Real estate doesn't have to be complicated but in today's market so many people believe so many falsehoods about real estate that it can really steer people away from using a professional when it comes time to buying or selling a home. Here are five myths about home buying and selling that I want all of my clients to know before jumping into a real estate transaction.

Myth #1 - If I just clean my house I don't have to stage it.5 Myths about real estate

I hear this all the time from sellers. If they simply clean their house, even really, really well, they think they can avoid the necessity of staging and prepping their home in other ways. Clean and neat is always the best way to go and it's a great first step but it should not be the final step. Home buyers are seeing all types of homes and they're usually seeing model homes, showrooms, and homes that sellers have really decked out. You have to stage your home in a way that appeals to today's buyers. Each home is unique so make sure you talk to your real estate professional about the best way to stage your Portland home for buyers.

Myth #2 - Buyers can look past things that they don't like.

No, they can't. 90% of buyers want to look at home as if it's move-in ready. Of course, we cannot set up every home to appeal to every single buyer out there but by staging, cleaning, using neutral colors, and making it as move-in friendly as possible, we will appeal to the majority of buyers. Unsure of what buyers want? Take a look at model homes today; stagers charge thousands of dollars to set up these homes in a way that are ideal for today's buyers. Make special note of the colors, decorations, and layout so that you can mimic this in your own home.

Myth #3 - Buying is always better than renting.

This is not always the case.  We've read numerous blogs and articles about how buying is always better than renting; you're saving money in your own house and building equity with an investment. But this is not always the case. Ask people that purchased a home back in 2007 that is now worth $100,000 less than when they bought it. It's not a good investment for them at this point. However, in the majority of cases buying may be better than renting but it comes down to figuring out your finances, situation, and what makes the most sense over the next five years rather than what makes the most sense right now. Renting might be better at this time and buying later on once you have an established down payment and a more stable credit history. You might be able to get a better interest rate and a bigger home later on.

Read more: How Much are Homes in Portland Communities?

Myth #4 - Real estate agents make too much money to sell a home.

I hear the whispers, I know what's being said, and this is one of the biggest myths out there. The more you pay for a house does not equal the more the agent makes. This is a misunderstanding. For instance, the difference between a $300,000 house at $310,000 is only about $150 to the agent. That few extra thousand dollars is does not mean that much more in the pocket of a real estate agent. Their goal is to sell the house for you or help buyers find the right home. Also, the less commission you pay to sell does not equal more money for the seller in their pocket. Discount brokers like to propel this myth. "They claim to save sellers money by charging less.  The truth is agent to our top producers and excel in this business do not discount services. Why? Because they don't have to. Less than full service agents can't afford all the bells and whistles paid for by full service agents, who tend to draw higher offers. It boils down to 'you get  what you pay for'. A 2% commission reduction doesn't amount to much when your prices discounted 10% or more because your agent couldn't afford full market exposure." [Source]

Myth #5 - Inspectors, lenders and title agents all get kickbacks and favor the agent.

This is simply not true. Since 1974, agents have been prevented from receiving any kind of kickback or favor from real estate vendors. It is against the real estate settlement procedures act. Most will not jeopardize their license regardless of the temptation. Agents want what's best for their clients but they also must disclose material facts. Good agents care about the buyer and offer all information, even information that might destroy the deal.

Read more: What you Need to Know about Buying a Home Today

These are probably the top five questions and comments that I get on a weekly basis. Real estate agents truly do work for the client. Ethical, experienced and skilled agents know what it takes to get a home sold and can offer buyers an expert opinion throughout the process. Give me a call today if you'd like to get started buying or selling in the Portland real estate area.