When a "Bargain" Really is a Bargain
Finding a home listing described as a “bargain” could be good news for savvy shoppers. However, the description could also be misleading, depending on where you are located. Real estate website Trulia reviewed listings from around the country to determine when a “bargain” really is a bargain.
In higher-priced housing markets, properties listed as “bargains” were most often actually bargains. In heated metros like San Jose and San Francisco, over 83% of listings described as bargains were in fact priced below the home’s value. Trulia reports, “in typically faster-moving, more expensive West Coast markets, some sellers may intentionally advertise a low offering price in order to stand out or attract more attention from buyers.” On the other side of the country, Trulia found that even though Cape Coral, FL had the fourth highest share of homes listed as bargains, only 36.5% of the properties listed a price below the home’s value.
When you’re looking for a bargain on a home, it’s still important to do your research. Even if a home is listed lower than the market value, these sellers could have chosen to list low because they are, “expecting that homes typically sell for above asking price anyway.”
One way to avoid a potential bidding war on a “bargain” listing is to work with a real estate agent or Realtor. Real estate agents have more in-depth access to listings through the MLS, and often know about home that are for sale before they are publicly listed. A real estate agent will be able to counsel you on whether or not a “bargain” is really a bargain, and provide guidance throughout the home shopping process.