When you are skimming through the Madison, Wisconsin listings, now and then you come across attention-grabbing terms like “one of a kind” or “extremely motivated seller.” “Reduced” is another one.
After all, who doesn’t like a bargain? Especially when that bargain is associated with a major commitment, who wouldn’t think it’s worth looking into? Today’s listings may no longer be saturated with short sales, foreclosures, and scores of listings reduced by enormous percentages, but patient Madison, Wisconsin house hunters can still strike pay dirt if they are diligent and methodical. Nevertheless, there are some tried-and-true cautions that need to be observed to ensure that the “penny-wise, pound foolish” saying doesn’t wind up describing the result.
Most of what is being written on the subject of real estate bargain hunting falls into the common sense category—for instance
- Low-balling the offer seldom works. The hope that you can create a bargain just by making a shot-in-the-dark low-ball offer is much more likely to result in a resentful homeowner than a successful deal. As in most business transactions, success is more likely to develop when both sides understand the motives and goals of the other. Since any seller whose Madison, Wisconsin property is on the market is assuredly quite well aware of the likely value of his offering, unless the seller is in desperate need of a deal, this tactic is counterproductive (and if the seller does really need to move on, odds are the property has already been reduced to reflect that).
- ‘As-Is’ also means ‘Heads-Up!’ A home that’s been “reduced” simply means the market is suggesting that an asking price correction is needed. When “as-is” is appended, it could also indicate that the place probably needs work—maintenance work (and work from potential buyers to discover how costly that maintenance is likely to be). In some cases—when a home has been perfectly maintained—it could mean that some features that are expected in today’s Madison, Wisconsin homes are missing. In any case, “as-is” means “heads-up.”
There is one more caution that isn’t usually written about, but which can be easy to overlook when an epic bargain looks to be within reach. Since the process of buying a house takes some time to accomplish, it’s one that often occurs before it’s too late, anyway—namely, it’s not a bargain if it’s not what you really want! It can happen that the asking price is so affordable for a home that has more (or better) features than you thought you could manage, that you are in danger of being charmed into making an offer on something that’s not a very good fit. When you discover a property that’s been reduced to bring it within your price range, it still needs to fit your family’s most important requirements. An Olympic-sized swimming pool can add an exciting and unexpected dimension, but if the place is one bedroom short, in the long run, it might not be such a bargain, after all.
This spring, many sensational offerings are out there for Madison, Wisconsin home hunters. Give me a call when you are ready to take a tour of the ones that meet your requirements!
Jen Stauter Kornstedt
HomeTeam4U-Stark Company Realtors
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