Tips to Survive Buying in a Seller’s Market

house on chalkboard with dollar signsYou probably have heard that the current real estate market in New England is a seller’s market, and depending on which communities and the region of the state in which you look, the signs may indeed be there to support this. While the market varies based upon where you live, there are three clear signs to look for:

  • If the houses are selling for more than asking price.
  • If most homes sell quickly, essentially home inventory doesn’t hang around.
  • If it is becoming common for there to be multiple offers on any given home.

So what does this mean for anxious home buyers? How do you bring you’re A-game and beat out the competition when searching for your next home in a seller’s market?  Here are a few tips:

  • First, relax. This is not the first time people have bought homes in a seller’s market. It simply means inventory is more limited than demand dictates. It does not mean that the perfect home for you is not on the market, it simply means you need to be well-prepared to buy it when you find it.

  • Visit a mortgage professional and get your financing secured. It’s best to start that process before you start looking at homes. In a competitive market, agents may not even show homes to buyers who don’t have a mortgage preapproval. The way to be taken seriously is to show up with hard evidence in hand that you have a mortgage pre-approval letter, plus a “proof of funds” form from your bank showing you have enough to cover your down payment.

  • Treat house hunting seriously. To win in a seller’s market, you have to make house hunting a priority—not just something you do only on weekends and only if you have nothing else planned. A home could hit the market on a Monday and have an offer on it the next day. So go see new listings ASAP!

  • Don’t try to low-ball your offer. If you find a great property, this is not the market to try and low-ball your offer. Low-ball offers is when buyers make an offer well below the seller’s asking price, then the seller must decide if they will accept it, reject it, or counter offer and enter negotiations to move it upward from there. But in a seller’s market, there is little to no room for price negotiations nor is there time. A seller will choose another buyer’s reasonable/solid offer before even giving a low-ball offer a second look.

  • Be willing to look outside your first-choice neighborhoods: In seller’s markets, it’s not unusual to end up being outbid or maybe even unable to afford your favorite neighborhood. But the solution is to look in some of the outskirt areas and communities and find an up-and-coming neighborhood nearby that fits your needs.

Buying a home in a seller’s market takes a persistence and initiative to get out there, the ambition to move quickly to go see new listings, a bit of patience to keep looking when it seems every home you like just went under contract, and organization to have all of your financing ready to go when the time comes. But, it can be done successfully with the help of a qualified REALTOR to advise you along the way.

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