Use a buyers rep and pay for his services. Most good buyers reps look at five to six homes A DAY. They know their market. But you should query him on his expertise. Don’t use a buyer rep in Cape Coral to help you look for a home in Fort Myers Beach. I will take some flak for that advice, so I will say when you find an agent you trust you can use her anywhere, but the first thing you want when you are looking for a home is expertise in a market. Other kinds of expertise include the agents complete understanding of YOUR objectives and the agent’s negotiating skills. Most buyers rep will ask you to sign a representation agreement, many of these agreements have a fee – typically about $300 – that you pay at closing. This is a time not to be penny wise and pound foolish. The good agents are worth every penny. You say to your agent: I want to find a home – and its music to his ears.
There is a large chance that YOU will find your home, not your agent. You will find it because you are the most motivated to do so. You will drive around, you will scour the internet. This does not mean you should abandon your agent. Use him to represent you in negotiations, do the valuation, and structure your offer. Have your agent set you up with a notification email from the MLS. Market America Realty has a system that will send you emails daily or weekly with new listings that meet your objective. You can sign up here. Other companies have similar programs. Look EVERY DAY. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet your “prince”.
Short Sales and Foreclosure acquisitions take special skills. Use an agent familiar with these processes. Short Sales take patience, and foreclosures take speed and – more often than not – CASH.
Build your position. Either have a proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from a lender (not just a pre-qualifying letter – but a PRE APPROVAL letter). This will make you a strong buyer in the eyes of the seller.
Do not be afraid to make many offers. Again, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs to meet your “prince”. Do not be afraid to offend anyone, or to take up you agents time.