Tips for Buying in a Sellers’ Market

Last week, I wrote about how to tell a Sellers’ Market from a Buyers’ Market, and concluded that here in Central Indiana, we’re experiencing a sellers’ market. This week we’ll look at how to win at purchasing a home in such a market.

  1. Work with your Realtor to scour the market. Ask him or her to let you know what has sold in the area you’d like to live in, and for how much.
  2. If you plan to purchase a home in “as is” condition, consider contacting local contractors to get a ball-park figure on how much home renovations and repairs might cost.
  3. Get pre-approved, which really is your number one job! If you’re not buying a home with cash, you must demonstrate to the seller that your financing is guaranteed and in place. Getting pre-approved also lets you know how much home you can afford to buy.
  4. Act fast. As soon as you see a new home come to market, or your Realtor flags one to you, ask for a showing ASAP. New homes coming to market that are priced right will go very quickly – sometimes on the same day. If you work with an F.C. Tucker agent, he or she will set you up on an auto-search, so whenever a new home meeting your criteria hits the market, you’ll be sent an email instantly.
  5. Make your offer as attractive to the seller as you can. This could mean waiving contingencies, such as a home inspection; doing without a home warranty provided by the seller, and being flexible with closing dates to accommodate the seller. For example, I worked with a buyer couple last year who purchased a home in August but agreed to a December closing because the seller was building new. This isn’t always possible, but was in this case because my buyers were living in a month-to-month rental. This flexibility with a close/move-in date, however, got them the house.
  6. Write the seller a letter explaining why you love the house and see your family living there. Some Realtors think this is hokey or doesn’t make a difference, but I can tell you from experience it does. I had another buyer client who took a picture of her family, wrote a great letter, had me send them to the seller and won the house over competing offers.

So, there you go. You can win a home in a Sellers’ Market. Having a smart Realtor helps. ????