How to Find Bargains in Real Estate Listings

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Who doesn’t enjoy a bargain? Who doesn’t get excited about finding a cheap item in a flea market? If you’re buying a house, it takes more than luck to get a bargain. You need to really search through many real estate listings—and more importantly, you need to know where to look.

This is the kind of advantage that investors love, since it’s all about buying low and selling high. But ordinary homebuyers will obviously see the appeal of being able to own their dream home for less money.

So if you’re looking for bargain deals, consider these tips:

  1. Don’t get lost in the crowd of bidders. Basically, the people who frequently have their offers accepted by the seller are either the ones who got there first, or the buyers who come in last. For sellers who are in need to sell their home quickly, obviously the early birds will be favored. So that means you have a buyer’s agent working for you who can tell you about new properties in the market. You do your part by getting your documentation ready and getting preapproved for a mortgage.

Now you can also find property that’s been listed in the market for a long while. If that’s the case, it’s possible that the owners are impatient to get rid of the house, so your discounted offer may be accommodated. When sellers are desperate, discounts are often the result.

  1. Look for bank-foreclosed homes. Your mortgage lender may know about some of these, and you may also want to consult your buyer’s agent. A foreclosed home is a house that’s been repossessed by the mortgage lender because the owners have been unable to pay the mortgage for too long. The previous owners leave the house, and then the bank places the house for sale so they can get their money back.

These can provide you with lots of attractively low-priced bargains because foreclosures can last for years, and meanwhile the house isn’t being maintained properly. It’s basically a fixer-upper, and those are usually cheaper.

In addition, banks and mortgage lenders are more prone to accept discounted offers so that they can get it off their books at last. These lenders are in the business of providing loans to make money through interest payments. They’re not usually set up to manage property. That’s why for them a quick sale is good business, even for a much lower price.

  1. Tyr contacting property owners in private. This means finding and talking to homeowners who may want to sell their property, outside of the ones in the listings. This actually works well when you limit your approaches to absentee owners, or the people who own the property while they don’t live there at all.

Contacting these people directly, when they’re not listed, means that very few people will bid against you. Homes for sale in listings can get a lot of offers. But these properties aren’t listed, so of course no one’s offering for them—except you.

You actually have a better chance of success with absentee owners because they’re not currently using the house as their own home. Maybe the house is unoccupied, as the owner just recently inherited it. Or maybe the owner is renting it out, and they may be tired of dealing with tenants. You can drive around and find vacant houses, while you can check out the properties that are listed for rent online.

With these tips, you can try to avoid paying the full market price for a house. There are savings to be had, if you make the effort of finding some really good bargains around you!