Real estate agents have extensive knowledge of both local markets and home-construction (not to mention, finely honed negotiating skills). It’sno surprise, then, that when agents are buying for themselves, they are very often able to get hidden gems at great prices. In addition to knowing what to look for, a large part of that success also stems from buying methods and knowing what to stay away from. And many agents do buy and sell their own homes – they just have to disclose their personal interest in a purchase or sale. So it pays to know how agents do it. With that in mind, here are 5 things real estate agents look for when buying a house for themselves.
1. A Chance to Be First in Line
When good deals show up on the Multiple Listing Service (or any other listing venue, for that matter), savvy real estate agents try to be the first in line to make an offer. For, often, being the first to make a strong offer below asking price will get you a good bargain. It works for agents.
For example, a Chicago agent got a great deal on a condo because he was the first to jump on it. He was, he said, “the first buyer to see the condo, mere hours after it was listed.” He “didn’t offer the full asking price, but because [he] came in with a strong offer so quickly, the sellers felt confident in accepting it.”
2. Signs That Waiting Is Better
On the other hand, when buying a house for themselves, real estate agents sometimes look for signs that indicate waiting to make an offer would be better. At times, waiting till a listing has gone a little “stale” garners them a better deal.
Heres what one real estate pro says: “Putting an offer on a just-listed, perfectly updated home will never get you a deal.” So it’s better to focus on such homes “that have been on the market for more than 21 days.” Using this strategy, that same agent managed to purchase a home for herself at $120,000 below the asking price.
3. The Optimum Buying Season
real estate agents also pay particular attention to the time of year when buying a house for themselves. Savvy real estate agents generally avoid summer because homes and especially yards and landscaping look so much better at that season, and sellers are usually able to command top dollar.
Most agents prefer to wait till fall and winter. The summer buying rush is over, for-sale houses have far less traffic, and curb appeal is rapidly declining. In the late fall when the holiday season is looming, most buyers are busy doing things other than house hunting. It’s a great time, then, to get a good deal.
4. The Right Flooring and Lighting
Also, when buying a house for themselves, real estate agents look for the right flooring and lighting. That means, first of all, little to no carpeting. Second-hand, allergen- and germ-laden carpeting is far from appealing and can even pose a health risk. So agents look for hardwood floors instead.
Plenty of natural lighting is important as well. Lack of natural lighting is a turn-off for real estate agents. And even worse is an attempt to compensate for a lack of adequate natural lighting by over-using mirrored walls and doors.
If this is what agents pay attention to, then you should too. (Discover more about what to look for in floors and walls, by contacting your local agent at 866-593-7012.)
5. The Right Kitchen Set-up
The kitchen is the most important room for most buyers, and that includes real estate agents as well. In a kitchen, the first thing agents look for when buying a house for themselves appliances that are not white. Although white appliances are often cheaper than, say, stainless, they “start to yellow at year 15” and begin to look “like a worn, stained T-shirt.” real estate agents also look for energy-efficient lighting rather than dated track lighting, as well as “crisp white or light cabinets with smooth modern lines,” according to industry experts.
How Real Estate Agents Make an Offer
When real estate agents find a house they like for themselves, they then use certain effective strategies for making an offer. The first of these is to make the offer in person rather than by email, in which case the seller usually just scrolls on to the bid price, ignoring all the rest of the offer elements. An in-person offer allows for that critical personal connection that goes a long way toward making the transaction easier and smoother to put together and making it more difficult for the seller to refuse the offer.
Agents are also persistent. When making an offer below asking price, savvy agents repeatedly follow up on the offer. And then, if the house remains on the market, sellers are much more amenable to the offer – especially when it is put to them over and over.
Would you like to discover more about what real estate agents look for when buying a house for themselves? Agents know what they are doing, and their strategies work. To get that agent edge, contact us today! 866-593-7012