You hear everywhere that sales volume has dropped, over the past year.

You also hear, however, that sellers are being stubborn, and won’t lower their prices.

So, you think, there doesn’t seem to be any way you can get that condo you want, at the price you want.

There might be.

CNN/Money, which is eating up this slow real estate market like it was candy, lists a couple different ways you might be able to get more house for the money.

Hit the Incentive Piñata

Ask sellers to throw in their deck furniture. Or, the drapes and curtains (like, they’ll need them???).

If you’re buying new construction, you can work an even better deal, most likely:

A recent survey of NAHB members revealed that 55% of builders are offering more amenities, 42% are paying closing costs and 26% are absorbing points on mortgages.

Builders would rather give you upgrades or pay some closing costs, instead of lowering their list prices, because, when your deal closes, and becomes public information, their sales prices show the full price. Future buyers will never know you got a deal.

Improve Your Mortgage

Ask your bank for a good deal. Mortgage brokers are desperate for business, these days. They’ll take your phone call, now!

Look for Alternative Cuts

I have no idea what they’re talking about, here.

Grill Your Broker

Definitely. If you are buying new construction, your agent may very well be participating in a special promotion – say, getting a free trip for every new buyer, or, more likely, a higher percentage commission from the developer.

Ask your agent, outright, what his or her commission is on the deal.

If your agent is getting more than the typical commission, I think you should ask your agent for all the extra. All of it. Maybe give them an extra $1,000. The rest is all yours.

Complete story: Builders to buyers: Take this house, please! – By Jean Chatzky, CNN/Money