It is a buyers market, a sellers market, how confusing is that when you are buying real estate in a slow market.
The real estate agent needs to tell the buyer that it is a buyers market. But the agent usually works for the seller. So what does she tell the seller? She will tell the seller the same thing if she is honest.
The buyer will have the upper hand. They always will in a buyers market, because they can offer less and the seller can either accept the offer or wait, perhaps a very long time, for another offer. If the seller is not in a hurry, they may decline the offer and just wait. But how long will they wait? It may actually be for years.
Often we hear about houses on the market selling within thirty to sixty days, or in a slow market we will hear that it is taking twice as long, or longer. Well, it is taking a lot longer in so many areas of the country, that they are not even letting people know how long a house sits on the market. The only way to know for sure is if you are a real estate agent who subscribes to the MLS, which is the multiple listing service. Not every real estate agent does. The ones who have this access can easily see exactly how many days a home has been on the market. It is often hundreds of days in this slow market.
Whenever you are purchasing real estate, you should never be in a hurry. Yes, you may be one of many in line to purchase that perfect home. But if you wait and examine all of the facts, trying to realize what the other offers could be, you will win out in the bidding.
Even in a slow market, the buyer may need to bite the bullet and offer more. You can often light a fire under the seller by offering more.
Sometimes one has to think of being in the sellers shoes. What would you do if you were the seller and you were offered half of what you are asking for your house? If you think of it this way, and it is not easy to put yourself in those shoes, not even in your imagination, you will usually know what the sellers answer is going to be. And, of course, it always depends on the circumstances of the seller. Sometimes there has been a death in the family, so the heirs just want to sell the house and be rid of it. Sometimes they do not. If there has been an ugly divorce, and the house is the only thing left to divide, that might be a time factor. But usually people do not have any intentions of just giving their dear assets away, no matter what the circumstances.
So if you are buying real estate in a slow market, you do have the upper hand, but you may have to walk a mile in the shoes of the seller to really know what he or she will accept.