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Myth #1: All real estate agents are the same.

Many buyers think that anyone who holds a real estate license is equally capable of assisting them in buying a home. It's true, there are minimum standards of performance required to obtain a real estate license. But just like any profession, more experience and education separate average performers from true professionals. Real estate designations indicate that an agent has completed advanced training which is normally a sign of higher competence. One such designation is the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR). An ABR has studied how best to represent their buyer clients throughout the home buying process.


The highest designation an agent can obtain in residential real estate is the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation. Only about 5% of all REALTORS® are CRS designees. To obtain the CRS designation the agent must demonstrate significant sales performance (experience) and complete advanced training in negotiation, mortgage finance and real estate investments. Wouldn't you rather be represented by a more experienced, highly trained agent?


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RE/MAX Associates lead agents of competing brands in professional designations and production. RE/MAX Associates are The Hometown Experts With a World of Experience®. They are the most knowledgeable agents who have the experience and community connections to assist you in the home buying process. The proof of quality service is in repeat customers and in customers who refer RE/MAX Associates to friends who looking to buy their new home. No one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.


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Myth #2: I can use the internet to view all of the homes for sale so I really don't need a REALTOR® to help me find the right home.

The internet is a great resource for home buyers and statistics show that about 84% of all buyers browse for homes online before contacting an agent. What many homebuyers don't realize is that the information available to the public on the internet can be both incomplete and out of date. obtains a daily feed directly from the Hampton Roads, Virginia Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Homes which go under contract and listings which have expired are removed from the site immediately. Price adjustments, photography and other critical information about the home are kept up-to-date. Where available, street views, aerial (balloon) views and virtual tours of properties are just a click away. The Search All Homes for Sale section of this website utilizes to help you effectively search for your new home.

It's great to use the internet for casual viewing but don't presume that you will be able to select the best home to buy without detailed knowledge of the community, sales history in the area and all the details about the home that may not be available online. REALTORS® are an invaluable resource when it comes to market knowledge.

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Myth #3: The perfect home will turn up at the right time if I wait long enough.

There's no such thing as a perfect home. Even brand new homes have defects and older homes have history that could include major repairs, lot drainage issues, noisy neighbors - you name it.

A more productive viewpoint is to seek a perfectly acceptable home, which means there are going to be a few quirks that you can live with or repair. Homes, like people, are not flawless but we love them and enjoy living with them in spite of their imperfections. A good Buyer's Agent will help you identify the major issues that are legitimate deal-breakers. The House Hunting Checklist referenced in Step 4 of the Home Buyer's Learning Center can help you identify your wants and needs.

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Myth #4: Once you find the home you want to buy, it makes no difference what real estate agent helps you.

Some buyers may even go as far as allowing the listing agent to "write up the offer" regardless of that person's allegiance or experience. They may be under the misconception that if they use the agent who comes along with the house they will have a "package deal" advantage in getting the best price. The reverse is actually true. The listing agent has an established fiduciary (legal) obligation to the seller. The listing agent was hired to negotiate the best price, terms and conditions for the seller. The same holds true for new construction site agents who represent the builder. Dealing directly with a for sale by owner without an agent is a recipe for disaster.

Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments most people make. Over a person's lifetime they may be involved in just a handful of real estate transactions. Selecting the right agent to represent you is paramount to realizing a good outcome. An experienced agent who has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions looks at the home purchase unemotionally and with a different set of eyes than the buyer. A real estate professional will also see to it that your purchase sails smoothly to closing. It's hard to put a price tag on getting to closing on time and hassle free.

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Myth #5: There's no need to limit myself to just one agent. The more agents helping me find my home, the better.

"I'll work with the agent who finds the right property for me" doesn't really make sense when you think it through. Here's why:

First, all the homes available to purchase are in the same data base for all REALTORS® to access. You will waste your own time having information about the same homes being sent to you by several agents.

Second, experienced Buyer's Agents will want you to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement to establish your agency relationship and their role in assisting you. Only agents with little knowledge and experience are likely to agree to work on a non-exclusive arrangement.

Third, it costs you nothing to exercise your right to select the best qualified agent of your choice. With your mutual commitment to each other, your Buyer Agent will be more motivated to help you find the best property, even if it is not currently listed.

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Myth #6: If I buy a foreclosure, I can get a great house for less money.

Foreclosures are often distressed properties and the process of purchasing a foreclosure is not a consumer-friendly one. Purchasing foreclosures on the court house steps is recommended only for experienced buyers and investors. You are more likely to encounter a HUD home, VA foreclosure or bank-owned (REO) property that has been listed in the local MLS.

You will want to be represented by an agent who has been involved with purchasing HUD, VA, mortgage company or bank owned properties. There are often times special contracts, addendums and procedures to these type transactions. Your agent should be able to help you determine costs for needed improvements by recommending qualified contractors.

The corporate owners of these properties will hire an appraiser or real estate company to help determine their market value. Consideration is given to property condition which in most cases is less than stellar to say the least. If you are handy, then you may be able to purchase a foreclosure in need of TLC for about what it is worth and add sweat equity to it. These type purchases should always be contingent upon being inspected by a qualified home inspector.

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Myth #7: If something appears on the inspection report, the seller has to fix it.

Because buyers often make an offer contingent upon an inspection, many buyers believe that sellers must fix anything that shows up on the inspection report. Everything is negotiable; however, there are certain things the lender might require to be fixed in order for you to obtain the type financing you are seeking. The seller must make lender required repairs or sell only to a cash buyer.

An experience agent will have helped you negotiate into the purchase agreement for the sellers to fix any obvious deficiencies prior to contract ratification. Buyer agents can also help negotiate for sellers to make repairs to walk thru items, appraisal and other required inspection issues up to an agreed to amount or “Cap”, for example, equal to 1% of the purchase price. Beyond that the inspection reports can trigger re-negotiations on the property. Having a Buyer's Agent in your court recommending reputable inspectors to you and negotiating on your behalf can save you from lots of headaches.

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Myth #8: It's almost impossible to get a mortgage nowadays.

Actually, qualified buyers have a good choice of mortgage programs. The mortgage crisis of 2007 eliminated programs which were designed to provide financing for marginal buyers; buyers with unverified income, bad credit, zero down payment and other credit issues.

There are several attractive federal and state first-time buyer programs and other incentives for anyone to buy now. Qualified buyers with excellent credit and cash reserves have the most choices including some no and low down payment programs. Although the minimum credit score required varies by lender, if you have a 620 or better FICO score, you should be able to get a mortgage. Interest rates are still great and sellers are willing to assist with paying closing costs making right now a great time to buy.

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