Even though most people are only involved in one or two real estate transactions in a lifetime, everybody seems to think that they know more about real estate than they do. Often people feel that they can save money by involving themselves in the real estate transactions. The truth is working with a professional, well trained, educated and experienced local Realtor will almost always produce better results.

There is no question that technology has changed the way many things are done. The internet has made much more information available to consumers. However, there is a danger in thinking that the information accessible to you makes you knowledgeable enough to think you can buy or sell on your own. Some feel that they can get a better deal as buyers without an agent, thinking that the seller will be willing to pass commission savings on to you as an unrepresented buyer.

Another myth on the other side of this misconception is that you can save money as a seller by selling the home yourself. There are some people who do sell their homes themselves, but often buyers expect a discount because they are buying directly from the owner. Negotiating an offer can be tricky; often an owner is too emotional, naturally, because it is their own property.

Another myth is that the home will sell itself. Getting a home prepared to be listed on the market is very complicating and requires the experience and knowledge of an experienced local Realtor. Getting every detail in your marketing strategy organized so that when you are ready to officially put the property on the market, it is done all at one time and done smoothly. Getting the full impact of your marketing is crucial. Another myth: sellers should expect to earn back everything invested in remodeling at resale time. Cost verses value can be tricky. Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms are at the top of the list, but what and how they are done is crucial.

If a home has deferred maintenance it can cost the seller thousands in offer prices. Yes, your home needs to be clean and neat, but making all repairs needed and fresh paint can be invaluable. Get rid of as much clutter as possible.

Buying and selling real estate can be very emotional and stressful. Marketing a home correctly requires a lot of work; everything from advertising, marketing, to negotiating with prospective buyers. Poor home maintenance can be a costly mistake. You don’t get a second chance with a first opinion. Good professional photography is essential. Virtual tours are a must. Print advertising and internet exposure are essential. There are contracts, negotiations, disclosures, loan applications, and many things that go on behind the scenes. The timing and implications of all these factors is critical to a successful real estate transaction. The marketing strategy changes with even the slightest change in market conditions. Having the timing correspond with current market trends can easily mean more dollars to a seller.

So what is true most of the time? Economic trends in your local market and neighborhood factors are at the top of the list. Special features that are attractive and appeal to most of the general public also remain important.

Buyers need to structure their offers to purchase in a way that corresponds as closely as possible with some of the needs of the seller if they want their offer to be accepted. The highest price is not always the offer that gets accepted. Finding out what the motivational needs of the seller are. What if interest rates inch up a little, will that affect the buyer’s ability to purchase?