How to make a Buyer’s Market Your Market

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Last week we discussed how to survive in a property downturn. To recap, a property downturn typically refers to a period in the property market cycle where there’s just a few too many houses and a lack of buyers to take up that oversupply, and the two ways to ride through this period of downward pressure on the value of your property is to either hold onto it until things pick up, or treat it like a business – add value and generate income through rent.

On the flipside though, this creates a perfect situation for buyers. Oversupply means more options for buyers. It also means that sellers are forced to be more aggressive during a buyer’s market, and, likely, with less market activity, banks are also more aggressive to get your business. This means a better deal for you.

So how do you take advantage of a buyer-friendly market in order to make it “your” market?

It’s actually pretty simply, but the first step is to always be prepared. Determine how much you are prepared to spend at this time, how much you can afford to have financed, and how much you are willing to stretch to get your dream home.

Determine the type of property you’re after and the location you’re willing to accept. Be prepared to factor in compromises as you may not find exactly, what you’re after, especially in the resale market, but, with greater choice, you can probably come close.

Schedule a time with your real estate professional to view the properties on your shortlist. Make sure to bring a notebook or a checklist to make notes while you’re at the premises. Talk to the owner, and, if at all possible, talk to people in the area to get a feel for the location.

Finally, find time to sit down and compare and contrast your options.

Despite this type of market presenting buyer’s with a lot of choice, like anything, these things don’t last forever, so be prepared to provide a fair offer. Don’t make the mistake of being over-confident and kill your own transaction either low-balling the seller or over estimating the¬†immediate¬†improvements that might be required. This is a guaranteed losing strategy. The best strategy is to act in good faith.

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