've been selling Real Estate in Big Bear Lake for over ten years and have written many offers for my clients. Many of the offers that I wrote were accepted.  Some where not.  So, the question is, How do I write an offer on a Big Bear property that the seller will want to accept?  Making an offer on a property is much more than just the price.  There are a lot of things that can be included in the offer that will make it appealing to the seller.  Let's take a look at some of them.

  1. PRICE    One of the first things my buyer will ask me is "How Much Should I Offer?"  There are a number of factors that need to be looked at in order to answer the question.  The first thing I look at is how long has the property been on the market.  If the property was just listed for sale in the MLS, then it's safe to say that the Seller is not going to be to anxious to accept a low offer.  But if the property has been on the market for a long period of time, then the seller may be willing to entertain a lower offer.  Another thing to look at is how well is the property priced compared to similar property listings.  If the property is priced lower than similar properties then perhaps a full price offer is going to be in order.  In cases like this, it is not unusual to see multiple offers on a Big Bear cabin that was priced below value.  In this case, it is in the buyers best interest to make a full price offer and pray that it is accepted before any other offers arrive.
  2. HOW ARE YOU PAYING FOR THE PROPERTY  How you are paying for the property is something that sellers look at.  Are you getting a loan for the property or are you paying cash?  If it's a loan, what type of loan?  Are you getting a conventional loan with 20% down? Or, is it going to be a FHA loan with much less down?  The rule of thumb is that the more that you put down, the stronger the offer is going to look to the seller.  Don't forget that Cash is still King!  Cash offers have far less chances of falling out of escrow compared to an offer with a loan and in Big Bear, Sellers like cash offers.
  3. LENGTH OF ESCROW    The length of the escrow is another factor that a seller will look at.  In other words, How Soon Will I get My Money?  If you're getting a loan for your property then the normal length of an escrow in the Big Bear Valley is between 30 and 45 days.  Cash offers will range anywhere from 7-21 days depending on a number of factors.  Normally, the seller wants this sale to close as quickly as possible, so the length of the escrow is something that they are going to look at.
  4. INSPECTIONS AND DISCLOSURES   What is very important to the seller is what's the bottom line. How much am I going to end up with in my pocket.  The terms of the sale will have a lot to say with what the bottom line is.  Normally, the buyer will ask the seller to pay for the Termite Report and a clear section 1 termite.  They normally ask that the seller pay for the Natural Hazard Disclosure, Home Warranty, and the County Transfer Tax.  Normally the buyer will pay their own escrow fees and the seller will pay their own fees.  The Terms area is a great location where the buyer can entice the seller with paying some of these fees.  A good example of this is there is a cash offer and the buyer doesn't care about a termite report or a home warranty.  Saving the seller these fees will add to the sellers bottom line and could make the difference.  
  5. INVENTORY   There are sellers who can't get to Big Bear and clean out the cabin and therefore will sell it as is.  The buyer doesn't want any of the furnishings but may need to agree to take them as part of the deal.  Don't get hung up on inventory.  After all, you are buying a cabin in Big Bear, not furniture.  If the cabin comes with furnishings that you don't want, you can give them to the local charities, you can yard sell them, or you can haul them to the dump.  Normally, it's not that big of a thing.
  6. PROOF OF FUNDS AND LOAN PRE-APPROVAL    If you want the seller to take you serious, then provide a Pre Approval with your offer if you are making an offer that requires a loan.  If it's a cash offer, provide the proof of funds.  The Residential Purchase Contract (RPA) states that you have  7 days after acceptance to get this information in.  But if you want your offer to stand out, then supply the proof of funds or pre approval with the offer.
  7. INSPECTION TIME FRAMES    The RPA give the seller 7 days to give you all of the disclosures and you, the buyer has 17 days to go through the disclosures, get your home inspection and do your due diligence  Another good way to show the seller that you are very serious about your offer is to shorten the inspection time frames allowed to the buyer.  Show the seller that you want to get the inspections over with, sign off on the inspection contingency and move forward with the close.
  8. WRITE A LETTER TO THE SELLER    Years back, my father put his home on the market and the first weekend it was listed, he had multiple offers, all well above the asking price.  How did he select the new owner?  It turns out that of all the offers, one person wrote a letter and had it presented with the offer explaining why this buyer wanted this house.  The letter touched my dad's heart and it made his choice much easier to select the new owner.  Don't underestimate the impact that a short personal letter can have on a seller.  Let the seller know how much you like their home.  Whatever the circumstances are, write a note to the seller and tell them.  I know for a fact that this has swayed many sellers to accept the offer from my client, simply because they took the time to write a letter
Remember this, they best way for your offer to stand out against the other offers and get the sellers attention is to write a good, clean and strong offer.    Don't write an offer with the mind set that your low offer will bring you a counter offer.  You do not know what other offers the seller may already have so don't play games.  If you like the cabin and you want it, then write the best offer you can.  Write the cleanest offer that you can and then submit it through your agent.

