The Essential Guide On How To Buy Like A Pro

Have you ever wondered how real estate investors, real estate brokers and wholesalers manage to find so many great deals on properties so consistently? It has nothing to do with luck or a sixth sense. They’re able to do so because they know where to look and have the knowledge and savvy to upgrade a good deal into a great one. But don’t think that those amazing deals are out of your reach. If you’re in the market for a new home, check out these 11 tips on how to find the best possible real estate deals in your area.
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Leverage the Power of the Internet

By using a combination of MLS searches, 3rd party property search sites and our large network of local Realtors®, we can help you hunt for your new home from day one. These property searches will also help you get a better idea of the size of the mortgage you’ll need to live in the neighborhood or area of your choice. We can also run email marketing campaigns aimed directly at our network of contacts that may help you find properties not publicly listed.
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Be the first (or last) to make an offer

To make sure that happens, you MUST get your finances in order. Before you start making offers, make sure you are at a minimum pre-approved for a loan by the bank (even better, have the lender give you conditional approval so the money is there when you make an offer. Basically, you are acting as a cash buyer which can be very appealing to a seller.).

Once your loan is secured, work with your agent to establish the parameters for a good deal. Then when you have found the home that you works for you, strike quickly. You will be able to make a strong offer and being the first to make an offer often results in a signed contract. So as soon as a deal that meets those requirements hits the market, make an offer in the same day. This is particularly true when the market has tight inventory and demand is high.

Just like on wall street it is hard to know what the market’s highest highs or lowest lows are. We will always keep an eye out for properties that have been stuck on the market for a long time - although there are many reasons why that happens. You should tread cautiously and do your due diligence to assure there are no hidden major expenses. Be cautious about waiting for that deal of the century to come along. Again though, when you have found the home that you feel works for you be ready to strike quickly. The owners of these homes could be more willing to sell at a discount because they’ve been stuck paying a mortgage for the entire time it’s been listed.

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Be the first (or last) to make an offer

To make sure that happens, you MUST get your finances in order. Before you start making offers, make sure you are at a minimum pre-approved for a loan by the bank (even better, have the lender give you conditional approval so the money is there when you make an offer. Basically, you are acting as a cash buyer which can be very appealing to a seller.).

Once your loan is secured, work with your agent to establish the parameters for a good deal. Then when you have found the home that you works for you, strike quickly. You will be able to make a strong offer and being the first to make an offer often results in a signed contract. So as soon as a deal that meets those requirements hits the market, make an offer in the same day. This is particularly true when the market has tight inventory and demand is high.

Just like on wall street it is hard to know what the market’s highest highs or lowest lows are. We will always keep an eye out for properties that have been stuck on the market for a long time - although there are many reasons why that happens. You should tread cautiously and do your due diligence to assure there are no hidden major expenses. Be cautious about waiting for that deal of the century to come along. Again though, when you have found the home that you feel works for you be ready to strike quickly. The owners of these homes could be more willing to sell at a discount because they’ve been stuck paying a mortgage for the entire time it’s been listed.

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Ask the Seller to pay closing costs

Though the buyer is typically expected to pay for a number of closing fees, (especially those related to the origination of the loan), it’s not a law written in stone. Like pretty much everything in real estate, closing costs are negotiable.

Of course, sellers don’t like to sell homes for less than their bottom line. Not just because they don’t want to lose more of their earnings, but also because there’s always an ego element attached to any home sale.

Home sellers are keenly aware of how much their neighbor's homes sold for, and would hate to sell their home for less.

If the sellers are adamant against bringing down their asking price, we can negotiate for the seller to cover the closing costs.

Not only does this allow the seller to save face and keep a larger final price, but it could also save you thousands of dollars.

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Shop during the slow season

Even if you don’t live in a place with a harsh winter, most home buying and selling activities take place during late spring and summer.

As a result of that seasonal increase of activity, home prices go up.

So if you’re willing to brave the cold and wait until winter, you may be able to capitalize on some amazing deals. People who are willing to list their homes in the middle of the holidays are typically very motivated to sell. This, of course, could lead to amazing deals for you.

On the other hand, there’s a downside to shopping for homes during winter: you’ll have fewer homes to choose from. And when making offers, you’ll have fewer recently sold comparable properties to help you calibrate your offers.

