When we read about real estate sales these days, most of the news centers on how little inventory there is and how homes for sale are practically flying off the market at prices at or above the listing price. Not always, though.
There are circumstances in which sellers may be eager, even desperate, to sell their home and savvy buyers who can pick up on the signals may get a good deal. But you have to be prepared to move quickly, so getting preapproved for a mortgage loan should be at the top of your list of things to do before beginning your hunt.
ALSO READ: America's 25 Most Affordable Housing Markets
Realtor.com writer Stephanie Booth has noted seven signs that could indicate that a home seller wants a sale to happen quickly. Here are her tips.
- The listing is practically begging you to buy. Check to see if there have been multiple price reductions or if the asking price is below market value. Other signs are an "as-is" sale or a note that the seller would prefer an all-cash sale.
- The curb appeal is unappealing. Unmowed lawns and weed patches could be signs that the owners have already left, at least in their minds.
- The closets aren't full. Do the closets hold only a man's or a woman's clothes? That could indicate a recent or coming divorce, and the sellers may be more willing to deal so they can just get it over with.
- The family is growing. A new baby or a family member who has moved in for medical reasons can prompt sellers to move quickly on a sale.
- The home is listed by an estate. If the heirs of the original owner are trying to sell the house, they may be more willing to move on the price in order to liquidate the estate's assets and move on.
- The homeowners answer all your questions. Homeowners don't usually print T-shirts that say, "The roof leaks," and are likely to be reticent to talk about such things knowing that it could affect a sale. Owners who are eager to sell are likely to disclose everything, even without a T-shirt, because they don't want to take a chance that they'll miss a sale.
- The sellers have already moved. Generally, that means that they are now making two mortgage payments, and nobody wants to do that for very long.
Visit realtor.com for more details on how to spot an eager seller.