Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: Buyers – Look for Fixers

Walk Away a Winner – Buyers – Look for Fixers

As a buyer, one way to sometimes get a lower price is to find a lesser quality house. Just as not all peaches are created equal, neither are all properties. Ripe, round peaches with a fresh aroma and a perfect skin (no bruises) will command top dollar. Houses that are located in desirable neighborhoods, have a view, are close to an amenity such as a golf course or lake, and show well likewise command top dollar. On the other hand, properties that are rundown and in less desired neighborhoods can’t command that high price.

All of this is to say that if you are buying a “bruised” property, you are more likely to be able to negotiate a lower price than if you are buying a property perfect in all aspects. This holds true regardless of the market conditions or the seller’s motivation.

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It does not mean that a great house in a great location will always sell for a great price. It just means that, in any given market, such a house should bring top dollar and sell faster than a house in a lesser neighbor­ hood that doesn’t show nearly as well.

As noted, you should at least roughly be able to determine the quality of any given house if you have spent some time looking at the market. Very quickly you will come to know which neighborhoods are more desired and which less. The seller or agent will immedi­ately let you know about any special feature, such as a view or prox­imity to a golf course. And your own eyes will tell you if the house has terrific “curb appeal.”

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If you determine that the house you arc buying (or selling) is a real peach, then for any given market you should expect there will be more and better offers. If, on the other hand, the house needs paint and clean up (or more serious rehabilitation), the neighbor­ hood is a dump, and the house sticks right out on a corner lot between two heavily traveled streets, then, buying or selling, expect fewer offers at lower prices.

Of course, if you’re the buyer and you get a “steal” on a ragged- looking house, just remember that you’ll need to fix it up. But at least you’ll be in a home.