Every buyer out there wants to not just get a deal--they want a STEAL! There are definitely some out there...but if you want one, you have to be ready to move quickly or it will be gone. If you are serious about getting a great price on a home here are the steps you must take to put yourself in the right position to make it happen:
1- GET PREQUALIFIED! Most foreclosures and short sales will not even consider your offer if you do not come to the table with a lender letter in hand. It only takes minutes to make a call to a lender to provide them with information to make sure you can afford the property.
2- GET A BUYER AGENT! As a buyer, you need someone advocating for your side of the deal--and the buyer agent normally gets paid through the seller's listing fees--so most of the time, it will not cost you any more to have someone on your side to protect you in the contract and transaction.
3- LOOK AT THE COMPS BEFORE YOU OFFER! Have your buyer agent pull recent sales in the area. Then be reasonable...if homes in the area you're looking at are selling for 20% or higher than the listing price on your deal, don't be stupid by underbidding on the house if you really want it because chances are you won't get it.
4- YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY BUYER IN THE WORLD! There are other buyers in your area who are also looking for steals...and you want to make a smarter move when you make your offer so the seller will choose to do business with you.
By being realistic and preparing yourself, you can get a steal! So go out and do it.