There’s a disadvantage to being single in the big city. It is easy to go through life thinking there’s always a better deal out there. Yes, your girlfriend is nice and sweet, but maybe you could date a knockout. Someone crazier in the sack but more financially responsible.
In today’s depressed housing climate, buyers are flexing their muscles. They feel powerful. They feel like there’s always a better deal out there.
They make real estate agents take them to dozens of homes. They submit offers well below the asking price.
How can buyers find their way through a mountain of distressed properties and regular old houses for sale? Here are some suggestions:
•Be committed. If you want to be successful, says Roberta Baldwin, an agent with Keller Williams New Jersey Metro Group in Essex County, N.J., you need that same sense of urgency that buyers exhibited during the real-estate run-up.
Today’s buyers “just aren’t committed to the search in the same dogged ways buyers were in the high market, when they thought if they didn’t catch the wave, they’d never see another one,” Baldwin says. Her advice: Stop fitting in the house hunt only when you have some extra time. Rather, make it a priority.
•Be ready. With lenders making it difficult to obtain a mortgage, it’s more important than ever to line up financing in advance. “It’s not a buyer’s market; it’s an able buyer’s market,” points out Beverly Meaux of Towne Realty Group in Short Hills, N.J.
Besides, knowing in advance how large a loan you qualify for will prevent you from looking at houses you can’t afford, even if you expect to be a hard negotiator.