The Augusta real estate market is crazy right now with limited home listings and a seemingly endless supply of home buyers. The result is multiple offers and ultimately bidding wars with the majority of homes selling for more than list price. However, by focusing your search on two specific types of properties, you may be able to skip the headache of bidding on house after house only to lose out to others who have bid thousands over list price – no matter how overpriced the house may have seemed. Here’s how:
Tip 1: Buy New Construction
A great way to ensure you actually get the house you set your heart on is to purchase new construction. This is because builders do not generally negotiate price. They may offer to pay your closing costs or offer free upgrades if they need to get rid of some inventory, but they do not like to reduce the price, because future appraisals are based on what past homes sold for, so reducing the price on a home today negatively impacts what they can sell a home for tomorrow. Every builder I know of does not even accept more than one offer. Unlike home sellers who often insist on to your offer for a few days hoping a better one comes along, the first person who shows up with earnest money and is willing to sign the contract gets the house. Period.
Tip 2: Go FSBO!
That’s right. I said it. Go For Sale By Owner. Yes, FSBOs tend to price their homes too high and can be a little stubborn to negotiate with, but because they are not able to market their homes the way a professional agent can, fewer people know their home is for sale, meaning your offer will probably be the only one. If you are not comfortable buying your home without an agent to lead you through the process, no problem, because I have yet to come across a FSBO that wasn’t willing to pay for the buyer’s agent. This is a win, win for you and the seller, because he still pays half what he would have paid if he had listed with an agent, and you get the confidence and assurance that the sale will go smoothly, and you got a fair deal on the home.
Tip 3: Focus on Older Listings
It is a proven fact that home listings get the most attention during the first 14 days on the market. After that, the listing gets buried on real estate websites, showings get fewer and farther between, buyers become more motivated, and the likelihood of multiple (or any) offers becomes less and less likely. Granted, in a heavily tilted seller’s market, it is rare for a listing to last more than a few days on the market, but it does happen. When it does, you can be more aggressive negotiating, because you will probably be only offer. This puts the buyer in a stronger bargaining position, and most importantly, makes it more likely they will actually be able to get the house.
Despite what you have heard about now being a terrible time to buy a home, it really is a great time to buy. Interest rates are still near historic lows, so event hough prices have risen substantially, the overall affordability of buying a home remains much lower than, say, 2006 when home prices were at then record highs, AND interest rates were double what they are currently. If you are still on the fence about buying and/or selling a home, reply to this email or just call me, and I will be happy to answer any questions you have or connect you with one of my local lending partners to see if you may be able to cash in on today’s low interest rates.