Weakness in the real estate market has reduced the property prices overall, but finding a bargain still requires some good sleuthing.
Ask the agent the questions. They know the property, and more importantly, they know what will motivate the vendor.
How long has the property been on the market?
Why is the vendor selling?
Is a quick sale advantageous to the vendor?
Have offers been made on the property, and if so, why were they rejected.
The agent usually is happy to answer these generic questions, it is in their best interest to be open, and to help the vendor sell the property.
If the property has been on the market for a considerable amount of time, and the vendor has signed a contract to buy elsewhere, then they would most likely be in a position to negotiate a much lower price. Especially if you keep your offer with little or no conditions. A fast easy sale.
Should you see the price of the particular property go down, then you know the vendor is now in a position to sell at a lower price. How much lower is the question. But don’t sit for too long expecting the price to drop further, other buyers would most likely be watching and may then take the advantage over you. Also, bear in mind, that if the property has been languishing for some time and the price has continued to go down, it may mean that if you had to sell later, the same thing may happen to you. The other flip side to this scenario is that the agent listed the property far higher than the current market.
And never forget, don’t rush in – they say “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. Keep your emotions out of the negotiations, and believe that if you do miss out, another property will present itself that may be even better!