5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

Predicting the housing market is like Punxsutawney Phil predicting the weather for the next six weeks on Groundhog Day. The market is ever fluctuating which can make it tough when buying a home in a seller’s market. But hey, don’t sweat it, let it, because these tips will keep you out of the shadows of regret when buying in a seller’s market.

  • Avoid not getting pre-qualified. This is one of the bigger mistakes buyers make when looking for a place to call their own in a seller’s market. Getting pre-approved demonstrates to the seller that you have your proverbial ducks in a row and won’t be dilly-dallying around seeking a loan. It’s best to work with a reputable lender to determine how much you’ll be able to borrow before going house shopping. But hey, shop for the best rates as well, as various lenders will offer different interest rates dependent on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and more.
  • Make an offer the seller can’t refuse. Many buyers in a seller’s market make the mistake of trying to lowball the seller. Sure, few buyers want to pay the listing price, but we’re not talking about dealing at a swap meet or flea market here. In a seller’s market inventories are low, so buyers have to step up to the proverbial plate and swing for the fence. This means buyers must make a reasonably strong offer because in a seller’s market homes sell quickly. If you really like the digs, shovel out the bucks and make a serious offer.
  • Bidding wars. In a seller’s market, competition can be fierce and the seller always maintains the upper hand. Don’t make the mistake of not being prepared for a bidding war. A seller may counter your offer and ask for a higher price so be ready. The best way to prepare for a bidding war is to know how much you have been pre-approved for and then leave enough wiggle room in case the home you want forces you to use you maximum loan amount. It can be frustrating to lose out on that home you really want.
  • Not having a reputable agent. Let’s face it, you’re good at what you do but you’re not a real estate agent. Don’t make the mistake of picking the first real estate agent you run into. Look around for an experienced agent who knows the ins and outs of the market. They can save you bucks and get you into the home you want better than a greenhorn with a fresh license. This will not only save you valuable time but will also alleviate the stress of bidding wars and trying to figure out the market on your own.
  • Failing to act quickly. In a seller’s market homes can sell in a matter of days. Don’t make the mistake of hesitating to make reasonable offers. If you really like the home, get on the smartphone and work with your agent to make that offer NOW. Procrastinating will result in losing that house in your desired location because several offers will come to the seller.

Excited? Great. Follow these tips and save yourself the time, frustrations and expenses on your home purchase in a seller’s market. Ready, set, go!