I can’t think of a single time when a Realtor  was asked if this was a good time to buy a home in Big Bear and the agent responding by saying no.  If as a Realtor, I had a crystal ball,  then there may have been times when I may have said “No, This is not a good time to buy in Big Bear”   As of now, I don’t have that crystal ball, but if asked if this were a good time to buy in Big Bear, my answer would be yes and here’s why.

Interest rates are at all time lows and while everyone expected them to rise after the last Presidential Election, they didn’t.  In fact, the interest rates have fallen even lower since the elections.  Let’s take a look at how these low interest rates affect your buying power today.  Then we will take a look at what will happen to your buying power when they increase.

For this discussion, we found a really nice cabin in Big Bear that you were able to buy for $250,000.00  You are putting 20% ($50,000.00) down and your interest rate is locked in at 3.5%.  Based off of my calculations, that should give you a payment of $898.09 plus T&I for 30 years.  Take that same home in Big Bear, same price, same down payment, but the interest rate is now 5.5%.  That 2 point increase in the interest rate is going to increase your payment to $1135.56.  That’s a $237.00 increase over what it would cost you today with the lower rates.

In order for you to buy that long awaited weekend get-a-way cabin in Big Bear and keep your payment as close to the $900.00 a month payment, you would lose $51,000.00 in buying power  Based off of my calculations, for you to have a house payment of $891.43 plus T&I for 30 years, you would not be able to spend anymore than $199,000.00 if the interest rate was 5.5%.

Now let’s be honest, 5.5% interest is not a bad rate.  I’m sure that there are a number of you who can remember when the interest rate was in the double digits. But who wants that!  We all want the best bang for our buck.  So, is it a good time to buy you home in Big Bear?  Based off a few quick calculations, I hope that I’ve been able to prove to you that the answer is YES!

Give me a call at 909-436-8043 or shoot me a email at tony@tonycard.com if you have any questions.  I’m looking forward to working with you with all of your Real Estate needs in the Big Bear Valley

Tony Card

Street View of Viking Estates Condo Complex
The Viking Estates Condo's were built in 1983 as a Condo complex on Big Bear lake.  They feature their own private boat Living Roomdocks, indoor swimming pool, indoor Jacuzzi, and weight room.  The complex is a gated community and one where the HOA has set the bar very high for a clean, yet affordable luxury get a way.

The current owners of the Viking Estates Condo # 29 purchased this unit from the bank after it was foreclosed on.  I wish I still had photos of what it looked like when they closed escrow so that I could compare them to how it stands out today.  The owners spent no expense in refurbishing the unit to meet their high standards, their tastes,  elegance and quality.  The thought of ever selling the Condo and leaving the Big Bear area never crossed their minds until recently, where life has a way of changing our plans for us.  The Condo reminds me of the ugly duckling who changed into a magnificent swan.  The hard work and attention to detail is evident in every room in the Condo and their loss can certainly be your gain.

View of the Living Room at 39802 Lakeview Drive, #29
Pictured here is a shot of the living room that sits on the 2nd level.  This level includes the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, and a Half Bathroom.  You can step out of the living room on to the wrap around Trex decking.  If you are not familiar with the Trex Decking, it is a composite material that handles both the dry summers and wet snowy winters in Big Bear without having to do any maintenance to it.  

The windows that were installed originally were old and in need of work, so the owner had them changed out to Double Pane, High Resistant, LOW E, Air Tight Framed quality windows.  He mentioned to me that he noticed a big difference in his heating bill this past winder once the windows had been changed.  Just picture yourself sitting in your Big Bear condo relaxing after a fun day on the slopes at Snow Summit  or Bear Mountain, the snow falling, the fire blazing in the fireplace.

Kitchen in Viking Estates Condo #29
You will not see another kitchen like this in any of the condos in Viking Estates.  The owner removed the fluorescent lighting and had flush mount can lights installed in it's place.  The  Stainless Steel High End appliances fit in well with the granite counter tops and the Terracotta on the walls.  New wood flooring was laid down over the ugly linoleum that was there when he bought it and now you have a kitchen that you can't wait to get into and utilize!

