How Low Can You Go: Gauging A Home Seller's Desperation

Posted on: 27 February 2017

If you are in the market for real estate in your area and a bargain, and who isn't, knowing certain buzzwords and signs can help you and your real estate agent spot those properties that come with a bonus: the highly motivated seller. No matter how hot or cold the real estate market seems to be in your chosen locale, just knowing these easy to spot indicators can give you a much-needed bargaining chip. Read on to learn more about spotting sellers who simply cannot wait to unload their homes and are willing to go low.

1. Listing buzzwords. You can tell a lot by looking at the narrative section of a home's listing. Forget those slick real estate magazines; they seldom have room for the information you are seeking. Instead, look at the internet listing of the home, where the real estate agent has room to display the info you seek. While you likely won't see outright, obvious pleas used, you might take note of phrases like:

"priced to sell"

"motivated seller"

"price reduced"

"TLC needed"

"handyman special"

"seller pays closing costs"

"seller pays for new carpet"

and more

2. Agent insider information. Your agent's and the seller's agent's level of communication can play a huge part in getting a bargain. Often, the seller's agent will pass along critical information like the seller's upcoming divorce, the fact that the seller has already bought another home and is eager to sell the current one, and more.

3. Timing is everything. Spring and summer are the times of year that bring forth plenty of buyers and sellers alike, so you may be able to take advantage of sellers willing to take offers on homes listed in the cooler months.

4. The property is off and on again. You can (and should) take note of how long a property has been on the market, and many multiple listing service entries contain that information and more. If a home was taken off the market for a brief period of time, such as for a few months, it may have been in escrow for a buyer's contingency offer. If that sale fell through, placing the home back on the market, you may find a seller very frustrated and motivated.

5. The home is empty. Homes, even ones where the seller has already moved out, are often showplaces of decorating wizardry using staging. Vacant homes, however, can indicate sellers who just want to get rid of the home as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Homes with moving boxes present are also signs of sellers ready to get the process over with as soon as possible.

Be sure to discuss these signs of seller motivation with your real estate agent.