If you’re like most homebuyers, you have two primary considerations in mind when you start looking for a home. First, you want to find a home that perfectly meets your needs and desires, and secondly, you want to purchase this home for the lowest possible price.
When you analyze those successful home buyers who have been able to purchase the home they want for thousands of dollars below a seller’s asking price, some common denominators emerge. Although your agent's negotiating skills are important, there are three additional key factors that must come into play long before you ever submit an offer.
For you to understand how much to offer for a home you’re interested in, it’s important for you to know how sellers price their homes.
These steps will help you save thousands when you buy a home:
Make sure you know what you want
As simple as this sounds, many homebuyers don’t have a firm idea in their heads before they go out searching for a home. In fact, when you go shopping for a place to live, there are actually two homes competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs, and the one that fulfills your desires. Obviously, your goal is to find one home that does both. But in the real world, this situation doesn’t always occur.
When you’re looking at homes, you’ll find that you fall in love with one or another home for entirely different reasons. Is it better to buy the 4-bedroom home with room for your family to grow, or the one with the big eat-in kitchen that romances you with thoughts of big weekend family brunches? What’s more important: a big backyard, or proximity to your child’s school?
Far too often people buy a home for the wrong reasons, and then regret their decision when the home doesn’t meet their needs.
Don’t shop with stars in your eyes
Satisfy your needs first. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a home that does this and also fulfills your desires. The important thing is to understand the difference before you get caught up in the excitement of looking.
Find out if your agent offers a “Buyer Profile System” or “Househunting Service,” which takes the guesswork out of finding just the right home that matches your needs. This type of program will cross-match your criteria with ALL available homes on the market and supply you with printed information on an ongoing basis. A program like this helps homeowners take off their rose-colored glasses and, affordably, move into the home of their dreams.
To help you develop your homebuying strategy, make two lists:
What do I absolutely NEED in my next home?
What would I absolutely LOVE in my next home?