy that once led to Wappoo Hall Plantation. At the lot, you’ll marvel at the possibilities on this majestic oak-lined property set beautifully between historic Riverland Terrace homes. A true Charleston paradise! Riverland Terrace residents also enjoy a neighborhood boat dock, recreational fields, and a waterfront playground and picnic area. Walk to the best local shopping, restaurants and movie theater, at Terrace Plaza, or cross Maybank Highway to enjoy evening music at the Pour House. Only 10 minutes to downtown!