For years now, buyers have been able to come in fairly low and actually get away with offers that sellers would never have accepted just a few years prior to that. But now, things are shifting back to a more balanced marketplace and we are noticing some big changes in the way buyers and sellers are interacting. Here are some ways you can gain the upper hand over other buyers vying for the same (few) properties that are scarcely available in our market today.

Don’t Hold Back When You Find Something You Like

A common mistake made by many buyers in a competitive market is to hold off on making an offer on something they really like. The chance of finding a home that meets every single need is next to impossible, that’s why it is important to recognize your deal breakers and if you like the home for the most part, go ahead and make an offer on it.

If You’re Serious, Present a Serious Offer – The First Time

Now is not the time to be playing games when it comes to trying to get the home of your dreams. With so few homes on the market and so many buyers, there is a good chance you could lose the home altogether if your offer is not strong enough. Carefully consider your offer and act as if that is your only chance.

Engage in the Services of a Local Expert

There is a lot of merit to working with a local real estate agent that knows the area and knows other agents in the area. At times, when all else fails, a seller may opt for your offer just because their agent also knows your agent. Not to mention, the expert advice you can expect from your REALTOR® in being able to recognize a good deal among other things.

Structure An Offer That Makes the Seller Happy

One of the strongest signs of a serious buyer is a large deposit. Though the standard varies from area to area, typically at least 1% is put toward earnest money and it shows some level of seriousness on the buyer’s part when they go above that.

Other things you can do to make sure sellers pay more attention to your offer and less to others include writing a personal letter to share what you love about the home or be willing to waive contingencies or at least shorten contingencies. Savvy buyers also work to keep their offers simple, clean and easy to read plus they don’t hesitate to offer cash if they can do it, shortening the time period between now and closing.

If you don’t need closing cost assistance, don’t ask for it and finally – if you really love the property, do what works best – offer more money.