A house is always a good investment. You might want to make it your own or create a rental. Maybe you just want to diversify your assets. Whatever reason you have for purchasing property, you’re probably wondering how to get the best deals and spot red flags. Here are six quick tips for looking at properties with a sharp eye.
- Compare prices
Real estate greatly varies in price for so many reasons. A listing that seems cheaper than it should be could be concealing some hidden defect or it might just be that the owner wants to sell fast. Location and neighborhood quality can also drastically influence home prices. The best way to get a clearer picture of the pricing arena is by comparing a lot of listings. If you are in the market for a particular style or area (a.k.a. luxury home or rural vs. downtown) find a few listings that are reasonably similar to determine a relative average price.
- Know the value of the area
There’s a lot more to knowing an area than just price comparison of homes. Hook up with your trusted real estate agent and see what they can dig up for you in your preferred location.
- Early or late
When searching for cheaper house prices, it’s good to not be in a hurry. As a rule, either side of a house sale is a good place to put your bid in. Basically, first offers are widely accepted simply because they are the first. It might sound odd, but when someone wants to sell, they may be too eager to wait for more offers. So if you can, get your bid in right away. On the flip side of this concept is putting an offer in for a property that has been on the market for quite some time. This is the most likely scenario for your low bid to be accepted.
- Watch for and grab opportunity
When you’re in the market for a house, pay attention to your network. Listen to what friends, relatives, and people you work with are saying about properties. If you know someone who knows someone that is thinking about selling, look into it right away because if the property is to your liking you may be able to put in an offer before the house even gets listed. This could give you a considerable advantage with the price.
- Resist buying impulsively
Just because a house boasts a “price reduced” sign don’t assume it’s a good deal. It isn’t uncommon for an owner to start a listing higher than necessary so they can deliberately bring it down to the price they want to get for it, all under the guise of a reduced price. If you’re uncertain about the legitimacy of a price drop, consult your real estate agent for what a fair reduced price should be.
- Short sales
In short (pun intended), a short sale is when someone is behind on payments for a house and the lien holder agrees to sell the property for less than the amount owed on it. These opportunities will likely offer you the best chance to get the cheapest price. The issue here would be having little time to think about the purchase.