Buying a home in a competitive seller's market can be really tough! Many people put in offer after offer before finally having one accepted. What's most important here is that you don't let a few setbacks deter you. Also, you may want to adopt one or more of the strategies below when shopping for single-family homes in a seller's market.
Apply for a conventional mortgage, if possible.
There are a lot of great mortgage programs, like FHA and VA mortgages. These programs can save you money and allow you to qualify for a loan with a lower credit score. However, they often also have requirements for the seller. For an FHA loan, for example, a home has to meet certain guidelines to qualify. This may turn off buyers, causing them to choose buyers with conventional loans over you. So, if you can qualify for a conventional mortgage, you may want to consider applying for one, even if you also qualify for an FHA or VA loan. Having conventional financing will make your offers more appealing to sellers who don't want to risk being asked to do work on the home or make changes before the sale.
Make a higher offer right off the bat.
In a slower market, it is often preferable to make a bit lower of an offer initially, with the plan to increase your offer if the seller comes back and rejects the original offer. But in a seller's market, a low offer is likely to be completely overlooked as the seller just accepts a higher offer. So, don't plan on bidding your offer up much. Offer what you are willing to pay right off the bat, and expect the seller to either take it or leave it. If they leave it, you can move on to looking at other homes.
Make a list of things you're willing to be flexible on.
In a seller's market, you don't always have a day or two to step back and think about whether a home is right for you. It is often more efficient to make a list of desires you're willing to be flexible on, and also a list of amenities you absolutely need. This way, when you come across a home that has many, but not all of the qualities you want, you can more quickly decide whether the shortcomings are ones you're willing to live with — ones that are on your list.
Buying a single-family home in a seller's market can take some time and patience, but with the tips above, you can get there a lot sooner.