Rule Number One. Real estate agents will always say “Now is a Great Time to Buy” no matter what the trend of prices, mortgage rates, or inventory. Here are some phrases to expect depending on current conditions.
- Prices are going up, better act fast.
- Alternatively, prices are falling, homes won’t last long at these prices.
- Interest rates are going up, better buy quick before you get priced out.
- Alternatively, mortgage rates are falling, they won’t go much lower.
- Inventory is huge. It’s a buyers’ market.
- Alternatively, Inventory is shrinking fast. Don’t let your dream home pass you by.
Rule Number Two. Unless you specifically have a buyers’ agent negotiating on your behalf, the agent represents the seller.
Rule Number Three. The agent has only two missions:
- To get you to buy something
- To get you to pay as much as possible so the agent make the largest commission possible
Rule Number Four. As a result of rules one, two, and three, it is imperative to be skeptical about anything positive your agent says.
Rule Number Five. It’s equally important, if not more important, to take cues from what the agent does not say. For example, if the agent does not say anything about the school district, it is probably a poorly rated school district. Also, don’t expect the agent to tell you if a crack house is next door, gangs have taken over a neighboring block, the tap water tastes like sulfur, or the street floods every April. At most, agents will only disclose what the law says they must.