Do prospective buyers really have an edge in a buyers market?
When the number of houses on the market outnumbers the number of buyers on the market, buyers have an opportunity to pick up a house for cheap. They key word is "opportunity". Sellers may be willing to negotiate on the price and offer concessions to get the deal done. There are also times when you should move quick and times when you should avoid an impulse buy. Saving thousands of dollars is a matter of knowing the difference.
1. Do your homework
Buyers generally have an advantage in a buyers market but that doesn't mean you should go into a deal blindly. Check the internet or check with a realtor to gain insight into a particular area. Realtors are constantly checking for the best deals and know their areas very well. Places that have been on the market for awhile tend to have sellers that are a lot more open to negotiating. Your realtor can help you negotiate and get the best price.
2. Know when to ask for discounts and upgrades
The listing price isn't the only thing you can negotiate. Adding furniture and fixtures to the offer or having the seller pay closing costs are also options. Does the house need repairs? This is something that can also be taken into consideration when making your offer and is a negotiating tool for your agent.
3. Know what you are talking about and show you are serious
Don't talk in generalities when factoring in the cost of repairs to your offer. Be specific and find out what the cost of the repair or update will actually be. If you can get a quote that is even better.
4. Put a low offer in the right way
It's common to put a lowball offer in during a buyer's market. It's a good strategy but make sure it is realistic. Ask your agent what market value for the home is and discuss what a good price to make an offer would be.
5. Avoid a bidding war
Don't let your emotions get the best of you. Set a price limit and stick to it. Buyer's markets are all about getting great deals so don't let your ego cost you more then you intended.