How To Find Cheap Houses For Sale?
Do you want to know how to find cheap houses for sale? Who doesn’t!
The truth of the matter is that you will need to put in some work and use your creativity to find a home that’s priced lower than fair market value. Sometimes you can find a bargain by sheer luck, but remember that there’s plenty of competition out there.
In this article, we will take a look at some strategies you can use to find cheap houses for sale.
Homes that have been on the market for a while
As a rule of thumb, the longer a house has been on the market, the lower the price you can negotiate.
While browsing homes online, in the newspaper, and your desired neighborhood, be on the lookout for homes that haven’t been purchased for quite some time. If a house hasn’t received any offers, the owners may drop the price to attract buyers or be willing to negotiate for a lower price during negotiations.
Also, understand the transaction from their point of view: The owners may be looking to wrap up the sale of the home due to a number of factors, such as a move or approaching the end of the real estate buying season.
Are you handy and don’t mind putting in some “sweat equity”? If so, look for homes with an “as-is” description in their listing. This gives you a clue as to whether you could find a home that could go for less than market value due to problems with the home that you could fix later.
As a note of caution, you’ll make sure that you don’t purchase a lemon and potentially cost you thousands. Or, the home could be completely unlivable and put a strain on your quality of life. Therefore, it’s important to have a home inspected by a professional to ensure that you aren’t missing any critical flaws or code compliances.
If a home has been vacant for some time, you may be able get home at an incredible price-reduction - especially if the owner owes back taxes or may be in pre-foreclosure.
You can find a list of vacant homes on most city websites. Vacant listings typically have categories of the home’s condition between 1 - 3 (3 being the worst), which shows how long the home has been left vacant and what the current condition of the home is. Some jurisdictions require full code-compliance for 3 before it can be officially occupied with a certificate of occupancy.
FSBO (“For Sale By Owner”) homes
Homes that are sold privately, known as for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sales, can be a great opportunity to find a home at a discount. Sellers that go the FSBO route usually do so to avoid paying out a substantial commission fee for a sellers’ AND buyers agents, which averages 6% but can be more. For a $200,000 home, this means $12,000 - a negotiating point that you can use for a price reduction.
However, be aware that some homeowners may have an inflated sense of their home’s work. To avoid conflict, you may want to bring market comparisons of comparable homes and make them a fair offer backed with evidence.
Look for off-market homes
There are more opportunities to find homes than what’s listed online and elsewhere. There are many approaches to finding homes may not be advertised or may need some active participation on your part.
Here’s a few strategies:
- Use word-of-mouth and your network to put people on notice that you’re in the market for a home. Word does get around and you may be able to meet a seller before they officially put the home on the market
- Though it is a tad morbid, look for recent deaths and obituaries in local newspapers. Deceased people often leave homes to their relatives, and you may be able to talk to them about a potential purchase if they have no plans to keep the home.
- If someone in your network is planning to move, such as being offered a new job in another area or the desire to move closer to their children while they’re at college, you may be able to solve their moving problems which can delay their move.