Buying a home in a sellers market (poll)

posted 3 years ago in Home
  • poll: What would you do?

    Adjust my expectations and live in a more modest house

    Go a bit over budget to win a bidding war

    Keep trying for months until we finally have luck w/ a house we love and get for a good price

    Continue to rent and keep an eye on the market for the next shift

  • Post # 3
    1097 posts
    Bumble bee

    I live in an area where the market has been on fire for a few years now.  If you know you’ll have to go over list price to win a bidding war, you need to start looking at homes in the next price range down in order to be successful. Ex – if your max budget is $300k and all of those homes are selling for $315-330k, you need to be looking at homes listed at $275k so you can bid $285-300k and get out of the rat race. 


    Yes, you’ll have to adjust your expectations a little bit. Unless you feel there is a real reason why the market will go down in your area.  In my area, the economic force is so strong that it’s going to take a major national recession to knock prices down and I don’t see that happening any time soon.  But still, I know people who have been sitting on the sidelines for several years waiting for the market to crash.  They are now completely priced out of the neighborhoods they wanted because of their stubborn views- like could have had a gorgeous house for $250k 5 years ago and now those same houses sell for $400k.

    Post # 4
    955 posts
    Busy bee

    Personally I don’t think I’d settle for less if I can afford the house I want. I’d like to buy a house with the mindset of keeping it for generations, because you just never know what will happen to the economy…so to me, it’s worth the investment of time or money to get the house I want. 

    Post # 5
    2060 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2017

    What PP said and adjust your expectations is what I voted for. What are housing prices like where you live? What are the prices of the homes you wish to have compared to what “modest” means to you? Is it the size or features.  My best friend who is also going to be my realtor brought up the fact that if you buy a house for less than your max but want certain features you can always do upgrades yourself and make it how you want it using the remainder of your budget. However its different if it’s location, house size, other factors (school districts) that are guiding your decisions. 

    Post # 6
    9406 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2016

    I bought a house in Seattle this summer.  There is literally no market in the US that is hotter, apparently.

    Adjust expecations is what I did–we live pretty far from downtown.  It so happens we’re very close to my work, but in general this is not considered a prime location due to the long commute people who work downtown would require.

    Post # 7
    7892 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Seller’s market is tough. You don’t know if the market is going to continue to go up or if the bubble will burst in the near future. Are you willing to wait it out? If not, I think you’ll have to readjust your expectations and play the game that’s in front of you. 

    Post # 8
    2663 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2015

    I’m sorry but this is nigh on impossible to advise on without knowing any of your factors other than you have an hour commute. Is that the only one? In which case I’d keep my head down and wait.

    Finding the right home comprises of so many different factors/wants/wishes. Is it a forever home or a stopgap? Can you afford to go over budget? Is the top end of your budget the absolute most you could afford or is that your comfort zone? Have you owned a house before – will the banks lend? And so on…

    Once you find the right house you get a feeling that it’s home. It happened to us twice as soon as we walked through the threshold. If I found that house and I had the capacity to go over my budget then I would. I would offer asking price ASAP provided that where you are they will inform you of a higher bidder. If it’s sealed bids then put down the most you can afford and keep your fingers crossed.

    I was fortunate enough to buy in a buyer’s market and sell in a seller’s market. But now I’m buying in a seller’s market! You just have to remove any fantasy of getting it for less – you’ll just lose the house. Don’t get embroiled in the buying tactics online – they’re for when the buyer is in a strong position. Good luck!

    Post # 9
    75 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    We bought our house last summer and the process sucked.  We made multiple offers and always got outbid. 

    After several failed offers our agent offered us some advice get our finances in order- make sure our lender had a pre-approval letter for the specific house we wanted, offer more earnest money and have a higher down payment. We did end up putting more down than we wanted to, but in the end that actually works out better.  These things make  you look more stable to the seller, leading the seller to pick you over other offers because it seems less likely that your offer will fall through. 

    Our agent also encouraged us to look around the house and property and find ways to connect with the seller, then write the seller a letter.  For example it was obvious that our seller had dogs, and we do too. I stated that I was so excited for our dogs to have a beautiful yard to run around in.  We also told them a little bit about ourselves and I noticed that our seller had been in the military, so I was sure to let him know that my husband proudly served as well.  We knew the seller had adult children so we also mentioned that we were excited to start our family.  Most sellers have an emotional attachmentto their home and want it to go to someone they can relate to. 

    Once we did these things we got our house! The wait is hard but hopefully these things help!  Also when we were looking I kept reminding myself not to get too attached because the loss really sucks! Good luck to you!

    Post # 10
    4953 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    Go for the dream house! If you don’t win the bidding war, move on and keep trying, but stay within your budget. Most of these houses that go under contract at 15k over asking run into a problem 2 weeks later when the house doesn’t appraise. 

    The market cools off a little in the fall/winter because of the holidays, so you may have a little better luck now than you would’ve 3 months ago. 

    Post # 11
    681 posts
    Busy bee

    If your market is anything like mine, there’s nothing pointing to a cool-down any time in the forseable future. That’s why I voted adjust expectations. Buy yourself a townhome or a nice condo now and earn some equity/pay down your mortgage for the next 3-5 years. In that amount of time you will have a nicer chunk to put down on a better house. It might take some time to find the right house, but at least you will have somewhere to call home while you search!

    Post # 12
    1011 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    We just bought a house in a very hot market. We had to bid against 3 other bidders and ended up going 5% over the asking price and nearly 30k over our preferred budget. We weren’t even the highest bidder, but the owners agreed to sell to us as we did not have another house to sell and were mortgate approved and ready to go.

    We loved this house and it met most of our criteria (we had very specific criteria that we could not compromise on so it has been a struggle to find houses that have been suitable for a price we can afford). We had been looking for a house for nealy a year and were getting desperate. Yes we probably overpaid for the house but we can still afford the mortgage payments and are very happy. Moving is very expensive with solicitors fees, taxes etc on top of the sale price so we did not want to buy a smaller ‘starter’ home only to have to move again in another 3-5 years. We wanted our forever home and be done with it.

    Post # 13
    14 posts

    Don’t have a 60 min commute. I have had it for 4 years now, it’s stressful and I can’t imagine having such a long commute when having kids. Really, don’t do it. (Btw, just imagine how much more money you would earn if you just worked two hours longer each day for ten years)

    Post # 14
    599 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC

    View original reply
    calliekalico2 :  I said adjust expectations, because we went through this in the spring, and after trying everything else that’s what we ended up doing. I totally know how frustrated you must be! We tried a few options:

    1) getting the size of house we wanted in another area

    2) bumping our budget up AGAIN to try to win bidding wars

    3) getting a much smaller house in the area we wanted

    We started increasing our budget to compete, but when we started bidding 30k over list price (!) for houses we didn’t love, we regrouped and went back to our original goal location at the cost of a larger home.

    That said, little things can give you a serious edge. We actually had some serious rain and no one was out at showings for like a week, so we took advantage of that! We also had to get brave and trust our realtor to look without us (middle of the day showings, weekdays, etc), sometimes showing us around in skype, and making immediate judgements. We ended up getting ours for list price rather than blowing our budget! 

    Post # 15
    2393 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: NJ

    Wow I didn’t know there was anywhere that it is a seller’s market! I sold my mom’s house a couple of years ago, and they put us through such hassle. They made us render the house in move-in condition, for a not top of the line price. 

    I thought I was going to see in the settlement papers, a clause where I had to throw the buyers a housewarming party, and serve them breakfast in bed for a month.

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