Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market

When the real estate market is hot and competitive it can seem impossible to purchase a home, but with these tips for buying in a seller’s market, you can increase your odds of success.

A seller’s market means there is greater demand (buyers) than supply (homes on the market). When supply and demand is out of balance like this, there can be a large number of people putting in offers and competing to buy the same home.

That means you have to make your offer stand out. It has to be more attractive to the seller than those that you’re competing against.

Tip #1: Make a Competitive Offer

There are many things that make an offer competitive and appealing to a seller. Some things to consider include:

  • Offering more than list price (knowing this, you may want to look for homes under your budget so you can still afford to offer more than they’re asking for)
  • Waiving contingencies (like the sale of your current home)
  • Making a larger “earnest money deposit” to show you’re serious
  • Not making extra demands (such as for laundry appliances or refrigerators to remain as part of the sale)
  • Including a mortgage preapproval letter for the amount you’re offering
  • Making a cash offer if you’re able to do so

Tip #2: Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Getting preapproved allows you to submit a preapproval letter to make your offer more competitive. But it also helps you look for homes within your budget in the first place.

Tip #3: Work with an Experienced Real Estate Agent

It’s best to work with a real estate agent who is experienced both in terms of time and location. You want to work with someone who knows the local area inside and out and who has their finger on the pulse of the local market.

Tip #4: Follow Your Agent’s Advice

Assuming you’ve found a trustworthy, experienced real estate agent … trust them! They handle exponentially more real estate transactions than you ever will in your entire lifetime. And if you don’t trust them enough to follow their advice, you should find a different agent to work with who you can trust.

Tip #5: Don’t Get Fixated on Just One Home

Keep an open heart and mind just in case your first option doesn’t work out. Sometimes in a seller’s market, you’ll end up making offers on multiple homes before yours is the offer chosen by the seller. It’s important to not give up!

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