Finding a good deal in real estate can feel a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack, especially in places where it has been a sellers market for years. There’s a lot of conventional wisdom on how to get the best price when buying your next home, but for many people, especially first time buyers, this advice can ring hollow. Sure, you’ll get a better mortgage rate if you have a credit score in the 800s and can whip out a 60% down payment, but really, who can do that? Yes, you’ll get a lower purchase price on a fixer upper home, but what about all the money you’ll have to spend in repairs and renovations?
Here are some practical tips to save you money on your next home purchase.
Look Outside the MLS
Whether or not you’re working with an agent (and you should be!) it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for “For Sale by Owner” properties. These properties are often priced lower than those represented by a real estate agent and because they tend to not have as much exposure, you may be able to score a deal before the competition steps in.
Another good place to look, especially if you’re willing to put in some work or do your diligent homework, is to check your county website for real estate sales. Depending where you live, these may be called Sheriff Sales, Trustee Sales, or Federal Sales, but typically these are properties that have been repossessed by the county government and are brought up for live auction. There is a LOT of homework involved for potential buyers (as well as a good amount of risk), but these can be a way to score an incredible deal on a great property.
Shop Around for the Best Rate
Mortgage rates are largely influenced by your credit score and history, but every lender is different when it comes to the rate they offer you. There are also a variety of different loan programs that can offer special incentives or rates based on military involvement, first time buyer status, or the location of the property. It is a good idea to talk to a couple of lenders before signing with anyone.
Technology is a beautiful thing. Whether it’s the ability to instantly order anything from a pizza or a ride to the airport to the ability to stay in touch with friends and family over distance and time, there really is no time like the present. With all this innovation comes new tools and ideas and ways of doing things. One of the newest innovations in the real estate industry is Cashifyd. Cashifyd is a program that turns the traditional real estate process, which involves complex commission and referral structures, on its head. Cashifyd allows buyers like you to refer themselves to an agent and receive cash back at closing. The best part? As long as the agent you’re working with is using the Cashifyd process, nearly any home will qualify!
In real estate, everything is negotiable. Want the sellers to repair something before they leave? Put it in the contract. Want to arrange closing dates so that you can seamlessly transition from your current home to your new one? Put it in the contract. Want the sellers dog? Put it in the contract! (Side note: Kidding! Please don’t do that. That’s just cruel.) The point is, nearly everything can be negotiated in real estate. While sales price is typically hashed out first, you can also score some savings by coming to an agreement on things like repairs, who covers inspection costs, or even having seller assistance with closing costs.
Have you ever scored a great real estate deal? Let us know your tips in the comments!