Wait. Isn’t Nelson that guy who thinks the Canadian real estate market is in a massive bubble? Why the hell is he writing a post on how to buy houses cheap? Is he drunk or just dumb? And why does he keep referring to himself in the third person even though everybody knows he’s clearly writing this? Now he’s going to call himself handsome and maybe talk about how big his penis is, because he’s more predictable than my early morning piss. God how we all hate him.
The joke’s on you suckers, since you’re all here. WAIT, DON’T HIT THE BACK BUTTON. How about we talk about lowball offers when buying houses.
Yes, it’s true, I don’t think Canadians have any business buying a house right now. But what about a year or two from now, when the market has begun its decline? Timing the bottom of the market is going to be pretty difficult, so I wouldn’t even bother trying. If you’re a prudent real estate investor, you’ll be looking at adding to your holdings as good opportunities come up.
Nobody wants to pay full price for property, unless you’ve got a big wad of $100 bills that are on fire. Here are some tips on getting your lowball bids accepted.
Information Is Key
We’ve already established that living in a small town is better in just about every way. You’ve got a shorter commute, less crime, living expenses are lower, and there are even increased opportunities because nobody else wants to move there. All you have to worry about is not marrying your cousin.
The most important tool in your arsenal is information, and information is always easier to obtain in a small town. Find out what the seller’s motivation is. Are they leaving town quickly because of an out of town promotion? Are they going through a messy divorce because of the husband’s fondness for transsexual hookers? Or are they old-timers who just want their house to go away? All of these situations could lead to some desperate sellers.
Your Realtor can often be a great source of information too, assuming they’re any good. They’ll look at stuff like the amount of time on the market, the price history, and they can even find clues in listing descriptions that reveal a seller’s motivation. (‘Negotiable’ and ‘quick possession’ are a couple notable ones, as well as plenty of exclamation marks in the ad. It’s all about creating a sense of urgency without revealing that sense of urgency.) The seller’s own Realtor can also be surprisingly forward, especially after a few months of little action.
You’re going to piss off your Realtor pretty quickly if you start making cheap offers on every house you go look at. You may think this strategy is a numbers game, but it’s actually the exact opposite. You need to sit on the sidelines patiently, like a snake, striking at the right moment. Except don’t be like a snake. They’re gross and creepy.
Next, take special note of what’s going on inside the house. It’s way easier to buy a house cheap if there’s stuff wrong with it. Obviously you don’t want to spend all your saved money on repairs, so focus on cosmetic stuff that you can easily fix. You know, things like paint, outdated bathrooms, and that sex dungeon in the basement. Yikes, Grandma was kinky.
Find a house that has something wrong with it, but not something too wrong with it. I realize that’s kinda vague, but it’s the best I’ve got. You’ll know it when you see it.
Know What To Avoid
I don’t care who you’re dealing with, your lowball offer is not going to get accepted on a property that’s only been listed a week. Don’t even bother. You can try it on a house that’s been listed 3 months without a price reduction, but I wouldn’t be too surprised when the seller tells you to hit the road.
Another thing, if you’re going to lowball, don’t throw all sorts of crazy conditions on your offer. You expect a seller to accept a low price and all sorts of conditions? Would you accept that as a seller? All you really need to put on is a financing condition, it’s easy to weasel out of a deal by saying you couldn’t secure acceptable financing. Ideally you’d throw out an offer without conditions, since the certainty of such an offer would be appealing to a motivated seller. That requires some steely nerves, so don’t be a wuss.
And finally, if you really want to score a deal on a house, buy it from a UFC fan. They’ve collectively got an IQ of 48.