Making the Most of a Buyers Market
Don’t Wait If You Find the Right House
There is a lot of hesitation in a buyers’ market because buyers often get scared that prices will keep going down and they will miss out on better deals, or that they will experience negative equity. While those scenarios could happen, the truth is that it is impossible to predict whether the market will keep falling and there is even a chance that prices might start to rise before you find the “right” deal. The best plan is to aggressively search for a home and only buy one you can truly afford, no matter what the market is doing. Most home prices will appreciate over the long run, so in the end a little negative equity at the beginning will not hurt you if you start out in a sensible, affordable home loan.
Use Your Negotiation Power
In a buyers’ market, sellers are often times very eager and sometimes even desperate to sell their houses. This gives you enormous bargaining power to negotiate for a really good price. This is especially effective if you’ve done your homework and know how similar real estate in the area you’re looking in is priced.
Look for Real Savings, Not Gimmicks
In hard times, sellers will try to offer incentives to get buyers to close the deal. New home sellers will often advertise buyer bonuses, closing costs paid or even shopping sprees to those who buy their homes. Yet keep in mind – you are not in the market for these things; you are trying to buy a house. Instead of taking the “door prizes,” ask the seller to take the value of those incentives off the price of the home. Or if that is not an option, make sure the bonuses are things like free upgrades or landscaping. These types of incentives actually add value to the real estate and make it a better purchase for you.