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3 Things You Must Know to Succeed When Buying in a Seller’s Market

Photo: Courtesy of Joao Silas

William E. Brown

President, National Association of Realtors

Are you planning to buy a home in 2017? This year is forecast to be the best year for home sales in more than a decade, and while that’s good news for home sellers, demand from buyers is likely to continue to be greater than the supply of homes for sale. So, it could be harder to find the right home at the right price.

If you are looking to make a home purchase this year and listings are scarce in your market, here are three tips.

1. Prepare a budget — and stick to it

To determine the amount of home that you can afford, first find out what you are qualified to borrow by receiving a mortgage pre-approval from one or more lenders. When budgeting, also consider the other costs of owning a home, such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities and maintenance.

In a seller’s market, asking prices are prone to rise if a bidding war drives them higher. Don’t get caught counteroffering above what you can comfortably afford.

2. Determine wants versus needs

You may not be able to get a home in your price range with all of your desired home features, so create a list of important features and sort them by order of importance to better define what you truly need versus simply want. Think about what features could be changed or added later, and also consider how you’ll live in the house in years to come.

3. Work with a professional

Seek out a Realtor — a member of the National Association of Realtors — who is familiar with the neighborhoods and homes you are considering and the price point you’re able to afford. Talk to friends and relatives to get their recommendations, and then interview several agents to determine the best fit. When housing supply is tight, an affordably priced home in good condition will likely receive multiple offers, so be prepared to act quickly when you’ve found your ideal home; an agent will develop a negotiation strategy that can help make your offer stand out among others.

If you’re in a good financial position to buy, it may take a little longer than expected to land your new home, but it still makes sense to do it now.

William E. Brown, President, National Association of Realtors, [email protected]

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