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The Art of Buying in a ‘Seller’s Market’

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

This post is a guest contribution from Dale Boutiette. 

Dale has over 10 years of experience in San Francisco real estate and as of 2016, ranks in the top 2% of San Francisco real estate agents for homes sold in the area. 

If you live in San Francisco, you know that talk of how ‘hot’ the market is lately, is almost as common as a commentary on the weather. So if you are a buyer, how do you win in a ‘seller’s market’? Follow these mantras, and remember: stay calm and carry on!

Be in Tune with The Local Market

Stay up to date with the market demand, especially for the specific property you are interested in. Your agent should guide you here, but if you are looking for more information, you can follow a newsletter like ours for the regular scoop on SF’s market fluctuations down to the neighborhood.

Devise an Offer Strategy

Be compelling, without having to advocate a seller directly. It pays off to look great on paper! In market conditions like this, sellers will receive many compelling offers and you won’t have a chance to connect with them directly to persuade them to take yours. Look for gaps and strengths and weaknesses of a property, and leverage those. Take into account the anticipated demand, comps, and the condition of the home. This is another case where the right agent can make all the difference. Find someone you click with who has the experience to help you stand out.

Be ready

Make sure your finances are in order so you can pull the trigger quickly. Be ready to go all in if you have to—in a market like SF, sometimes you won’t have a chance to negotiate.

Prepare Your Living Situation

There is nothing more stressful than having to be out of your current living situation with no place to go. If you can help it, make sure you have a steady place to live so you don’t feel pressured to buy something that isn’t perfect for you.

Expect Rejection

I hate to say it, but even the best agent might not be able to win you the home you’re after if others outbid your highest offer. In a hot market, you will lose out on some places, but stay positive, your forever home is still out there!

Work with an Agent that Balances You

There’s no question that this market can be a rollercoaster. Make sure you are working with a seasoned vet who will keep you steady and calm, and always keep your best interest at heart.
Remember that your home is out there. With every buyer we have worked with, the home they get turns out to be the right place for them and previous offers are but a fleeting memory. Don’t lose hope–your home is still out there and you will land where you are supposed to be.