Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... because when Sellers start to feel the pressure of the holidays and winter weather, good things can happen for the most resilient of Buyers.
Christmas may be over, but winter is just getting started in Durango. This means snow covered lawns, muddy horse paddocks, and slippery northfacing driveways are making financially conscious Sellers start to get the winter-time itch. Often enough, this added pressure is shown by a late fall/early winter price reduction followed by weekly calls to their listing agent asking why the property didn't sell in July.
The key to negotiating the right deal is by finding the perfect mix of desperation and motivation. Many of the homes for sale in La Plata County don't "need to sell", which makes everyone's job difficult and quite frankly annoys the hell out of Buyers' Agents looking for that drury day deal. But for the other half of Sellers, they're starting to think about doing anything to walk away so they can transfer jobs, move into town or pay off bills that would otherwise haunt them throughout 2015. So where are these highly motivated stressed Sellers? Short answer, everywhere! You just need to play the numbers game.
The main key to a successful home purchase is ensuring that you find a home that meets 90% of your NEEDs and 75% of your WANTs. In the game of searching for your perfect property, there should be some concessions you're willing to make: maybe an office instead of that fourth bedroom, maybe a detached garage, maybe you purchase in an area just outside of your #1 but for that extra seven minute drive time, you get a lot more house for the money... it's crucial for every buyer to realize this one fact, there is no such thing as a perfect house!
I like to say, perfect enough. A home's perfection can be a mixture of price, compromise and luck. During your winter home search, ask your Realtor to search out properties that have been listed since April, May or June. These properties were listed for sale with expectations from the property owner that it would be sold by fall. This increases the odds of getting a deal now that a new year is approaching. Also, don't be afraid to throw out a low offer! All too often I hear Sellers and listing agents saying that they don't want a "lowball offer"... well guess what, generally those same people are overpriced, under marketed and stubborn by nature; so don't feel bad, it's business.
It's time to put on your waterproof boots and winter hats, because we're going house hunting. Rates are still at incredible historic lows and most rent vs. buy analyses will show that you are wasting 10s of thousands of dollars per year in rent paid to someone else for their intelligent investment. Call your real estate agent today and say, "The weather outside is frightful, let's go get a deal!"