How to Buy in a Seller’s Market


You obviously want every advantage you can get when buying a house. But when you’re in the middle of a frenzied seller’s market, where inventory is low and the competition for the few homes that are out there is furious, things can get a bit dicey. How can you ensure you get the best house for the best deal? It comes down to savvy real estate knowledge and developing a smart strategy for putting yourself in the most attractive position ahead of other buyers so you can snag the house you want and move in quickly.

6 Tips

Buying in a seller’s market doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be forced to overpay for a home. But typically, when you buy when demand is high, you have to take steps to edge out the competition if you’re looking to score a desirable home. Plus, you’ll have to be quite flexible when it comes to inspection waivers, closing requests and negotiations.

1.     Square Away Financing

In a seller’s market, you have to be ready to act fast. Don’t get held up waiting for a pre-approval or determining what your budget can afford. Get a mortgage quote before you even start your house search.

2.     Be on Your Toes

You can’t dilly-dally in a seller’s market. You have to be on the ball at all times, from scheduling showings to countering offers. Many homes right now are already snagged after just a day on the market. No one can guarantee you that a particular home will be available tomorrow. If you want it, make a move.

3.     Know What You Want

In order to act fast, you have to know the features you want, and don’t want, in a home, such as:

  • Location
  • Number of beds/baths
  • Garage or no
  • Acreage
  • Age of home
  • Move-in ready or fixer upper

Knowing these things will help you narrow down your search.

4.     Don’t Over-Complicate Your Offer

Asking prices are higher in a seller’s market. That’s because lower inventory increases demand and the inherent value of what is available. But just because you’ll be paying more doesn’t mean you can ask for more stuff in return. Keep it as simple as you can by keeping your contingencies to a minimum.

Some contingencies are necessary, such as the need to sell your home before you can buy, but when you ask for too much, the seller may write you off and go with a cleaner offer. So if you’re tempted to ask for an extended closing period or discounts off certain home repairs, think again.

5.     Sweeten the Deal

Just like an over-complicated offer may turn a seller off, a sweet offer can put you in the most attractive light as a buyer. You can do this in many ways, such as by offering above the asking price, asking for a shortened closing period, putting down more money, or waiving the home inspection.

All home sales involve some kind of concession by either party, but if you show the seller you have no problem amping up your offer, this shows them that you’re serious.

6.     Make it Personal

All interactions with the seller will be through the respective agents, so it’s easy to sense a disconnect between both parties. But selling and buying a home is a personal process, so it’s helpful to remember there’s a real person behind it all. You may want to send a personal letter to the seller along with your offer that will humanize you and foster an emotional bond.

If the house looks like it would be the perfect environment in which to raise your two rambunctious boys who would love a big backyard, or if it’s located near the ice cream parlor your grandparents used to bring you when you were little, feel free to mention those things. It doesn’t always work in the buyer’s favor, but it could make the difference between the seller choosing you or someone else when all other factors are the same.

Purchasing a home in a seller’s market doesn’t have to be stressful. Just be sure to heed the above tips so you can put yourself in the best position possible to increase your chance of getting your dream home.

Contact Olde World Movers

Now that your offer has been accepted and your closing date is set, it’s time to book your movers! Contact us for a free estimate in one of our three convenient locations.