15 Crucial Ways To Find Property Bargains!

If you have your heart set on a specific house, it can be hard to get a bargain. This is not the case if you’re not so worried about the final property – perhaps you’re just looking for something to living in for a few years till you can upgrade, or perhaps you’re just after a cheap investment. If you’re not too fussy you could really land yourself a gem!

  1. Property that has been listed for some time

Take at look at some of the older listings, you will be able to find listings that have just been sitting around on the market for months, or longer! This provides you with a great bargaining position, as the seller might be getting impatience and just want the property to sell. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a low offer and see what they come back with.

2. Change of real estate agent

If you notice a property you are looking at changes to a different real estate agent. This can often mean they’ve had issues selling, plus the new agent will be highly motivated to get a quick sale and look good to their new client. Most real estate agents have a contact in place that spans several months, so by the time they’ve changed real estate agents it is likely that some time has passed – the sellers might be feeling frustrated and over the sales process and just want a quick result. Coming in quickly with a low offer might just land you a bargain!

3. Repossessed homes

No one wants to think about what happens on the other end of a mortgage when things don’t go to plan, but it does happen. Banks need to turn a profit and show they have clean business on their books, and generally want a quick sale. Likewise, the original owner likely just wants the whole ordeal to be over and done with, so they can move on with their life – and so a swift mortgagee sale is generally desirable. In most cases the bank’s don’t have any attachment to the property and really just want it sold – plus there is a good chance they have mortgage insurance anyway, so it provides a unique opportunity to negotiate with a seller than is likely not emotionally attached to the house, nor too worried about the final sale price.

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4. Deceased estates

Much like repossessed homes, deceased estates – especially those sold through the public trustee, are often not too attached to the outcome. They generally just want a quick sale so that everyone can move on and are usually open to any reasonable offers. It could be a great way to get real estate below market value!

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5. Actions

Simple but effective. I’ve been to auctions where the bids just keep going and going, and then I’ve been to auctions where they don’t even get a bid! When that happens, just chuck in a low bid and see what happens. You never know, you might be surprised! Once you see competition at an auction, be prepared to walk away or you’ll end up paying more that you really wanted to. There will always be another one.

6. After an Auction

If no offers are received and the auction is passed in, this instantly shows the seller that they have limited options, and that there may not be a huge market right now for their property. Approach the agent after the auction and consider putting in a low offer. Try to be reasonable and you might just get it, offer too low and you might be adding salt to the wounds and be turned away – but it never hurts to test the waters and see what happens.

7. Private sellers

Look for private sellers, they often sell on smaller sites, like gumtree or local newspapers (I know, who reads a newspaper these days right? – no one, that’s why you will likely have far less competition!). As private sellers are not sales people, they may be less likely to push you for a higher price – or may not even realize just how much the property is worth.

8. Homes with granny flats

You would usually think this would be the complete opposite – more expensive, right? Granny flats rarely return their costs back to the owner when selling. Property that is a little different to the normal, can often take longer – and be harder to sell. When a property has additional features, such as a granny flat which only appeals to a certain market – a seller might feel this makes their home worth more. But if no one wants the granny flat, then the sale price could be dictated by the house as if it didn’t have the granny flat at all! Buyers that don’t want it will often not pay more just because the house they like happens to have one, so it gives you a little more power to negotiate. If you can get a house for the same value as one without, you’ve scored yourself an extra building to rent out.

9. Development blocks

If you’re looking for a home with a large back yard, consider blocks that have development potential. A single house that can later be subdivided in to 2 or 3 (or more!) blocks in the future could serve your purpose now to provide a house with plenty of space to play and grow, whilst providing a great opportunity later in life. Once your family is grown up and everyone is moving out of home, this presents the perfect time to subdivide the land and ether sell the blocks, build on the blocks and sell – or even build on the blocks and rent them out for passive income. Of course, you don’t have to wait till later in life, you could just do it now. If you do the numbers and buy in the right area, you could use any potential profits to cover much of the cost of your own home. One major piece of the puzzle to consider, is the existing house positioned on the land in such a way that would allow you to keep the current home in tact and build the new houses around it, or would you need to knock it down to develop? Which way would provide the most profitable result?

