How to Get the Best Deal on a House in a Seller’s Market

Looking for a new home? Here are four things to keep in mind.

Photo via iStock

Photo via iStock

Know Your Pro

“Team up with a true expert who has a solid reputation in the marketplace you’re looking in,” says Neda Vander Stoep, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker in the Back Bay. A Realtor based in Brookline, for example, probably won’t have the market knowledge and connections to get you the best deal in Lincoln, and vice versa.

Don’t Write Off the Bottom of the Pile

Never gathered your troops for a bidding war before? Ease into things by looking at homes that have been on the market for two weeks or more. “Buyers are waiting for the new inventory to come on, and then everyone ends up pouncing,” Vander Stoep says. Older listings may seem less appealing, but they promise less stress.

Do Your Homework on the Seller

Learning about the sellers’ circumstances can help tailor your offer. Say they need the income from the sale to purchase another home. Allowing them to stay for an extra few weeks could go a long way. “Your offer may be $5,000 less,” Vander Stoep says, “but if it grants flexibility to the seller, there’s a high chance they may go with it.”

Put Your Best Foot Forward

There’s less time for negotiation in this fast-paced market. “Sellers are gravitating toward the person who’s putting in their best offer right off the bat,” Vander Stoep explains. Your frugal New Englander instincts may tell you to start low, but if you do, you may not get the chance to improve on your initial bid.


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