How Buyers Can Win in a Seller’s Market

Homes Sold in Sellers' Market

If you’re in the market for a new home, you may have just missed the buyer’s-market boat. In many areas around the country, it’s officially a seller’s market now — a fact that you most likely have experienced firsthand, if you’ve loved and lost a home before you even had a chance to make an offer.
A seller’s market means just what it sounds like: there’s such a demand for real estate in some areas right now that the sellers have a bit of an upper hand. They can be pickier with their deals. They can typically price property a bit higher and still get interest.
But a smart buyer doesn’t need to be intimidated by today’s market.
Here are a few important tips for buying in a seller’s market.

Related: How to Win A Multiple Offer Situation

1. Before you start looking, do an financial analysis.

You may want to sit down with a financial consultant. Pull your credit report and amend any questionable issues. Make sure you have enough money in savings for a downpayment — and then some. Moving is expensive, and the little extra costs here and there can take you by surprise. Set a budget for your monthly spending while you’re in the process of moving, too, until your finances settle back down into some semblance of predictability.

2. Then get pre-approved for a mortgage.

You may need to act quickly, and a pre-approval letter from your lender will make your offer more appealing to the seller. It shows that you are serious, that you can seal the deal quickly and that you have good credit.
Plus, then you won’t waste your time looking out houses that are out of your price range. On the other hand, you may find that you’re preapproved for a higher amount, which could open up more possibilities and options. Just like any big purchase in life, it’s always smart to start with a budget.

Read This: Tips For Buying Your First Home

3. Narrow down your search parameters, and know where you can remain flexible.

Searching for a new home can feel overwhelming, if you have too few specific wishes. But it can feel exhausting and discouraging if you’re too picky. Sit down with your family and write down your priorities. Highlight the non-negotiables (such as a good school district, a yard for your dogs, and in-home office space) and the wishes that can budge (energy-efficient appliances, a fully renovated kitchen). Many of the items from your wish list can be added to your house, over time. Sometimes just adjusting one piece of your search criteria can lead you to a great house that you would have otherwise missed.

4. Don’t try to search on your own.

It will most likely be a waste of time and lead to a lot of let-down. Many of the real-estate websites that the average buyer has access to are outdated before they’re even updated. That dream house you found is already under contract by the time you call the listing agent.
Get professional help. A real-estate agent has access to the most recent listings and may even have inside sources who know when a great property is about to go up for sale. Ask your agent about pocket listings, Make Me Move listings, potentially weak contracts, expired listings, houses that are For Sale By Owner or even houses that are not listed for sale. You never know which homeowner might be willing to move, if offered the right deal.

Read: 8 Tips For Picking The Right Real Estate Agent

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