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Buying a Home in A Hot Seller's Market

Shannon Jones

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes...

Shannon Jones has been selling real estate since 1998 and specializes in listing and marketing homes...

Sep 28 3 minutes read

You need a strong determination and a solid strategy to buy a home in a seller's market, where demand exceeds the supply of available homes for sale. 

Running into repeated bidding wars can be demoralizing and causes some would-be buyers to thrown in the towel. But there are things you can do to put yourself in a better position:

  1.  Work with an area expert. Experienced agents who've been in the business for a long time will have relationships with other top Realtors, which may mean more positive consideration for your offer, and may also help you find out about properties earlier in the process. 
  2. Act fast.  While sometimes sellers will wait a specified time before reviewing offers, others may take the first strong offer or respond once they've got a few good offers in hand. If you need time to ponder or bring another decision maker to view the home, you may miss out. 
  3. Consider bidding sight unseen. More buyers are making offers on homes they haven't even seen in this current competitive market.  While that may not be the ideal scenario, if you're out of town or unavailable, you may consider asking your agent to send you video of the property so you can make a decision while it's still available. This trend is expected to continue. 
  4. Make a strong offer.   Sometimes buyers offer less than they're willing to pay, assuming that the seller will issue them a counter offer. That's not a given, and in this market, sometimes even full price offers don't garner counter offers. You don't want to find out later that the home sold for a price you would have been willing to pay -- if you'd only had the chance to do so. You have every chance any other buyer does -- with your initial offer. 
  5. Have all your ducks in a row. Before you begin viewing homes, you should be pre-approved with a reputable lender, ideally with full underwriting approval or desktop underwriting approval. You should also have your "proof of funds" for the down payment available to submit with your offer and pre-approval. 
  6.  Consider a "love letter."  This can be an actual letter or could even be a video, letting the seller know a little about yourself as well as what you like about their home and why you'd like to buy it. Homes are more than just floors, walls, and a roof. Often, they hold memories that are near and dear to their owners, and it can help sway sellers to know that the people moving in will be using the space to create their own memories, and that they appreciate and respect all the time and work that has gone into making the home special to the previous owners. 

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