The most illustrious real estate agents know how to get a bargain for their clients. It may be in the way they negotiate the sale, how they present the property or even the timing. However, the biggest mistake that most people buying real estate make in their hunt for a property is leaving everything in the hands of the realtor.

Sure, they tell you to do so. However, while it is the realtor's job to find properties that match your needs and requirements, it is your job to sound out the investment and see if it suits your needs and most importantly, your budget.

It is always advisable for one to do some actual legwork before hiring a realtor. You can find bargains on your own before engaging a real estate agent to help you finalize the deal. Below are some areas to explore for bargains:

Find "sold as is" properties

Finding houses that are sold as they are is the number one way of saving money on a real estate purchase. These are usually houses whose owners were unable to afford the maintenance, so they come with a lot of renovation issues. They are sold at a lower price considering the cost of repairs that you will have to undertake.

Why choose this option:

You have the leeway to upgrade the house to your standards and preference.

Price reduced properties

These are properties that have been on the market for a long time and the sellers are keen on getting rid of them. Most absentee owners fall into this category. Contact them privately to see if they will sell to you at a better price than the price offered the listing service.

Why choose this option:

Most people selling property prefer to have it converted into money quicker. It is not in their interest to hold on to the property for a long time. The chance of closing the sale makes them willing to agree on a price quicker.

Buy a foreclosed property

Banks and other real estate lenders have a lot of foreclosed property on their hands that they need to dispose of. The options are varied and one can get significant discounts depending on the condition of the property upon purchase. It is best to talk to a real estate agent in your area when you are considering foreclosed properties as they a knowledgeable resource in addition to the local listing service.

Why choose this option:

Banks are usually more predisposed to offloading a property rather than holding on to it. They usually offer large discounts to buyers who are available to take the property off their hands immediately.

Find Quality Mortgages

The financing affects your monetary investment just as much as (if not more than) the home's price. Look for quality mortgages with lower interest rates and fair repayment terms.

Make cash payments

In order to capitalize on a cash payment purchase, it is best to be the first with an offer. While other buyers may offer more on a payment plan, sellers are swayed by immediate access to money for their property.

Even for property that has been on the market for a long time, having ready cash gives you bargaining power. To move quickly, arrange for a pre-approval from your bank, and be ready to give an offer once you see a property that you like.

In real estate today, you do not have to settle for information from listings or rely on other people to broker a sale for you. Getting proactive is the best way to get yourself the best choice, that resonates with your pocket and your taste. Use these tips to find real bargains and you will be smiling all the way to the bank.