Buyers: How to get the best deal on your first house!
Getting the best deal on the house you buy is more than just something to brag about to your friends and family. It’s the financially prudent thing to do. For many, their home will be the largest investment they ever make, and the following savvy moves will help ensure you sleep soundly at night knowing you paid a good price!
Work with an agent who knows your area well. When interviewing your agent, find out how many houses he or she has sold in your target neighborhood in the past year. Bonus points for an agent who sells where they live. These agents will be more in tune with the best deals and more likely tosniff out the good deals.
Get the Right Loan before You Start Looking. Did you know some neighborhoods and towns have special zero-down loans or down payment assistance? It’s true! When applying for your loan, tell yourmortgage lender where you are house hunting and ask them to educate you about any local programs thatmight save you money.
Know the Sales Data. I’m not saying you need to turn house hunting into a part time job (that’s why you have your buyers agent!), but in order to know you paid a good price, you need to know current informationon what homes are selling for. A smart buyer will ask their agent for sales prices on homes that havesold in the neighborhood in the last three months, the average sales price for the neighborhood, and how manydays the average home spends on the market before it sells. In some areas the average could be more than 180days, in others, less than 60 days.
Use the Data to Become an Expert. Once you know what a typical home sells for, when an exceptional deal hits the market- you will know right away that it’s a deal. I’m always amazed how fastinformed buyers become expert deal spotters once they’ve done their homework!
Know What Your Deal Breakers Are. Price isn’t the only factor in finding the perfect house. Before you start your search take the time (with your partner, if applicable) to priorities your wants and needs andmake sure your agent knows what they are. It’s not a good deal if your house is too small or too far fromwork.
Remember that the savviest buyers know the market data for the neighborhood in which they arebuying, exactly how much they want to spend, and the most important features they’re looking for intheir perfect house.