Buying in a seller’s market
A seller’s market exists when the supply of homes for sale is low when compared to the number of buyers in the real estate market. The demand for property is higher than the supply.
- Do the research. Know what has sold for what price. Use Real Estate websites like Zillow or Trulia. Or run the numbers with your Realtor.
- Get preapproved to show the seller that your financing is guaranteed.
- Act fast. Check for new listings daily and call the listing agent immediately. When homes hit the market, they won’t last for very long.
- Talk to local contractors. If you’ll be accepting an as-is house, you need to estimate how much repairs will cost.
- Be prepared to waive contingencies.
- Write the seller a letter explaining why you love the house.
Buying in a buyer’s market
A buyer’s market exists when the supply of homes for sale is high when compared to the number of buyers in the real estate market. The supply of property is higher than the demand.
- Take your time. Early on in a buyer’s market, inventory piles up as sellers continue to demand yesterday’s prices. With time, price declines kick in.
- Make offers. Even if it is too low, sellers are often eager to get a negotiation started.
- Watch for motivated sellers (i.e. the home has been on the market for several months with multiple price reductions, or the home is empty, suggesting the seller has already moved and pay be paying two mortgages).
- Be sure to have your pre approval letter or proof of funds; you don’t want to waste your time our anyone else’s.
- Talk to contractors. In certain markets, construction costs are too high to make some fixers good deals.
Buying in a second home market
- Prove you’re serious. Get preapproved or have proof of funds to show local agents you’re serious.
- Sign with a buyer’s agent. They’ll search for you while you’re back home.
- Be open to fixer uppers. Vacation-home buyers put a premium on turnkey properties; if you’re willing to do work, you might find a bargain.
- Buy off season when there is less competition.
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