If you were thinking about your next home until the trade war took your confidence, you are not alone.  Refinances are up, following a rare federal interest rate drop, and borrowers are staying in their homes for a little while.  According to MortgageNewsDaily.com, refinance volume was up 12 percent from the previous week, and 116 percent from the same week one year ago.

Still, if you are looking for a new home, this may be a great time to find the bargain price you wanted.  School years are starting up, and in many areas that means the Real Estate hot season is winding down.  Here are some steps to figuring out what you want to offer.

  1. If the county provides online access, go to the county recordsite and look up the property sales history. Alos look up the recorded mortgage history, since a large recent mortgage may affect how low the seller can go on the sale.
  2. Even with homes so accessible online, a good real estate agent can protect your interests and help you negotiate the deal you need.
  3. Get your financing in order before you look for the next home.  Pay off any collections and pay down your credit cards.  Know what you can afford before you start shopping.  Then go to purchaseournewhome.com, or your Loan Officer and get approved.
  4. If you love the home and can afford it, and the price is reasonable, don’t lose it because you wanted to feel like you got a deal.  But if the home is overpriced, and sales have dropped, offer a price that affordable to you, but in the ballpark of the area.
  5. Base your offer on the home value, not the list price.  When appraisals are made, recent sales similar homes in the same market area are used as comparables or estimate of fair market value.  Your realtor can help with this.  Online apps such as Zillow and Realtor.com help if you know how to make the adjustments for finding true comparables.
  6. Make sure the purchase agreement is contingent upon the inspection.
  7. Remember: Not asking is the same as getting a no.  Ask for what you want.  Be willing to consider counteroffers.
  8. Ask why the seller is selling.  If there is a new development going into that lovely wooded area next door, maybe you need to know about it.  If the seller has a personal reason motivating the sale, it can be an opportunity for a lower offer.