When counseling buyers, we discuss what is important to them in finding a new home. We also discuss what is important in getting a good home at a great price. In my opinion, three important traits of a potentially good buy are:
1. Overpriced. A home priced just out of its market range will get few showings and fewer offers. If the seller can afford tosell at a market, our offer may be the only one they see. There is a fair chance that, if the offer is presented properly, they will accept it.
2. Unusual paint colors. Any color that causes a potential buyer to focus more on the walls than the house will send many quickly to the next showing appointment. My advice to my clients is to expect to see, and learn to love homes with ugly colored walls. Much of your competition has moved on, and about a hundred bucks worth of paint will fix it.
3. Clutter. Wading through piles of the owners' "stuff" is annoying, and too much furniture makes the place look like an overstuffed dollhouse. The home looks unattractive, and it will be passed over by many potential buyers. That's great for us. Fewer potential offers put us in a much better bargaining position, and we know that all the stuff will be gone by the time we take posession of our bargain home.
Frankly, I love taking advantage of poorly prepared sellers. That's one of the best parts of my job.