In much of the U.S., the real estate story of 2016 was low home inventory, especially in entry-level price ranges. Based on projections from industry analysts, we may see a similar market during the first half of 2017, and potentially beyond.

When there are more buyers than homes for sale in a market, and homes are selling quickly, it’s commonly called a “seller’s market.” This implies that the home seller has the upper hand in negotiating price and terms.

A seller’s market can be challenging for home buyers, especially those who are not clients of an Exclusive Buyer Agent (EBA.) We have put together 9 tips to help you find home buying success, no matter the market conditions!

1. Be financially prepared for home ownership. Have your down payment ready, and obtain a mortgage pre-approval. Know what you can afford!

2. Find an Exclusive Buyer Agent in your area. Your Exclusive Buyer Agent represents you, and only you, in the home buying process! Because your EBA has a fiduciary duty to you, he or she provides you with the highest degree of representation and protection.

3. Decide your home criteria and preferred locations. Knowing your absolute priorities will help you make the right decisions.

4. Keep up with local market trends by staying in contact with your EBA. He or she can tell you how quickly homes are going under contract and what direction home prices are heading.

5. Be responsive! When your EBA contacts you about a new listing, reply quickly to schedule your viewing or you could miss an opportunity.

6. Be prepared to take action when you find a home you like! Your EBA will help you write an offer that is attractive to the seller, while protecting your best interests.

7. Don’t fear a counter-offer. A home seller who is willing to engage in negotiations is a serious seller! Your EBA will discuss your options, and skillfully negotiate on your behalf. He or she will always present your offers in the best possible light.

8. In a multiple-offer situation, money isn’t everything! Sometimes the financial difference between a winning offer and a rejected offer is as little as $100. A home seller may choose to accept a lower offer from a buyer who is easy to work with verses a higher offer from a buyer who isn’t as pleasant. Be flexible where you can and be willing to meet reasonable terms.

9. You must respect your own financial limits when competing with multiple offers. Winning the bidding war but going broke isn’t a victory. Your EBA will counsel you in multiple offer situations, and strategize offers that stay within your means.

Home buyers who become clients of an Exclusive Buyer Agent can find success in a seller’s market! Find an Exclusive Buyer Agent in your area today!

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