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I’m a Real Estate Agent, Here are 5 Key Things to Look for on Real Estate Listings

Are you looking to buy a house? Nowadays, most potential homebuyers browse through real estate listings on popular websites like Zillow or Realtor.com. These real estate listings are usually packed with lots of information. As a real estate agent, here are the key things I focus on when looking at real estate listings.

Important Things to Look for on a Real Estate Listing

Price Cuts

I’m always on the lookout for price cuts. On Zillow, price cuts are displayed in red above the list price.  

Why is it important to watch for price cuts? A price reduction indicates that the seller may be more eager to sell their home. It could be because they initially overpriced it and didn’t receive the desired level of interest and foot traffic at open houses. All of this means that as a buyer, you might have some leverage when negotiating!

Key things on a real estate listing

Number of Days on the Market

I always make it a point to check how many days a home has been on the market. On Zillow, it will say “X days on Zillow” 

Why is it important to check the number of days on the market? If a property has been listed for sale for an extended period, it could mean there are issues with the house or that it was initially overpriced. This could give you, as the buyer, some leverage, especially in a competitive seller’s market where bidding wars are common.

In a hot seller’s market, if a home has been on the market for more than 30 days, that could be a sign that something’s wrong with the house or that the seller overpriced it initially, giving you some negotiating power as a buyer.

Key things on a real estate listing

Price History

I always make it a point to check the price history as well. It’s helpful to track any changes in the price, including how many times it has changed and by how much. Has the property been listed for sale, taken off the market, and then relisted for sale again?

Why is it important to check the price history? Multiple price reductions and the on-and-off pattern may indicate that the seller is becoming more flexible and may be open to negotiating a lower price. Ultimately, this gives the buyer a strategic advantage when it comes time for negotiations.

Sold Price

Another thing I always check when I look at property listings is the sold price. I always check to see how much the home last sold for and when it was sold. 

Why is it important to check the sold price? This can shed some light on the homeowner’s willingness to negotiate on price. If the property was purchased at a low price many years ago, there may be a better chance of negotiating a lower price. 

On the other hand, if the property was bought at a high price and is being put back on the market rather quickly, it could mean there are underlying issues with the property. Or a personal circumstance, such as a divorce, may be prompting the sale, in which case you might have some negotiation advantage. 

Taxes

I also always check the real estate taxes on the property listing. 

Why is it important to real estate taxes? It’s important to check property taxes because it gives you an idea of how much the current homeowner is paying. While the property taxes the current homeowner pays are most likely not exactly what you’ll end up paying in taxes, since many towns reassess after a home is sold, it still provides a benchmark for comparison. 

Especially if compared to homes in other towns, you’ll get a better sense if you’re buying into a town with high taxes. 

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