6 Tips for Finding a House in a Seller’s Market

Every real estate agent I talk to says the same thing. “I have lots of buyers looking but there’s just no inventory.”

I live in a seller’s market. Which means that more people want to buy houses than there are houses for sale.

If you’re in that situation, how do you increase the chances that you’ll find a home?

Old house has seen better days.

In a true seller’s market, even houses that have seen better days get second looks.

To Find a House, Be Ready

If lots of people want to buy the same kind of house, the one who gets it is the one who can move quickly.

Have your preapproval letter from a lender. Carry your check book with you to showings. Heck, just pin a check to every piece of underwear you own so you don’t forget.

You can’t move too quickly when you want to buy in a seller’s market.

To Find a House, Be Alert

Don’t wait for your real estate agent to send you listings.

Go looking on your own. Notice for-sale signs going up. Perk up your ears when someone on your job talks about a friend or relative who’s moving. Check out Craiglist and other sites where FSBOs (for sale by owner) turn up.

A busy agent will be happy to have an active buyer making her job easier.

To Find a House, Be Talkative

Every year I work with at least one buyer whose house never went on the market. A relative or a friend of a friend heard they were looking and approached them directly.

Tell everyone you know that you’re looking to buy. You never know when the perfect house is minutes from being listed.

To Find a House, Be Flexible

If everyone buying in your market wants a three bedroom house with two bathrooms, someone will end up

Can you relax some of your ideas about the perfect house?

For instance, can you live with a one bedroom house for now if there’s an easy place to put in a second bathroom later? Are you willing to make a longer commute? Are you willing to redecorate a solid house that looks dated?

To Find a House, Be Patient

Desperation is the worst quality in a home buyer. It leads to so many bad decisions.

Don’t find the house you want this summer? Keep looking. It might turn up in mid November. Or early next year.

To Find a House, Be Persistent

When you make offers on three or four different houses just to have someone else buy them, it’s easy to feel frustrated and hopeless.

But all successful people doing things worth doing face failure. Often, many times.

So feel bad. Feed your frustration with a hot fudge sundae if you must. But don’t give up. The right house is waiting for you.

Buying a house is hard. If it was easy (and cheap), everyone would be doing it. Just keep looking. And know that when your house comes along, it will feel so much sweeter.


Thank you to Paula of the Carnival of Financial Independence for featuring 5 Strategies to Help Home Buyers Deal with Rising Interest Rates. Hope you found that cheap flight you were looking for.

photo credit: gb_packards via photopin cc. Click image to learn more about the photographer.

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