Finding a “Deal” in Carroll County

The statistics show it’s still a “Buyer’s Market” in Carroll County. Inventory is high and sold prices continue to have a downward trend.  Sellers have gotten the message- after years of denial. More and more listings in Carroll County are coming on the market priced to sell. We still have our fair share of foreclosures and short sales which are continuing to ensure we have an oversupply of properties, thus continuing our “Buyer’s Market”.

Many Buyers today in Carroll County think they have to have an offer price way below the asking price to get a “deal”. This is where having a good Buyer’s Agent working on your behalf comes into play. Once you’ve decided to make an offer on a property, have your Buyer’s Agent run a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) on the home and property. This will show you what similar properties in the area have actually sold for recently i.e. in the last 180 days. And it can show you what condition the property was in at the time of the sale. IF the listing agent has done their job, the home may already be priced very competitively. You, the Buyer, won’t know that until you have reviewed the CMA. If it is overpriced, have your Carroll County Buyer’s Agent send the CMA over with your offer so the seller knows how you came up with your offer price.

Here are some other tips on finding a “deal” here in Carroll County:

A “standard” sale may be better than a foreclosure or short sale. This may go against what you’ve heard, but remember, home owners have more leeway and can have more motivation to accept a low other than a bank. Realize that in a Short Sale, the bank is the ultimate arbiter on how low the seller can go and that answer can take months and months. On foreclosures, banks have guidelines on what they can accept below fair market value. Banks today have done at least 3 CMA’s from 3 different sources to come up with the list price. It’s all about business when dealing with a bank. They have control of thousands of properties, if they have to hold on to one more to wait for a better offer it’s no big deal to them.

On the other hand, when you deal with an individual home seller, they have no such limits. Some sellers are very motivated. Also individual home sellers have the ability to bargain on other transaction points as well. Part of your offer may include home fix ups, and the seller paying closing costs. To find motivated sellers, have your agent check into listings that have been dropping their price. Cross check those listings with “Days on Market”. Again, your Carroll County Buyer’s Agent can research the average Days on Market for the area the home is located in. When you find a property that has been lowering its list price and it’s been on the market for longer than the average- that’s a good indication of a seller that maybe truly motivated.

Now that you’ve identified a property that fits your needs and wants, don’t insult the seller. If your agent has run the numbers and the property is overpriced, include the CMA so the seller knows where you are coming from. If the seller has been in the home a long time, selling their home is a very emotional decision. Even today sellers think their home is worth more than it actually is. It’s very tough for them to understand that what was important to them about the home and property may not carry the same significance with TODAY’s buyers. Of course buyers can offer whatever they want, the question becomes do you really intend to buy it. If, after all the research, the list price shows to be 3% over priced, don’t offer 15% to 20% less and expect the seller to even counter your offer. Sellers will simply refuse to sell to someone who they feel has insulted or disrespected them. That insult can be from a lowball offer or from the buyers talking down the house. Buyers have always been told not to get overly excited in front of a seller on a home they really want. The same applies to verbally trashing it.

Have your Carroll County Buyer’s agent talk to the Seller’s Listing Agent and see what information they can glean as to what’s their motivation is for selling? What’s important to them with regards to the offer, besides price. There’s more to an offer than just the offer price. As a Buyer, you have to give in order to get. Finally you have to sell yourself and your offer. As I said earlier, make a logical, convincing case on the price AND if they do take your low price, that you, the Buyer, will complete the deal. Make sure your Carroll County Buyer’s Agent presents a polished offer that includes all the up to date market info, you have a well written pre-approval letter from your lender and you include what type of loan (FHA,VA or Conventional) and the down payment amount. The higher the down payment the more re-assured the seller will be to your commitment. Also include why you chose the home and what features you like.

If you follow the above guidelines you can find and more importantly, go to settlement on a true “deal” in Carroll County. Whether it’s in Sykesville, Eldersburg, Woodbine, Finksburg, Westminster, Hampstead, Manchester, Taneytown or some place in between, there are good real estate deals out there. Make sure you have good Buyer’s Agent working on your behave and anything is possible, if you work together.

 My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buyer or selling a property in CarrollCountyor any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate! I’d be happy to send out my Special Report- “How to avoid paying too much- A simple guide to help avoid over paying for your home”, just drop me a line at or call me at 410-984-2221.

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