If you are dreaming of buying a house, you might experience sticker shock if you look at some of the listing prices. The cost of buying a home and maintaining it will likely be your biggest monthly expense. Consider these four tips for finding a great deal on a home that will suit your needs.

House Hunter: How to Line Up Your Sights for a Great Deal

Be Ready to Act Quickly

Get your ducks in a row so that you can pounce on a great deal when you see it. This means getting a mortgage pre-approval letter from your lender, having a strong credit report and having the money ready for a down payment. Make sure that you are getting real-time notifications about new listings as they are put into the multiple listing service. If you are able to pay cash for a home, state this fact in your initial offer.

Consider Homes Off the Beaten Path

Many cities have neighborhoods that are very popular and therefore highly priced. Consider a home that is near popular areas but not within them. You can get a great deal on a house of the same size and in the same condition by considering areas within a few miles of the trendiest neighborhoods.

Working With a Realtor

Working with a realtor is key to finding the best deals in the real estate market. Choose a realtor who is familiar with the locale and the market. Interview realtors and ask about what types of homes and clients they work with, what the list to sales price ratio is and how many people they work with simultaneously. Some companies, like Brace Homes, know that learning about your realtor’s capabilities is important. You will need to ensure that the realtor has plenty of time to help you with your goal of finding a great deal on a home.

Know the Market

In some places, homes are deliberately under-priced in order to incite a bidding war, which could drive the price up by a significant amount. Knowing the market will help you to recognize this type of a situation. Look to your realtor or home sale data trends and consider the inventory of homes that are for sale. If there are a lot of houses for sale, you have a better chance of getting a good deal.

These four tips can help you to get a great deal on a house that you can make into a wonderful home. Finding a bargain will take some time and persistence. Working with the right realtor and preparing yourself ahead of time will help.