Investors often are sophisticated negotiators. They sometimes bid high and bargain some of the money back during inspections and other contractual milestones. As such, it can be useful for other interested buyers to make backup offers for what the house really is worth. The approach can limit the investor's ability to maneuver and give the current owners courage to walk away if it is in the owners' best interest. Obviously, this does not always work and it does require patience. But it is an option in some cases.
First time buyers have to work with their agents and think outside the box.
I try and search for listings that stipulate buyer has to own or occupy the property for a period of time.
I try and stay clear of REO's when working with first time buyers, as REO listings are gold for investors looking for a quick sale on a good deal.
I search for homes that are on the market for the first time in a very long time. These homes are being sold by owner occupants or families of owners whom have passed away. The sellers have an emotional attachment to the home and want to sale it to someone who will have the same.
Kawain Payne, Realtor
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Next, asking price can be deceiving. It may be set low by intention, to cause interest. Your Realtor can provide you with comps for recently closed sales. The seller has this information and realizes what their property is able to bring in the open market. If you are serious about a property, make a fair offer, don't low-ball the price! Don't expect a counter-offer. Such a practice is a waste of time and may result in you losing your dream home.