5 Steps to Getting a Great Real Estate Deal

Getting a real estate deal does not mean finding the cheapest house on the market. You should be looking for the best value, which means the property that offers the greatest potential for profit in the future. You cannot get a deal on a piece of property without following careful steps first.

#1 Research Comparable Sales

It is hard to determine the value of a home based on only factors about the home itself. Instead, you need to know what properties in the area are selling for and how this home compares. You also need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of your market. Start by researching other homes that have sold within 3 months, and then compare these figures to sales 5 years ago. This will tell you how competitively the property is priced today as well as if the area is growing in value.

#2 Have an Inspection

Never purchase a home without a full inspection. In most cases, you will only be able to have an inspection on the property after you have made an offer or agreed on a sales price. You can carry out a visual inspection on your own, however. The most common problems in a home can be discovered by: looking for water damage in a basement, looking for damage in an attic or crawl space, asking how old appliances, water heaters and roofs are and testing all faucets and appliances during a walk through.

#3 Use Strategy in an Initial Offer

You do not need to place the lowest offer possible to get a good deal. Your strategy may be to ask for closing costs paid by the seller, a mortgage buy down or even money for repairs to the property. Sellers are often more likely to throw in these benefits than reduce the price because they have a lot of pride in their home.

#4 Know your Bottom Line

Most buyers get caught in a bidding war without knowing when they will walk away. The best way to ensure you do not overpay for a property is to know your bottom line up front. At what point will you simply walk away from the deal? By keeping this figure in mind and remembering there are plenty of other properties you will be happy with, you can assure you will not get sucked into a deal just because you stayed at the bargaining table too long.

#5 Seal the Deal

If the right deal does come your way, you should not be afraid to take it. A lot of home buyers, especially first time home buyers, become apprehensive with the overall cost of a mortgage and a home. If you know your bottom line up front and receive an offer lower than that number, go ahead and seal the deal. Waiting to place an offer or allowing an offer to expire can end up costing you not only a great deal but fees associated with backing out of a real estate contract. Confidence is key with these decisions, because there are very few definitive "deals" in such a subjective market.

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