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Misconceptions held by buyers & sellers in today's competitive market

The current competitive market is exposing several misconceptions held by buyers and sellers, according to Northwest MLS director Frank Wilson, who has worked in the industry since 1990.

He listed several including:

  • "It's all about the price." Wilson says it's more about the possibility of a successful closing, using the example of an all-cash offer that is 30 percent above list price that doesn't close, versus a solid, verifiable conventional offer at 5 percent above list price that actually closes;

  • "Seller has to take the highest offer" is another myth Wilson listed, explaining a seller can accept any of the offers that are presented.

  • Similarly, "if multiple offers are made, the seller has to take or work with the first one first," is also untrue. A seller can address any of the offers in any order.

  • "Cash is always king." Wilson emphasized if the cash is not verifiable to the seller's satisfaction, a conventional offer may actually have a better chance of success.

  • "Pre-approval with a lender is the same as pre-underwritten," is another misbelief. The farther down the path a loan application can go, the more likely it is to be approved.

Buying or selling a home can involve nearly two dozen people, Wilson noted, while encouraging buyers and sellers to work with a broker who is well-versed in the process and able to coordinate all the participants to assure a successful closing.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership of more than 2,200 member offices includes more than 28,000 real estate professionals. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 23 counties in the state.

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