The Bargain Hunters
It's the silver lining to the housing bust. Jon Boyd, who's been a buyer's agent for fifteen years in Ann Arbor, says sellers have been "much more motivated the last two years." He's seen them cutting prices, of course-but also contributing money toward closing costs, offering a car along with their home, or even rewarding a successful selling agent with a big-screen TV.
Still, finding good deals is hard work, especially as the supply of homes for sale shrinks and mortgages become harder to obtain. Boyd urges caution, warning buyers to think about resale values and not to overlook serious flaws. "Sometimes people miss why it's a good price," he says.
The other big question facing bargain-hunting buyers is when the market will bottom out. Those who wait for still lower prices could miss out on a home they really like, warns Heidi Elder, a buyer's agent for the Bouma Group. But some are willing to take that chance-like a U-M prof who's decided to stay on the sidelines, convinced that prices may fall for several more years.
Looking long, starting big