Andrew Cotner, Realtor - Your San Diego Real Estate Agent

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MPI Real Estate
5353 Mission Center Rd
Suite 212,
San Diego, CA 92108
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About San Diego Real Estate: How to Leverage a Fish Tank in a Buyer's Market!

Let's imagine that you've just found the home of your dreams - and your particular real estate dreams include a custom aquarium built right into your very own wet bar. If it's a buyer's market, here are some pointers on how to get the best deal you can - even by leveraging a fish tank!

First of all, in a buyer's real estate market, you have to realize that the buyer is in control. When you're writing your offer, there are a few things you'll want to make sure of right off the bat. First, make sure that your offer is contingent upon the property appraising for at least the price you're offering and your obtaining the loan. You'll also want to make sure you have time to do the home inspections, pest inspections, geological and title reports. Remember, if you can walk away from that tropical fish tank at this point, you can normally back out without loosing your deposit during the contingency period.

The next thing to look at is anything that you might not like about this *almost* perfect home. Are the carpets worn out or just plain the wrong color for your tastes? Maybe it's an acrylic fish tank when you were looking for a glass aquarium - or maybe you'd like to spice up the sparse fish life with more aquatic life. Whatever the issue with the home, you can always ask for an allowance that will enable you to make the changes to your new home that will turn it from near perfect to absolutely perfect.

In a buyer's market, you may also be able to negotiate some of the closing costs. Depending on where you're buying, the real estate buyer might be responsible for certain fees out of the closing costs. It's not uncommon to ask the seller to pay those costs - and that can save the buyer enough money (normally closing costs are paid out of pocket and can be as much as two percent of the selling price) to go out and buy that new protein skimmer for your build in saltwater aquarium!

When the local real estate market is in the buyer's favor, sellers know that it will often take a "little extra" to close the deal, and you shouldn't be afraid to ask for it. One very practical thing to ask for in a real estate transaction is a home warranty protection plan. Various plans can cover everything from appliances and plumbing to heating, air conditioning and even swimming pool equipment.

Lastly, it can be a really good idea to use anything you liked about the home as a negotiating tool. Was there a couch or any other furniture that you felt would do well to stay behind? Did you like that cabinet full of aquarium supplies that sat right next to the fish tank of your dreams? You can always ask for these things in your offer, and it can be a very powerful tool. When you start thinking about personal property, this can redirect the focus of the real estate transaction away from the raw cold price numbers.

So next time you find yourself looking at a real estate purchase in a buyer's market, realize that the seller will be ready to negotiate a little more and throw in a few more incentives - even if it's the UV sterilizer that accompanies the tropical saltwater aquarium of your dreams!

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