Master Bedroom at 39802 Lakeview #29
The master bedroom is a nice size and also features a fireplace.  Most all of the units in Viking Estates have wood fireplaces in the master bedroom.  But the owner of this one didn't feel like hauling wood up to the third level nor did he want to do the work necessary to clean up after a wood fire.  His fix for this situation was to install a gas fireplace instead.  Now with the click of a switch, you have a nice fire burning and you're not in and out of bed adding wood or fussing with the red hot embers.  To the right of the fireplace was a large opening that was used to store firewood.  There was no sense in wasting space, so that is where the built in safe now sits.

Guest Bedroom at Viking Estates #29
While the master bedroom sits on the 3rd floor, the Guest Bedroom sits on the first floor, providing plenty of privacy for both parties.  Just like the Master Bedroom, the Guest bedroom has it's own full bathroom just around the corner from the bedroom.  As you will see in the next photo, there is plenty of sitting room in the Guest Bedroom 

Sitting Area in Guest Bedroom
If quality and eloquence is what you are used to, then look no further.  Whether you are primarily going to use it for the winter ski season, or the summer water sports season, this is the place to be.  Reasonable HOA fees, Gated Community, Indoor Pool and Spa, Tennis Courts, Weight Room, Recreation Room, and much more.

If you are looking for a Condo in Big Bear Lake CA, whether it be one of the higher end units like this one, or smaller unit, give me a call or shoot me a email.  My direct line is 909 436-8043 and my office number at Keller Williams is 909 866-4949.  You can email me at tony@tonycard.com and I will reply to you as soon as I see the email.

I am looking forward to assisting you with any and all of your Real Estate needs in the Big Bear Valley

Tony Card
Tony's Website

Many people in Big Bear make the mistake of thinking that once they accept an offer on their home, its a done deal.  . If you assume that its just a matter of waiting out the escrow time period before the sale closes– and that the inspection is just a formality – think again! One of the areas where I've seen so many problems is during the home inspection. 

So, how do you avoid home inspection problems in Big Bear?

The best thing you can do is to make things easy on the home inspector. If you want to make things as easy as possible, you’ve got to do these 5 things:

1. Leave the cabin during the inspection!

A number of cabins in Big Bear are either second homes or vacation rentals.  Once you know when the inspection is going to be, make sure that the cabin is not rented out.  Make it a point not to be there that weekend either.  Inspectors prefer to be there alone so that they can concentrate on doing their job and giving a complete and accurate report.  Even when buyers want to be there for the inspection, the inspectors prefer that they not show up until near the end of the inspection so that they can sit down and go over the entire report with them.

2.  If you re selling your vacation home in Big Bear, don't try to conceal any problems!

In California, the seller is required to fill out a transfer disclosure statement, disclosing any known defects. So, ethically you are not going to want to hide any defects.   Again, in California, both buyer and selling agent are also required to do an agents visual inspection of the property.  On top of that, the home inspector is going to do his inspection.  Chances are that if you try to hide anything, it's going to be found anyway.  When my clients ask me about disclosing an issue with the house, I always tell them that if in doubt, disclose.  It;s the right thing to do and it could keep you out of court down the road!

3.  Most vacation homes in Big Bear are clean and tidy, but make sure that all areas are accessible

Many home owners in Big Bear will lock the door to the crawl space for under the house as well as the water heater cabinet. Some home owners in Big Bear will lock one closet and use as a owners closet.   Before you leave the morning of the inspection, take a minute and walk through the house and around the property and make sure that everything is unlocked and accessible for the inspector.   

4.  Do the simple things!

If the inspector flips on a light switch and the light doesn't come on, he is not going to troubleshoot the problem.  He is going to report that the light does not work.  If you know that the light bulb is burned out, then replace it.  This will save a lot of questions later on or a very long repair request.  

5.  If your Big Bear Vacation home has a dishwasher or washer and dryer, then make sure that it is empty!

The inspector is going to check all of the appliances to see if they work.  The last thing that he is going to want to do is clean out your dishwasher or handle your clothes.  A little curtesy will go a long way!

There are any number of issues that can pop up during the escrow that can derail the escrow. It makes sense to make the effort to do what you can to help the process move along.  Getting the home inspection completed and behind you is a major step in getting your escrow closed!

