Drawn by the real estate opportunity of a lifetime, thousands of small investors are stepping back into the market, say the experts quoted Fortune.
They’re not the only ones drawn by bargain prices on everything from single-family homes, to duplexes and apartment houses. In December, there was a 6 percent increase in the sale of existing homes. (In January, new home construction figures were rising as well.)
Here’s how to get the best deals:
* Work with your real estate agent. The agent will be familiar with available properties and circumstances of the sellers. It’s important to know how long properties been on the market, which properties are entering foreclosure proceedings, and which homes are in good condition.
* Your real estate agent will be up-to-date on current government offers for home buyers and mortgage interest rates.
What you can do to help:
* Be prequalified by your lender in order to close a loan quickly.
* For properties in foreclosure, be prepared with a cash down payment.
* Consider a “short sale.” Your real estate agent can negotiate on your behalf with a bank and a homeowner about to go into foreclosure. It allows you more time to arrange financing. Since the lender has fewer costs, you could get a better price.