Dirk Zeller: All buyers have their misconceptions

Dirk Zeller

Author, speaker and all-around expert on  real estate, Dirk Zeller maintains that buyers invariably hold misconceptions about agents and the benefits of working them.

In the first of his two blog posts on the RealtyTimes site, he says that some buyers don’t think they need an agent.  Although lots of information is now available on the Internet, says Zeller, that’s not the same as receiving interpretation, analysis, counsel and protection.

Second, the writer argues against the belief in the minds of some buyers that they don’t need to work exclusively with an agent.  (Hey, RealtyTimes is, after all, an industry product.)

“If they are working with a few agents, then those agents must be marginal,” contends Zeller, whose observations I’ve frequently quoted here.

Misconception No. 3 in his post is that buyers don’t need to be financially pre-qualified.  Says he:

It is the people who say, “Trust me, I have the money” or “Trust me, I have the means to secure the financing” are usually the ones who can’t.

His valid point is that sellers and their listing agents evaluate a buyer’s ability to close the transaction without a hitch before accepting an offer.  Without pre-qualification or, better, pre-approval, a seller would be foolish to proceed.  (Even pre-approval doesn’t mean much these days, but it’s better than nothing.)

Fourth on Zeller’s list is the notion that many buyers harbor of being able to find the perfect home if they look long enough.  In his words:

This misconception has two parts.  The first is that “the perfect home” really exists.  In reality, there is no such thing as the perfect home. The other is the length of time.  If I hold out longer, a better property will come on the market.

Zeller points out that most buyers think they are the exception that proves the rule.  “They believe they will be the lucky one to get the perfect home at a discount,” he continues.

He goes on to detail three more misconceptions in the second post.

Buyers who declare that they’ll never write a full-price offer, Zeller points out, may well risk acquiring a desirable property.  While holding out for a bargain, they practice false economy.

The sixth misconception on the author’s list is buyers’ belief that they always can start low and go higher later.

“Most buyers don’t understand that the seller could be more emotional about their home than they are,” Zeller writes.  “They can easily be insulted by a low offer and become defensive and illogical.  They often will counter back at a higher price than they really want just because of the initial offer.”

Finally, he argues against buyers’ taking their time to make an offer on a home they really want.  Says he:

The best priced, best quality, competitively priced properties won’t wait for them to act.

Zeller’s posts, which are directed at real estate professionals, maintain that it is our job to “get through to the buyer about the rules of selling real estate.”

Buyers must be made to understand that great properties can sell overnight, that waiting could mean losing one of them and that even merely overnight consideration can be dangerous, he says.

Should delay cost buyers their purchase, Zeller continues, they won’t blame themselves.  They will blame the agent.

We don’t want that to happen, do we?

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

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