We all scope out the local real estate market from time to time.
Whether you’re actively looking to move or you’re just waiting for your dream home to hit the listings, browsing the San Antonio home market is pretty common – even if you already live here. But spotting a great deal amongst all those listings? Well, that’s a different story.
Fortunately, we can help with that.
Next time you’re scoping out homes for sale in San Antonio, TX, be sure to heed these tips from our expert agents. You’ll be able to spot a deal from a dud in no time:
- 1. Check out other homes in the neighborhood – To really see what kind of deal you’re looking at, you have to know the big picture first. If you spot a listing you like, take a few minutes to search for other listings in the same zip code or even subdivision or neighborhood if you can. Are other homes (of similar size and style, of course) more expensive? Or is the listing you’re looking at right in line with those? What have other recently sold properties in the area sold for? If you find a property that’s even just $5 to $10K less than others in the area, it mean big savings in the long run!
- 2. Look at pricing changes – Be sure to check out any pricing changes that may have occurred since the home was first put on the market. Did it start at $200,000, but now is listed at $185,000? For one, that’s a great deal in and of itself. But on top of this, it also shows that the owner is motivated to sell – that they’re looking to get that property off the market quickly and efficiently (likely because they’ve already moved or need to move fast.) This usually means you have a little room to negotiate, and you may even be able to get a price even lower than what’s currently being asked for. Just make sure you let a trained agent do the negotiating on your behalf! It’s a fine art, and you want to make sure it’s done right, so you don’t risk losing the sale to another bidder.
This home in Oak View Heights is located in a gated neighborhood and has been upgraded with the works- water softener, full sprinkler system, and more. The home has recently had a price reduction and is now priced nearly $10k below the average price of a home in San Antonio. Wondering if you can afford this home? Speak to a lender to find out more.
- 3. Check out the number of days listed – When you’re looking at an MLS listing for a San Antonio home, be sure to look at the DOM number – or days on market. This shows you exactly how many days the home has been listed to sell for. Just like a steadily dropping price, a high DOM number can also indicate that you may have some wiggle room on cost. Most sellers don’t want their properties sitting stagnant on the market for months on end. They want to move into their new home, recoup their money and get back to everyday life. If you see a high DOM on a listing you’re looking at (like 60 days and above), talk to your agent about it. You may be able to submit a bid that’s a bit lower than the asking price and still get your dream home. It’s always worth a try!
- 4. Know the area – Before you think too much about a home’s price tag, make sure you know a little bit about the area. Do your research on the local schools, amenities, property taxes and other features, and know the good neighborhoods from the bad. After all, a $150,000 home in a high-crime area with poor schools isn’t nearly as valuable as a $150,000 one in gated community in a TEA recognized school district, is it? Knowing the areas you’re looking in – as well as what they each have to offer - will help you better spot a great deal when you come across one.
This Stone Oak home is priced to sell at $190,000 and is part of the North East ISD with students attending top-rated schools Hardy Oak Elementary, Lopez Middle School, and Reagan High School. Ready to get into this home? Apply for a mortgage pre-approval!
- 5. Take into account other costs, too – Sure, the initial listing price is the main number you have to worry about, but you’ll also want to look into the other expenses a home will come with down the line, too. How much are the property taxes? How many square feet would you have to heat, cool and power year-round? Is the home well-insulated? Does it have green or energy-efficient elements? Before making a snap judgment on a home’s listing price, make sure you have a big-picture feel for what the home would cost in the long term. You’d be surprised at how affordable some properties are over another – even in the same city!
- 6. Think like a home inspector – Many times, a home inspection can save you thousands and thousands of dollars on a real estate deal. The inspector will find major repairs or problems with the house, and with the help of your agent, you can have the seller tend to those issues before the sale or you can even get them to knock a significant amount of money off the asking price of the house. Take this into consideration when looking at listings. What could a home inspector find on a property like this? Is it older, and likely rife with internal issues? Or is it brand new, and probably not as problem-ridden as a more lived-in property would be? Has it recently had upgraded HVAC systems installed, or are they the same ones from when the home was built 10 or 20 years before? If a home inspector were to find major issues, always remember: It could give you leverage at the negotiating table.
- 7. Get an expert’s opinion – Finally, the single best way to find a good real estate deal – whether you’re looking in San Antonio, or one of the country’s more expensive markets like San Francisco, Portland or Denver – is to enlist the help of a bona fide expert. And we don’t just mean someone who knows real estate; we mean someone who knows local real estate. Do some research, and find a real estate agent who specializes in the area or neighborhood you’re browsing in. Send them any listings you found, and get their expert opinion on them. Are they good deals? Do they offer a lot of value or potential for a high ROI down the road? What are other properties in the area going for? If the listings you’ve been looking out turn out to be not so hot, get their help in finding better ones. Give them your specs, talk to them about your budget, and ask them to point you toward some of the better deals in your city. Chances are, they’ll be able to find you something that fits the bill in just a matter of days.
Whether you’re actively looking for a new home or you’re simply browsing local listings for your future dream home, these tips can help you get the best bang for your buck on any real estate deal. Want more help? Need local expertise on your side? Contact one of the expert San Antonio real estate agents at Keller Williams San Antonio today. We can help you evaluate the properties you’re looking at, set up property tours, and even offer you a personalized property list based on exactly what you’re searching for.
Need to see how much home you can afford? Start by talking to a local lender.