6 Tips for Buying in a Seller’s Market
In many regions across the U.S., it’s a tight market – inventory is low and demand is high. Our market in the Portland/Metro locations is no different. While this is great for sellers, it can be tough for buyers. But there are some steps you can take to increase your chance of getting the house you want without paying more than you should.
- Get pre-approved. Make sure your financial ducks are in a row and get a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from a reputable lender. This will allow you to move fast when the right house comes along and show the seller that you’re a viable buyer who should be able to close quickly.
- Expand your search methods. Work with a real estate professional who will know about houses coming onto the market. See if family, friends or coworkers know of any houses coming up for sale and tell your REALTOR®.
- Separate needs from wants. In a competitive market, you’re going to have to compromise on something – location, amenities, home condition, etc. Know ahead of time what you must have and what you can let slide, so you don’t waste time deciding.
- Be flexible. Show that you are willing to move as quickly, or as slowly, as the seller wants. Some houses are being sold the week (or even the day) they are listed, so you need to be easy to work with.
- Sweeten the pot. Find something you can offer that will make the seller want to do business with you – offer more cash upfront, waive mortgage or inspection contingencies, or forego the seller-provided warranty. Make it a good deal from the seller’s perspective.
- Know your limits. Keep in mind that lenders often approve you for more than you can actually afford. So figure out your realistic limits, and don’t let a bidding war push you out of your price range.