Last year I listed a house in Big Bear City for a client of mine. He could no longer afford the monthly payment and wanted
out. Based off of the information that he gave me, we listed the house as low as we could with the intent being to get him out from under his
 mortgage. I had made sure to price the house so that we had a little room to maneuver as we all know that you very rarely see full price offers. We had a few offers on the cabin but only one of the offers would pencil out.  Still, he would not agree to the counter offer that I had suggested to him. I finally sat both husband and wife down and asked what was going on. We had an offer that would achieve their goal of getting out from under the mortgage and sell his cabin in Big Bear, and yet they would not move forward.  And now, as Pat Harvey used to say, “The Rest Of The Story”!  It turns out that they had not paid their property taxes for the past two years and failed to mention this to me. I've been selling Real Estate in Big Bear for about ten years and I still kick myself for believing that when I listed the property, I was told everything. Had I taken the time to check things out before I listed the home, I would have seen the tax issue. Their reason for holding back this very important information was that they are very private and didn't feel comfortable telling me. They also told me that they were rather ashamed of the fact that they were in the financial situation that they were in. After this, they told me the truth and that the husband had lost his job and they could no longer afford their cabin in Big Bear.  I explained to them that in this case, their best bet was to short sell the house.  As they we're not familiar with the term short sale, I sat down with them and explained how the short sale process works.  They told me that they would think about it and let me know.  Follow up after follow up after follow up got me nowhere and as of today, they are in foreclosure.  The sad thing is that this was all so unnecessary!

There is no doubt in my mind that as I type this, there are a number of people in the Big Bear Valley as well as every other community in Southern California that are sitting in the same position.  Maybe you haven’t made a house payment for a year and you are not yet in foreclosure. Maybe the Notice of Default (NOD) has already been served. In most cases, its not to late to still sell the house in a short sale and stop the foreclosure!  The banks do not want to foreclose on your home.  They know that if you sell your house as a short sale, the chances are that the house will be taken care.  Sadly, by the time the bank forecloses on a home and evicts the former owner, in a number of cases, the house has been ransacked and severely damaged. That being said, they would much rather see you sell the house as a short sale and get something back, compared to the alternative which is foreclosure.


Simply put, a short sale is where the bank agrees to let you sell the house for fair market value.  They then agree to accept whatever that amount is as payment in full and they write off any remaining balance. 


In short, the answer is yes.  It makes it much easier if both the first and second are with the same bank. But even if the second is with another bank, a short sale can still take place.  It can get a little more complicated when the loans are with two separate banks but it can be done.  In fact, I had house in Big Bear where there were three loans against it and we were still able to close the deal.

It’s human nature that when you find yourself in an unfamiliar situation, such as loosing your home to a foreclosure that you don’t think very clearly. You might feel that your back is up against the wall.  You might feel like throwing in the towel and giving up.  This is the time to reach it to a qualified Realtor who has a proven track record of closing short sales and see if he can help. I won't lie to you, there are going to be times when it is just to late in the process to stop the foreclosure and there is nothing that can be done.  But in most cases, you should be able to avoid the foreclosure by selling the house as a short sale.

I handle the Big Bear Valley, Lake Arrowhead and all of the small communities in the San Bernardino Mountains.  Besides the mountain communities, I also cover the high desert communities of Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville.  I've been known to help people in Forest Falls as well as Yucaipa and Mentone.  If you are behind on your house payments and need to sell, then please give me a call.  Don't hesitant!  The sooner that we contact the bank and start the process, the sooner we can get your home on the market.  

If you are in Southern California and I can help, I will. If I can't, I will refer you to someone in my network of qualified Short Sale Realtors who can help in your area

Remember, it's not to late!  Give me a call

Tony Card


As I drove down Big Bear Blvd on Wednesday I couldn't help but notice that the snow was gone, the sky's were crystal clear, and the flowers are blooming. Winter in Big Bear is now behind us and one of my favorite parts of the year is here. No more tire chains, no more icy roads, and no more sub freezing temperatures. 

With the beautiful spring weather in Big Bear, we also find some great deals on real estate. With real estate prices hovering at 2003 levels and interest rates as low as 3.75%, how could you not afford to buy that weekend get a way that you've been dreaming about for years. We all remember how it was in 2006 when prices were so high and you had to pay so much for so little. Those days are behind us now!  In the past, prices fell but interest rates escalated. Not this time!  Prices are very reasonable and the interest rates are still at historic lows. If there has ever been a perfect time to buy in Big Bear, the time is NOW!

