How to Get a Great Deal on Real Estate

Whether you’re looking to buy a home for yourself, invest in property to flip for profit or looking to buy income property, finding a great deal is important when you’re looking to buy real estate. There really are great deals out there just waiting for you to grab a hold of them but it will take a little work and you will need to devote a little time to the process. In the end, you can what you need at a fraction of the price you would’ve paid so the hard work really is worth it. So do you want to know how to get a great deal on real estate? Let’s get started.

Ask around.

It sounds simple but asking friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers if they know anyone looking to sell their house is a great way to find a good deal. If you can connect directly with the homeowner, you are then in control of the negotiations, cutting out the middle men. That isn’t to say real estate agents aren’t a valuable resource (we’ll talk more about them in a moment) but traditional word of mouth can be even more valuable because it doesn’t cost you a dime.

Homeowner Driven Sales

Checking out “for sale by owner” properties can be a great way to avoid dealing with a lot of competition for the same property. These kind of properties don’t often get a lot of traffic which also means you may be able to talk the seller into a lower price. You’ll also be negotiating directly with the owner which can make getting additional benefits a little bit easier. Just make sure you do your research before making an offer. Look at other houses in the homeowner’s area and see what they’re selling for. Take that information to the seller if he or she is asking for more than what other houses in the area are selling for. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the homeowner won’t budge either. Don’t forget that you’re looking for a deal. If the homeowner isn’t willing to negotiate and is trying to sell the house for more than its worth, you’re wasting your time.

Market Yourself

If you’re looking for a good deal on real estate for income property or for a financial investment, letting people know who you are and what you’re going can be a great way to bring opportunities to you instead of going out and looking for them. In these tough economic times there are a lot of people looking to sell their homes and move into rentals closer to their places of work. Others have lost their jobs and are looking for ways to live a more affordable life. While that is a sad reality and you may feel you’re profiting off someone’s misfortune, buying a house from someone who can no longer afford it can actually help them. By selling their home before it is foreclosed on, they can avoid the stress of the foreclosure process and the negative impact on their credit rating. They may also be able to take the money from the sale and move into a place that is more affordable for them on their new budget.

Look for Real Estate Ads

The want ads in your morning newspaper and even real estate ads posted on local bulletin boards can be a great way to find hidden gems your competition may not have found. These days, there is a lot of focus on online mediums but there are still a lot of homeowners and real estate agents that prefer to do things the old fashioned way. The big properties are often put online to reach a wider audience but lesser properties may receive little promotion and are often relegated to throwaway ads. If you’re willing to put a little work into your property and invest a little additional money, those “lesser properties” may offer exactly what you’re looking for so you shouldn’t ignore them.

Talk to Local Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents get commission on the homes they sell. If you approach a reputable local agent and tell them you are interested in buying property, it is in their best interest to help you find something that will make you happy, especially if you’re buying property as an investment and plan to buy multiple properties. Let’s say you buy a house with the help of a real estate agent, flip it and use that money to buy another property through the same agent. You’ve not helped them earn their commission twice. They may be much more likely to point you in the direction of other properties that become available in the future because it benefits them as well. Having a solid relationship with a real estate agent can quickly become very beneficial for you.

Check Out Foreclosure Auction or Bank Owned Properties

Foreclosure auctions can be risky as you’re never quite sure what you’ll wind up with but they can also be a great place to find a great deal on real estate. If you are willing to take the risk, the payoff could be huge but make sure you look into any property you buy at auction beforehand. You don’t want to be saddled with back taxes, back mortgage payments or liens as taking care of those issues could leave you with very little money to fix anything that needs to be fixed with the home. Bank owned properties are quite similar but generally a little lower in the risk department. You may still wind up with property that needs a lot of work but the price you get the home for should leave you more than enough to do any work that needs to be done. In addition, you get a clean title which is of course a huge advantage.

Look for the worst house in the best neighborhood.

Great neighborhoods often mean big price tags but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great deals to be found in even the best neighborhoods. Buying a house that needs a lot of work will mean spending a fair amount of time and money on fixing it up but the money you put in will be returned (and then some) should you decide to sell. If you’re looking for an income property or an investment property, buying an old fixer upper in a great neighborhood, spending a little extra on repairs, renovations and upgrades can be a great way to maximize your investment and turn a decent profit.

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