Homebuyers are always in search of the lowest price on a home purchase. The more house you can get with the smallest amount of money, the better. But snagging a great deal on a home requires a few savvy tactics aside from blatantly throwing the seller a lowball offer. If you go about things the right way, you just might be able to walk away with the home of your dreams at a price you can comfortably handle.
Here are 7 tips to help you get a great deal on a home.
1. Shop Around For the Best Mortgage Package
Before you start looking for homes, start shopping around for the right mortgage broker to work with. By doing some comparison shopping, you’ll be able to find the best mortgage package for you that offers not just the lowest interest rate, but also the lowest fees as well.
Of course, the rate you will be offered will depend heavily on your credit score. If yours is in need of improvement, you may want to take a few months to boost it before buying a home. You’ll be stuck with your mortgage – and the rate that it comes with – for years. The lower the rate, the more money you can save in mortgage payments over the long haul, which could translate into thousands of dollars.
2. Sweeten the Deal
Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to the seller – aside from just the purchase price – can help entice the seller to accept your offer. Before you draft up your offer, find out exactly what the seller wants and needs.
For instance, have they already bought a house or accepted a job offer out of town and need to close ASAP? If so, give them the closing date they want. Do they want to stay put until their kids finish their school year? If so, push the date out to give them as much time as they require. Finding out what terms the seller is looking for and giving it to them can help sweeten the deal and get you the house at a lower price.
3. Look For Listings That Have Been Lingering on the Market
In a hot market, properties are snatched up pretty quickly. However, there may still be homes that have been sitting on the market longer than the current average. Many times homes that linger on the market are the result of inflated listing prices.
One of the biggest mistakes that sellers can make is listing too high, which inevitably scares prospective buyers off and leads to a stale listing. The longer a home has been sitting on the market, the more desperate the seller may be. In turn, they may be more willing to accept a lower price on their home just to get it off their hands.
4. Buy a Fixer Upper
If you’re willing to put in a little time and elbow grease, you may want to consider buying a fixer upper, which will more than likely come at a lower price than a home that’s move-in ready. Not only will you be spending less on the purchase price, you’ll also have the opportunity to add equity through improvements, which would bump up the value of the property. Not only that, you’ll be able to customize the home to your tastes and needs.
However, if the home is in really rough shape that will necessitate more than just a few cosmetic upgrades, it could end up costing you more than you’re prepared to spend. Have a contractor walk through the home with you before you sign on the dotted line to make sure the cost of repairs won’t exceed your budget.
5. Present Yourself as the Perfect Buyer
Obviously, a buyer’s offer is extremely important, but sellers will also want to scope out the buyer to see if they’re serious about buying and are worthy contenders for bidding on the home. In a competitive housing market, anything that you can do to stand out should be considered.
Cash buyers will clearly have the leg up against other buyers, so if you can muster up the funds to present an all-cash offer, you’ll definitely be viewed favorably in the eyes of the seller. If that’s an impossible feat for you, do what you must to line up good financing to show the sellers that you’re financially capable of closing the deal. Without financing in order, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
6. Ask the Seller to Cover the Closing Costs
If you can’t get the sellers to budge very much on the purchase price, see if they’ll help you save in other areas, such as closing costs. The expenses related to closing a real estate deal can be pretty hefty for buyers.
If you’ve presented yourself as the ideal buyer, the seller may be willing to help cover the closing costs for you which can help save you a bundle when all is said and done. Having the seller pay for your closing costs is a great way to save some money while still giving the seller the satisfaction of getting the price they want for their home.
7. Work With a Good Agent
The agent you work will play a key role in the kind of deal you get on a home purchase. Ideally, the agent you choose will have a long track record of buying in the market you’re looking in and will have lots of experience with negotiating. The real estate transaction is an emotionally charged one for the seller, so working with a seasoned agent can help put any fires out and ensure a seamless process that will end with an excellent deal for you.
The Bottom Line
With a little careful planning and the implementation of some smart strategies, getting a great deal on a home can become a reality. Start preparing for a home purchase as early as you can to get all your ducks in a row, and work with a solid agent who can provide you with helpful tips to bring the down price of your home purchase as low as possible.