My Big Three - Buyers Tips to Save you Money

Everyone is looking for that great deal in today's real estate market in Fort Myers. The reality is that the deals are still there but the misconception is that they are plentiful. The truth be told, if you are looking for a great deal you need to find an agent that is patient and has cutting edge technology to feed you the "new on market" properties. The days on the market for the "deals" is less every day. I have seen properties sell in less than 48 hours of hitting the MLS. To help you with the process, I would like to share with you what I call my Big Three for buyers.

1. You must have a plan to act. If you are coming down just to see what is out there, you need to be prepared to act. I have personally seen customers come down to "check out the market", fall in love with a great home or condo but was unable to act and lost that property. Window shopping for properties is truly a thing of the pass and replaced with the internet. I have currently a customer who has been looking at properties on my website since February 2009. At this point, the development he was looking at was selling for $ 67 per square foot (rolling three month average) and today that development is selling for $ 89 per square foot. The window of opportunity has shut for this particular client because they did not have a plan to act.

2. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger. Everyone knows from high school freshman economics that price is driven by supply and demand. The supply of active listings in Fort Myers today is down 31% from 2009 overall, with distressed properties down even more. What does this mean? We will start to experience a shift in the market again and in many cases already have. With prices up 13% in March 2011, we are beginning to see less inventory and prices start to edge up. So if you go out with your agent and the first property meets or exceed you wants, needs and price - don't wait to put in an offer. I was talking with a lady from Novi Michigan at Starbucks the other day and she went out with her agent and found her dream house. It was the second property she was shown and she absolutely fell in love with it. The agent encouraged her to continue to look and see what was out there over the next two days and when she finally decided that this was the property she wanted it was too late and the property was "pending" in MLS which means a contract was written. She started to tear up as she reiterated the story to me. I gave her my advice of don't be afraid of pulling the trigger. Unfortunately for this retired school teacher, prices subsequently have gone up in that community and she may be renting her winter home for a while instead of owning her dream home.

3. If you are seriously in love be aggressive. I always tell people that if they are seriously in love with a particular property you need to be aggressive about getting it. I am not suggesting that anyone over pay for a property and would never let a client do that; however there are two parts that make up an offer. The first is price, which needs to be aggressive if you are in love with it. I hear and see all the time buyers are putting in offers at 80% of list price and then being upset when the offer is not accepted or the bank went with a different offer. The second part to an offer is terms. This includes time to close, how you are paying for the property and any contingencies. The easier the terms for the seller the more likely they are to accept them even if the price is a little less than would want. A cash offer is great, but if there is 3 contingencies and a 90 day close, is it really that appealing regardless of the price? Position your offer so it is aggressive.

The key to buying a property today is simple once you conduct your research. You want to work with an agent that has the skill set and experience to not only represent you and manage the transaction but has a great reputation in negotiating the actual sales contract. Pick an agent that has experience in the type of home you are looking to purchase (foreclosure, REO, Short Sale, and Traditional) and has the competency and experience to work through that type of transaction.