That much of the nation is in the midst of a tenacious real estate correction is hardly headline news anymore. Investors have beaten a hasty retreat, leaving behind inventories of unsold homes that presently outpace the number of buyers in many markets. What should be headline news, however, is how the wisest of sellers have reduced their profit expectations and happily entertain all offers reflective of the corrected values of their homes. Yet, just because these market forcesâ€”combined with low interest ratesâ€”add up to an extremely good time to buy, doesnâ€™t necessarily make purchasing a home a piece of cake. But there are ways to make it one.
Here are five tips to help buyers tap into the best prices in many years:
Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Itâ€™s a different sort of buyersâ€™ market if you need to finance your purchase. Credit markets have tightened considerably, with half the products offered only a year ago no longer available today. Lenders have retreated to safer standards of underwriting that protect borrowers from overextending themselves. If you canâ€™t afford a particular home using solid mainstream financing, you should continue looking.
Let your fingers do the walking. With so many homes to see, attempting to visit each one is counterproductive. Wasted time creates missed opportunities. [At SequimPortAngeles.com, you can browse the multiple listing service for all of the Sequim and Port Angeles areas.] Once youâ€™ve narrowed your search, contact an experienced Realtor to help you judge the best values in your price range. Their insights, along with the analytical tools they bring to the table, will help you discard the overpriced lemons in your target neighborhoods.
Beware of strangers bearing gifts. You arenâ€™t shopping for a new car lease or a sexy new flat-screen TV, so donâ€™t let merchandise incentives cloud your vision. If a seller is offering an incentive to buy, make sure it has something to do with the house, like a credit toward a desirable upgrade or a further reduction in price.
When you find the right house at the right price, buy it! If recent sales in the neighborhood support its asking price, go for it. Presumably, you are hunting for more than just a good price; youâ€™re also looking for that one special house that completely suits your lifestyle. Holding back in hopes that prices will go lower is a flawed strategy. You can never know this until prices are heading up again. Meanwhile, someone else may buy the home, especially if it is priced correctly.
Make intelligent offers that enable you to negotiate with skill. Right now there is plenty of room to negotiate, provided you arenâ€™t making uninformed offers that sellers donâ€™t take seriously. You are in a much stronger position when you can show that recent sales in the neighborhood justify your offer. This provides a much firmer foundation from which to begin negotiations and takes you a giant step closer to enjoying your new home.
Article Courtesy of Michael Saunders
Last Updated on October 12, 2007 by Chuck Marunde