How do you get a bargain?

How do you get a bargain when purchasing a home in a hot market, without getting a lemon?

I have thought about the many times over the years that I have helped people purchase property at less than fair market value in all kinds of markets. Up markets, down markets, buyer’s markets and seller’s markets. I have used several different means to accomplish this goal for my clients. Today I will talk about one of the most recent transactions where a buyer achieved a true bargain price.

My partner, Kim, and I recently helped a buyer purchase a property so undervalued, that appraisers have called asking how we were able to acquire the property at that price. Answer was terms. A property came on the market in North Seattle at such a low cost that agents swooped on it like vultures. The seller’s agent was from out of the area, and the property was difficult to value, and so it came on market at a low price. But it would have bid up to “fair market value” or beyond, if we didn’t stop the other bidders in their tracks. We offered terms, or as we Italians like to say “I made dem an offer dey couldn’t refuse!”

One of the things agents do is “pre-negotiate” before they write an offer. I called the listing agent and let her blab on and on about anything and everything. I gleaned a few gems of significant data. The seller was buying new construction out of the area and they were scared about having to leave their current home before their new home was completed. Bingo!

We wrote an offer that did not compete as to price, but allowed them to stay up to a month after closing. This way the sellers had the comfort of knowing their property was sold, they had their equity in the bank three weeks before they needed to close on their new home.That gave them a whole lot of peace of mind.

The sellers did not consider any other offers and accepted ours hands down before several agents even had time to write an offer. Complaints from the trenches? “Why did the seller accept an offer without waiting for us to submit an offer? My buyer would have offered more!” The answer. Terms! Never presume when it comes to terms. Fast closings are not always better, if it forces the seller to pack and move before they are ready. Always base terms on what you know this particular seller wants and needs. Not on what you presume all sellers should want and need.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

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