1. Request E-Mail Listings & Updates
3. Obtain Comparable SalesWhen you find a home you want to buy, ask your real estate agent to print out a list of similar homes in the same neighborhood over the last six months sorted by:
- Active Listings
- Pending Sales
- Property Address
- Square Footage
- Lot size
- Bedrooms & Baths
- Sales Price
4. Request Contingencies
6. Reduce Your Closing CostsDepending on your local area, there may be fees associated with closing that are customarily paid by the buyer such as title insurance, property taxes, recording fees or escrow. In a buyers' market, you can ask the seller to pay those closing costs. Typically, those costs can add up to one or two percent of the sales price and are often paid out-of-pocket by buyers. Ask your agent if these fees are negotiable. Then ask the seller to pay them.
7. Renegotiate After Home InspectionsAll buyers should obtain a home inspection. Most contracts give buyers the right to cancel a contract if the home inspection reveals repairs or defects that are unacceptable to a buyer. However, if the repairs are minor, you might want to renegotiate the sales price or ask for a credit against your closing costs. Caution: don't ask for a price reduction if the repairs were evident when you first saw the home or the seller might not be willing to negotiate with you.
8. Request ExtrasSellers realize that in buyers' markets, often they have to give a little something extra to the buyers to entice a sale. Don't be afraid to ask for a home warranty protection plan that covers you in the event an appliance breaks down or the plumbing or heating malfunctions. Normally these plans protect you for one full year from the date of closing.
10. Shorten Acceptance Period
There often is no reason to give a seller more than 24 hours to make a decision about your offer. If your agent is presenting the offer in person, she may ask for a decision upon presentation. But don't give them days to talk to Uncle Harry, their neighbor down the street or the coworker who knows everything about real estate. There are a lot more homes on the market and you deserve a fast answer.