There is no doubt that the local real estate market is hot. Last month in King County:

  • 57% of homes sold in less than 15 days.
  • 4 out of 10 homes sold for over list price.
  • 25% of home sales were cash sales.

With more people competing for fewer homes, it can be frustrating to be a home buyer. Here are some tips that can help you gain an advantage and get a home that you love.

1) Get ready to compromise. Separate your needs from your wants.

In a competitive market, most buyers will have to compromise on location, amenities or condition of the home. Make a list of your must-haves and features you’d like (but can live without), and prepare to be flexible.

2) Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

With many buyers now offering cash, it’s critical to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes. If financing is needed, sellers prefer conventional loans to FHA or VA loans.

3) Be ready to move fast.

With homes selling within days – or even hours – you can’t afford to wait on a decision. If you see a house you like, be ready to act on it that day.

4) Work with an agent who is a great negotiator.

Your agent needs to do much more than just write up an offer. A good negotiator can find out what terms are most important to the seller, and write an offer (and maybe additional counter-offers) that best meet their needs.

5) Find creative ways to make your offer more appealing.

Every seller has their own wish list. It may be a large earnest money payment, or they may want to stay in the home a few months after the sale. A savvy agent can use that knowledge to sweeten your offer and give you an advantage over other potential buyers.

You don’t want to navigate this frenzied market without the best possible representation. Contact a Windermere broker to help you get the home you want at a price you can afford.