Cut costs when buying a house

There are three very traditional suggestions in this article posted on Yahoo Finance, including negotiate with the seller, find a loan that allows less than 20% down and shop around for your mortgage.  Did you also know you can negotiate with a new home builder, too?  What about bargaining for a hefty closing cost credit?  What about finding the sad, neglected property that needs work, the one that even the cash investors refuse to look at?

Unless you are a seasoned investor, or a cash ready house flipper, or have loads of free time, new home buyers can cut a ton of costs by doing one thing: find a Buyer’s Agent.  A local Buyer’s Agent,  who will take the time to walk you through the home buying process, from getting a pre-approval to finding a home inspector, to arriving completely prepared at the closing table, will also know ways to save you money. Use them as a local resource, ask them questions, see what references they can offer you, what people they know and have used previously.  Ask them about home builders, about deadlines for construction, see if they have the inside scoop on what sellers are happy to negotiate over.

Buyer’s Agents work only for the buyer, and the home buyer doesn’t pay them a single dime. Buyer’s Agents only get paid when you find your perfect home.  Don’t let a selling agent talk you into using them for both sides of a transaction (unless they’re family) because dual agency, even fully disclosed, is always a tangle of conflict of interest.  Keep in mind that home buyers do not have to use the same broker from the seller’s agent.  Deals within a brokerage office may or may not close smoother just because of using the same agent.

2014 will usher in a fast paced real estate market that will have properties flying off the MLS as fast as they are put on.  Don’t go in alone, make sure you have a ready advocate on your side:  a knowledgeable, free-of-charge local specialist Buyer’s Agent!


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