Whether you’re planning to flip the property, hold it as an investment for rental income and equity growth, or acquire it as your home, your principal goal when looking for a Seattle property is to grab the best deals. When it comes to Seattle homes for sale, a good deal means buying at or below the market rate and still getting good value for your money. Here’s how to do it.
Buy Foreclosed Property
When a home owner defaults on their mortgage payments for months, the lender will eventually repossess the property, eject the occupants and place it on the market. The house will often be listed on a major real estate website.
A foreclosure is a sad and unfortunate event. Someone is losing an asset they have likely made payments on for years. However, if you want to win in the property market, you cannot afford to ignore foreclosures. It’s a fire sale and banks aren’t keen on holding onto a property for too long. They’re after all in the business of lending money, not managing houses.
That said, evaluate the physical state of the property and factor how much refurbishment will be required before you make a solid offer. The owner was in financial distress so they could have allowed maintenance to fall through the cracks.
Either Be First or Last
The best properties in Seattle will only be available for a couple of hours or days before someone makes an offer that’s accepted. Ergo, one of the rules of buying a house is making sure you are one of the first to know when it hits the market. Often, it’s the fastest and not the highest offer that’s accepted.
Obtain a preapproval from your bank so you’re ready to go whenever you see a home that meets your expectations. The top real estate listing sites allow you to set up automatic email or text alerts that notify you of newly listed properties in near real time.
Being first is great but if you won’t always make it. Another option is to go last. Search for properties that have been on the market for months or years. Having failed to reach an agreement with anyone, such sellers will be more amenable to giving a discount. The seller could be making two mortgage payments each month and will be keen to finally get rid of the double burden.
Reach out to Absentee Owners
Instead of waiting for a property to be listed on a website where your bid will have to compete with numerous others, why not catch owners before they officially put up the house for sale? In a hot market, a great deal can attract a dozen offers within the first 2 or 3 days. One of the techniques you can use to escape this cutthroat competition is to contact the sellers directly.
Pay attention to absentee owners i.e. people who own a property but don’t live there or rent it out. Some of these could be landlords who are tired of dealing with tenants, persons who inherited the property or people who haven’t made up their mind yet on what they’d like to do with their homes.
Drive around the neighborhoods you’re interested in and use publicly available records to contact the owners.
Look at as Many Deals as you can
Finding a great deal comes down to mathematical probability. Since the best low-priced properties are in the minority, the average buyers would have to look through several options before they find what they’re looking for.
Never buy the first property you come across unless you’ve had a look at what else is in the market to confirm it is indeed the best deal. Many people will have to weigh more than a hundred viable properties before they eventually make an offer that’s accepted.
Don’t settle for market price when there’s something better on the table. The above tips will help you zero in on the best deals that will grow your wealth well into the future.