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How to Find a Home in a Seller’s Market

In today’s hot real estate market, homebuyers have their work cut out for them. Inventory is sparse in most areas of the country and sellers are enjoying multiple offers and escalating bids.

These conditions should not discourage buyers from pursuing their real estate dream, however. On the contrary, current low interest rates have made homebuying a smart and affordable option for many, especially those who may no longer be tied to living in pricey metro areas for work reasons.

So if you’re thinking about buying a home in today’s market, here are some essential tips for making it happen:

1. Act Fast – Don’t spend too much time contemplating whether or not to look for a home. While interest rates are forecast to remain low for some time, even a slight uptick could suddenly make the home of your dreams unaffordable. So start looking now.

2. Do Plenty of Research Upfront – Before you start working with a real estate agent, narrow down what type of house you’re looking for and where. Put the time into researching online to find out what’s available in your price range. Define your needs vs. wants in terms of number of bedrooms, school district, house style, yard space, etc. Closing in on a few homes that you’re most interested in will speed up the process, a must in a seller’s market when homes aren’t available for very long.

3. Find a Great Real Estate Agent – Ask for referrals, check out online ratings and interview at least three different agents before making your decision. Your agent needs to be professional, highly knowledgeable about the local market and committed to serving your needs.

4. Consider Other Areas – If the homes you’re most interested in end up being unaffordable due to multiple offers driving the price up, ask your agent to suggest other areas that might work for you. There could be a town or neighborhood you never considered that meets your needs at a more affordable price.

5. Get Prequalified – Having your mortgage approved and ready to go is a must in a hot market. You don’t want to have an offer accepted only to have the financing fall through.

6. Be Ready to Close Quickly – If a seller is looking to move fast, your offer could stand out among the rest if you can close more quickly. Find out if your agent has a lender relationship that can make this happen.

Finding a home in a hot market takes perseverance and flexibility. Remain open-minded on location and amenities, and you’ll find the perfect match in no time.

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