If you're thinking of buying your vacation home in the Big Bear valley you are in luck. There are just over 400 homes for sale and I've been in everyone of them. I've put together a list of my top 5 homes in every price range. No longer do you need to spend hours on the computer looking at listings on the various real estate websites. All you need to do is email me or call me and tell me what you are looking for. I will send you a list of my top 5 listings that fit your needs. Once you see the value, then I have no doubt that you'll be setting up an appointment with me to go out and see these great deals.  

See you soon!

Tony Card


 Mortgages default every day in the world and they are just a normal part of the business for mortgage lenders. There are a certain number of mortgages that will default every year and it is planned for accordingly. While it is common business practice for lenders, it can be devastating for you individually. If you default on a mortgage, it can ruin your credit and your financial outlook for the future. Mortgage default is a major setback for you, but it is not the end of the road. If you are faced with a default on your home, you can take measures to get back in good standing with the lender. Here are a few things you can do when your mortgage has defaulted.

Do Not Give Up

The first thing you need to realize is that it is not too late to keep your house. Until the house is sold to someone else and the title is transferred, it is not lost. Many people have saved their houses from going into foreclosure at what would seem like the last possible moment. You should know that you do have options in front of you. Just because you get a letter in the mail that says your mortgage is in default does not mean that you should just concede your house to the bank. Take action and there is still time to make it right.

Talk to the Bank

Once you have decided to try and keep your house, the first thing you should do is talk to your mortgage holder. The bank or mortgage broker that has your loan does not want you to go into default. The last thing they want is to handle a foreclosure and auction off your property. Every time a foreclosure gets to that point, it means lost money for them. They have to write off the loss and too many of these can be devastating to their bottom line. 

With this in mind, you should know that they are willing to work with you. In many cases, they are willing to negotiate a new loan for you. They can modify your existing loan and try to give you some more affordable options. They might be able to offer you a lower interest rate and a lower payment depending on the circumstances. They could waive any late fees you have and possibly get you back to square one on your payments if you're willing to work with them. It is in both parties' best interest to work out an agreement. It will save your credit and it will save them a great deal of money. 

Stick to the Plan

After you get your mortgage back on track with a loan modification or a different method, it is critical that you stick to the plan. If you let yourself fall back into the same trap again, they will be much less likely to work with you the second time around.

Smoke Alarms   We walk past them every day as we walk through our cabins in Big Bear and never think about them until they start with that annoying chirp sound reminding us that the batteries need changing.  We never think of them but they are a  valid part of our everyday lives while in Big Bear or in your home down the hill.  I thank God that they worked in my home last night.

As i knew that I had to get up early this morning, and knowing how much trouble i have with sleep, i took a sleeping pill before turning in at a decent hour to go to bed last night.  Sometime during the night I was dreaming that there was an alarm going off and my wife was pulling my arm in an attempt to pull me off of the bed. When I did wake up i found my dog Lucky who had my arm clamped firmly in his mouth and he is trying to pull me from the bed.   The annoying alarm that I was hearing in my dream was actually the an activated smoke alarm in our bedroom!

As soon as I realized what was going on, i opened the sliding door leading from our bedroom to the back yard and got my wife and the dogs outside and away from harms way.  Once I knew they were safe I checked the bedroom door leading to the hallway for heat.  As it felt cool to the touch, I slowly cracked it open and looked down the hallway towards the rest of the house,  half expecting the house to be on fire. Thanks to God, there was no fire!

After carefully checking through the entire house, including the attic, I came to the realization that this was  simply a false alarm.  Why the Smoke Alarm went off, we will never know, but we were extremely fortunate that there was no fire and it was simply a malfunction.  

From this day forward, whenever I do my pre listing walk through on a new listing in Big Bear or go to fill out an AVID on a property in Apple Valley, I will not just note if the house has smoke detectors.  I will also verify that they do in fact work.  My experience was a false alarm, but it could just as easily been a full blown fire that could have been fatal if not for the God awful sound made by those smoke detectors.

When was the last time you checked to see if your Smoke Alarms were functioning properly?

Earlier this year, I was working with a couple who wanted to buy  a cabin in Big Bear. They came to me after working with another agent who had  placed several offers on Big Bear properties but was not having any success in  closing the deal. One day not long after I met these people, what looked like a  really nice cabin came on the market. This property looked like a perfect fit  for what my clients were looking for, so I called them and they came up to Big  Bear to take a look at it. Before they arrived, I called the listing agent to find out what I could about the place. What I found out was that the current
owner bought the place with the intention of fixing it up and flipping it.

