If you're buying...well.... if you've been looking you can see it's tough out there. You see a house, you arrange to take a look at it, only to have your realtor tell you it's already under contract! WHAT?? Or, all you see are homes that aren't really you, they need a lot of work, or they're in a neighborhood you don't want to consider (like it's too far to work/school/activities). What are you supposed to do?
If this is you, you need to change the way you are looking at buying a home. If you find the perfect home, you need to be making an offer as soon as possible. Not just any offer... YOUR BEST OFFER. Homes going on the market now are receiving multiple offers. You can't put in an offer and wait for the seller to counter. With multiple offers, a seller is going to pick the best one. And if you don't make your best offer up front, you may lose the home. If you're concerned about the price (i.e. you think it's too high/too low, etc), isn't that why you have a realtor? Ask them to run the comparables for that neighborhood and they will tell you what a fair price is for that home.
Speaking of funds, have you gotten preapproved yet? When a seller gets an offer, they are also considering how you're paying for the home. You definitely don't want to give the seller any reason to pass over your offer on their home. Consider being flexible on those less than perfect homes. Your realtor may know a contractor who can fix the flaws that you don't like, maybe even give an estimate of how much it would cost to change it. You can then factor that cost into your offer on the home. Being willing to do some of the cosmetic work may get you a great deal on a home!
What if you are selling your home? How does a sellers market affect you?
First off, this is the ideal time to be selling your home. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't fix up the small things in your home that need fixing, or declutter so your home looks more spacious. If your home looks ideal, so much so that buyers can see themselves living in it, you will be getting top dollar for your home! If you choose not to, and buyers see repairs that need to be done and less than ideal living conditions, you're going to get offers that are lower than what you want. You definitely want to get as much as possible, so still do your homework before listing your home.
Also, be aware that in a sellers market, buyers may be more demanding in regards to sellers incentives and concessions, so be prepared for the challenges. Holding your ground past the point of being realistic may leave you with your home still for sale and having to find another buyer. Future buyers may wonder what went wrong, and it may affect the price they offer on your home.
A sellers market definitely has it's advantages and disadvantages, depending on what side of the transaction you are on. If you are thinking of jumping into the market soon, please call me! I can start looking for your ideal home in the location your looking, so if one does come available, I can let you know! Having a good realtor on your side definitely can help everything go smoothly!