It's not always the economy, stupid. Even in a weak market, buyers should consider a homeowner's situation before hurling a lowball bid, writes Daniel McGinn in Newsweek. One real estate broker offers five sure signs that a seller is ready to deal:
- Nobody's home. Sellers who have moved on, or will soon, probably want to unload the property fast.
- The list price hasn't dropped for 90 days. The seller isn't seeing much action and might bargain just to get an offer.
- The homeowner has high equity. The less a seller owes on a mortgage, the more flexible they can be.
- It's the last empty house on the block. Builders would rather close a sale than hang on to the last unsold home in a new development.
- The property is fodder for a divorce or estate sale. Dueling exes will haggle to get things moving, and inheritors see free money at any price.