10. Off the plan – timing is everything!

Look for developments that are just starting up and looking for pre-sales – they may be getting desperate to get enough pre-sales to get the funding approved. You’d be surprised at how many developments never get off the ground due to low pre-sales. If they’re running behind their pre-sales target and just need one or two more pre-sales, this puts you in a powerful position.

On the other end, look for developments that are almost finished. If they have one or two left to sell from a larger development, they may just want to get them sold so they can move on. If they’ve had them for a while and not getting much interest, they may be open to a lower offer.

11. Buyers agents

Certainly not our first choice, but if your short on time then a buyer’s agent might be the solution. They often spend much of their time researching areas or have access to a research team to do it for them. It’s a buyer’s agents job to find you the property you want and save you as much money as possible. Where a real estate agent is working for the seller to get top dollar, a buyer’s agent is working for you. There are generally costs involved, so make sure you do your due diligence and trust the person you are engaging.

12. Off-market transactions

Who wouldn’t want an off-market transaction! But where do you find them?

To find off-market transactions you really must get to know the local real estate agents, and make sure they know what you are seeking so they call you before it goes to market. Sometimes a real estate agent will even go door knocking for you to see if anyone in the area is considering selling their home. Buyers agents can also help find off-market properties. Other ways to find them is to put the word out to your networks and see what they know, and search online for some smaller private websites.

13. Ask questions

Don’t be afraid the ask the real estate agent – or the private sellers, as many questions as you need to. Ask why they are selling? Are they in a hurray to sell? Do they have another property they’re buying that is relying is this one to sell? Do they have a family? The more information you know about what motivates them, the better change you have of positioning an attractive offer. But more than that, if you can find a way to connect with the seller or have things in common – that could help position you as ‘the right person for the home’ and not just another offer. Sellers are often sentimental about their property, especially if it’s their family home with a long history. Sometimes just knowing it’s going to a family that will love it as much as they did could be worth its weight in gold!

14. Nearby boom towns!

Consider looking for areas that have nearby suburbs that have increased in value higher than the average. There are no guarantees of course, but it’s very common to see a ripple effect. Something happens to an area that set’s is prices soaring – we all know that when we see this happening we’re generally too late for that specific suburb – you’ve ‘missed the boat’ so to speak! But what about its neighbors? Once the boom town becomes too expensive, many start to look at its neighbors, so they can at least be close. If you can get in early, then you could set yourself up for a great result long term!

15. Start your offer low

Don’t be afraid to start with a low offer. Many home buyers think their offer won’t be taken seriously, or worse – even be presented to the owner at all!

Legally, any written offer must be presented to the owners, so even if the agent says, “they’ll never accept that – you’re dreaming mate!” – always insist that they write up the offer anyway and present it. It doesn’t happen often, but I met someone recently who offered about 30% less than the asking price, and got it accepted no questions asked!

In this case the seller had just sold off quite a large investment property portfolio and was gearing into retirement. He had already made millions by selling his properties, so the difference of 100k really didn’t mean much to him – so he just took the offer!

Worst case scenario, they say no! Best case, the say yes – but more then likely they’re come back with some sort of counter offer and you can start the negotiation process. The trick here, don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t get it for what you want it for.

In conclusion

Buying a cheap or unpopular property today, doesn’t always mean you’ve got a sour lemon. It just means the market isn’t there for that property today. This is what allows you to get it at a bargain price. Then it’s just a matter of waiting, if the market becomes heated in the future, or things change, shops to open, and so on. That property no one wanted, can become a hot property very quickly.

On a final note, always be respectful, kind and friendly as the person on the other end could be going through an emotional time in their life – Good luck!

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