People looking to buy a home in 2018 are going to have to really think about the best way to beat the “Seller’s Market” issue.  There just aren’t very many homes on the market so the competition for any home is already ferocious.

Because the Federal Reserve is talking about raising their interest rate – which means that mortgage rates may be going higher– successfully buying a home will require some serious planning.

Many would-be homeowners are finding that more than one home they wanted to buy was gone before they could even bid on it.  Others find that even when they do get to bid, a cash buyer or someone who is willing to offer other incentives to a seller has beaten them out.

It’s Time to Have a Strategy

You have to be very well prepared in order to get a home that you want.  That means you have to have a STRATEGY.  Here are some things that should be part of YOUR strategy to successfully purchase the home of your dreams.

#1: Assess your position

You have to take a hard look at every part of what you have to offer.  Start by asking “What are my strengths and weaknesses as a buyer?”

  • Do you have extra cash in case you need to increase your offer?
  • Can you be flexible with a closing or move-in date?
  • What are you prepared to “give in on” to get the home you want?

#2: Don’t Fall in Love with a Home You Won’t Be Able to Buy

  • Don’t waste your time looking at the wrong homes – if the home is GREAT and the price is low they’re going to have lots of showings and multiple offers on the first day – so if you can’t be totally flexible on price, timing and conditions, you won’t win
  • If you have a home to sell, aren’t willing to offer above asking price, and/or waive the inspection and appraisal contingencies, you’re wasting your time looking at these properties as you are unlikely to prevail in a multiple-offer situation

#3: Look for Homes that have been on the Market for a While

  • Spend your time looking at the right kind of homes, if you don’t want to (or can’t) compete in bidding wars
  • Don’t look at newer listings; instead, look for homes that have been on the market for a couple of weeks, and then go check them out – it’s a much more relaxed buying environment and you have a MUCH better chance of finding an agreeable seller

#4: Think and look outside the (search) box

  • This means you may need to look at homes that need updating
  • Consider what you want inside a home and look for those details
  • Don’t just concentrate on a single location, you may find what you want BUT it may have to be located in a different neighborhood

#5: Set Limits

  • Decide what your “want to haves” are and what your rock bottom “absolute must haves” are and be flexible about the “wants”
  • Make sure you understand what is important to the seller so you can structure your offer accordingly
  • The two main variables in a home search are time and money, so be absolutely sure about what you can – or can’t do – on either of those