Real estate Q&A: How can buyers protect themselves in a seller’s market? | Money

Q: We are house hunting, and our real estate agent warned us it is a “seller’s market,” and we need to decide quickly. This makes me nervous. What can we do to protect ourselves and still find a home for our family? — Gina

A: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe because of it, many areas are experiencing a hot real estate market.

I have experienced several cycles of buyer and seller markets and have learned there are good and bad deals to be found in any market.

The basics of real estate do not change. First, remember that you are buying only one home, not the entire market. Keep looking until you find the house right for you. Homes are too expensive, and moving is too difficult to settle.

It would be best if you also kept realistic expectations. A deal that looks too good to be true invariably is. No matter how much you dislike house hunting, it is better than getting stuck with a money pit.

After you find a home that meets your needs, prepare the contract offer to be as straightforward as possible. Simple, well-written contracts free from unnecessary contingencies are more attractive to sellers.

The saying is “cash is king” for a reason, but a reasonable buyer making a solid offer at a fair price with a mortgage can be more attractive than a flaky cash buyer looking for a deal.

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