My clients viewed the property and fell in love with it. It had new carpets,  new paint on the walls, new counter tops in the kitchen and a new stove and  refrigerator. The outside of the cabin had been painted and so had the decks.  Needless to say, it looked great and my clients wrote a full price offer. Even  though we submitted a full price offer, this seller sent over an addendum that
he wanted included in the deal that changed a few of the terms laid out in the  Residential Purchase Contract. This is something that I expect to see when  dealing with a bank owned, REO home but not so in a resale type setting. Most  everything that was listed in the addendum was of no real consequence, but  buried in there was a statement that stated that the Buyer would not get a home inspection. I read that again and then called the listing agent to get some  clarification. The buyer did not ask the seller to pay for the home inspection  so why was this in the addendum? The agent came back and told me that the seller  understood that the buyer was not asking for the seller to pay for the  inspection. The seller simply did not want any home inspector going through the house and he would not turn the utilities on for any home inspection. I told  this agent that while this might be his practice down the hill, in Big Bear, we always recommend to our buyers that they get a home inspection.

I spoke  to my clients at great length explaining to them why it was so important to have  the cabin checked out by a qualified uninterested third party. To me, the fact  that the seller was refusing to allow a home inspection was a RED FLAG and made  me wonder what he was trying to hide. My strong recommendation to them was that  if the seller was not going to allow the buyer the opportunity to do a home inspection then they should think twice about buying the property. They came back to me and said Look Tony, the place has new paint, new carpet, new counter tops. Everything looks good and that they had been discussing between themselves the idea of not having a home inspection. As their Realtor, all I can do is to  put the information out there. It is up to them if they care to follow the advice. In this case, they chose to move forward and buy the home knowing full  well that they would not be allowed to do a home inspection.  The escrow closed and I wished them the best with their new cabin in Big Bear.

Three months later, I get a call from my clients asking if I could come out to their cabin so I set up an appointment and went to see them.  One of the first questions out of their mouths when I arrived was Why didn't we listen to you.  They were now kicking themselves for not taking my adivice over the home inspection.  I was told that right after they took possession of their Big Bear cabin, they found a number of electrical outlets that didn't work.  The electrician was called and he found electrical outlets in the walls that had no wires going to them at all.  They told me that as soon as the first rain came, the roof leaked in several places.  They told me horror stories about how bad the plumbing was in the place.  Sadly, after buying what they felt was their dream cabin, they had to spend an additional $25,000 to fix everything that had been covered up. 

In closing, it's really simple  GET A HOME INSPECTION and if you find a seller who will not allow you to do a home inspection, then go and find ano

I was reading through a Real Estate forum yesterday when I came across a consumer asking the question, "How Much Should I offer On a House?"  The majority of the responses were statements like, Offer 80% of asking price, or my all time favorite answer was LOWBALL the seller.  I'm sorry, but in my opinion, this is not giving a potential buyer in any market good advice!  Real Estate is just like the weather, it's local.  If you want to know what the weather is like in San Francisco, you are not going to listen to the weather reports for Boston.  What is happening in the Real Estate market in Rancho Cucamonga has nothing to do with what the Real Estate market is doing in Big Bear.  Just because you might be able to low ball a seller in San Bernardino doesn't mean that the same tactic will work in Big Bear.  As I said earlier, just like the weather, every market is different and must be looked at from that point of view.

You may live in a market where the percentage of bank owned, REO properties accounts for 50% of the inventory.   Or, you could live in Big Bear where the number of bank owned, REO properties accounts for less than 10% of the inventory.  If you're trying to buy in a market where just about every other home is a bank owned property, you may be able to get away with offering far less than the asking price.  But, if you are trying to buy a bank owned property in a market where only 1 in 10 homes are bank owned, and the banks are pricing the homes aggressively, then any offer made at 80% of list price is marked for failure.  It drives me crazy when these Realtor's make these blanket statements like you should low ball the seller, or hey, it's a Buyer's market.  They don't know what they're talking about!

Here is an example about why you need to look at each market separately.  As I mentioned earlier, Big Bear has an inventory where less than 10% of the homes listed for sale are bank owned.  Yet, those 10% of homes make up for more than 60% of the sales.  With those kinds of numbers, the bank owned property not only sells quickly, but it sells for asking price or more in many cases.  It's not uncommon to see multiple offers on bank owned properties and bidding wars develop over the property.

So, when you start looking to buy Real Estate, don't go into it the deal thinking that what worked the last time you bought a home is going to work now.  Don't go into it with the idea that I am the buyer and the seller should be lucky to that I'm looking at his property.  Just remember this.  You are not the only buyer!