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Look into bank-foreclosed properties

Banks are not in the business of homeownership. They are in the lending business. Homeownership comes with a lot of maintenance requirements, expenses, and taxes.

Which is why any time a bank ends up taking possession of a home by means of a foreclosure, the bank would want to sell it as quickly as possible. This usually translates into banks selling homes at a substantial discount.

On the other hand, not every foreclosed property is an amazing deal.

The foreclosure process is a lengthy one which could drag on for years. Many foreclosed homes are in serious disrepair. If you are not careful, your bank-foreclosed property “deal” could turn into a nightmare scenario.

Of course, if this is to be the home you will live in consider weighing the ability to finally be in your dream home VS waiting for that perfect deal. But, if you are willing to spend the time and resources needed to sift through the foreclosed home inventory, you’re sure to find some valuable gems.

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Drive for dollars

A tactic commonly used by real estate investors is driving around neighborhoods they’re interested in to find good deals.

Yes... It really is that simple.

These investors would get in a car, drive around the area they are interested in, and look for homes that give signs of a potentially motivated seller. This includes homes with a “for sale by owner” sign, homes in disrepair or showing signs of neglect.

Next, these investors would knock on the door, and introduce themselves to the owners. They let the homeowners know they’re interested in buying a home in the area, and would ask the homeowners if they could point you to someone looking to sell, or if they themselves are interested in selling their home.

If no one answers the door, even after several attempts, not all is lost. These investors could do a property search in the city’s public records or a reverse phone number search to find the owner’s contact information.

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Look into new and pre-construction developments

If you’re not willing to look into fixer-uppers, another possibility is new and preconstruction developments.

Developers looking to finance the next phase of their development and are willing to offer homes and condos at a significant discount.

Of course, the catch is that you need to have access to pre-construction offers, and you need to have enough cash to make your down payments. 

But there is usually negotiation room on pre-construction from everything in terms of price and deposit structure to upgrades and closing costs. Make sure to have a realtor who is experienced in the industry and will be able to negotiate for you

If you’re interested in finding pre-construction unit deals, we can help you find the best pre-construction deals in the area. 

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Look into tax-delinquent homes

As you know, every homeowner in the US must pay his/her yearly property taxes. But if they fail to pay these taxes, their name is added to the county’s treasurer’s “Tax Delinquent List.”

If enough time goes by and the homeowner doesn’t pay those delinquent taxes, the county takes possession of the home via a tax foreclosure. Then, the house is auctioned off to recuperate those missing taxes.

Tax delinquent lists are part of the public record. You can have access to your local list by asking for it in your county treasurer’s office and paying a fee to obtain it. Keep in mind, many other investors also purchase these lists so be prepared to compete and be ready to strike quickly.

This list is filled with homeowners that have a HUGE motivation to sell their property, especially if they haven’t paid their property taxes in years. If they’re only a year or two away from losing their home to a tax foreclosure they could be willing to sell their home or property for pennies on the dollar. Many of these homes fall squarely into fixer-upper territory, and could require you to have plenty of capital to get them back into shape.

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Get in touch with real estate wholesalers

Real estate wholesalers make a living in finding deals, marking them up a bit, and reselling them to real estate investors.

Some of the homes they resell could still be fantastic deals. Meaning that with the right wholesaled property, you could still find good deals. 

Again, just like with tax-delinquent homes, many of these properties fall into fixer-upper territory. Make sure you keep that in mind.

Be sure to work with your agent to ensure you are not overpaying the wholesaler for the home. They are, after all, in the business of making money.

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Hire an Amazing Real Estate Agent!

As a home buyer, you know you should hire the best possible real estate agent that meets your needs to help you buy your dream home or investment property.

Please know that hiring a buyer’s agent will not cost you a dime. That is because the home seller is the one that pays commissions to both the buyer and seller’s agents.

In addition, we bring a wealth of expertise, street smarts and knowledge to find you the right home at the right price. We can use those skills to help negotiate a far better price than you may be able to get on your own.

Finally, our services offer a buffer of protection. Thanks to our experience and expertise, we can see toxic deals a mile away and can warn you against them. We can also help you avoid common legal pitfalls in real estate which you could stumble into when on your own. 

In Conclusion

Don’t believe the naysayers. It’s not just rich real estate investors and brokers that find the best real estate deals.

Though it may take effort and patience, if you work together with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent, and know where to look, you’ll also be able to find some of the best possible deals in the area.