Yes, buyers, it is possible to buy a home or condo at less than market value, without subjecting yourself to the often lengthy and usually unpredictable process of buying a short sale, or going to a real estate auction only to see that experienced, professional investors outbidding you on the best properties.

The secret to buying a home below market value, whether you are a first time buyer, a move up buyer or an investor, is to look for homes that are estate sales, in probate, tenant occupied, or have had a recent transaction fall through. Sellers of estate or probate properties may need cash sooner than later to settle an estate, and as a result will often sell for below market price.   Tenant-occupied properties generally don™t show as well as owner- occupied homes taking longer to sell, which can result in showing- weary tenants moving out before the lease is up, thus leaving a landlord without rental income. Given the prospect of going months without income yet having to pay the mortgage, a landlord is often motivated to sell at below market value.

Your real estate agent is your best friend when it comes to finding these properties. She may already know of properties like this that are already on the market. Your agent is out looking at homes in the area daily.   She may have already shown a home to a previous buyer, who may have rejected it as not meeting one of their requirements.   So their loss is your gain.

Ask your agent to set up customized searches of the Multiple Listing Service that are based on keywords such as probate, estate sale, deal fell through, or tenant occupied.   Then, as soon as one of these opportunities goes on the market, you will receive an email notification and can make an appointment to see it right away. To learn more about my properties, and request a custom search for properties that will sell below market value, visit our website.

Maggie Finegan, ABR, Move with Maggie Chicago Real Estate Team

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