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The number of real estate listings hitting the market is increasing, and competition for homes is heating up as the industry approaches its spring and early summer peak. If 2022 is anything like the previous year, many buyers should be prepared for houses that sell quickly and at a premium price.

However, there are some ways to increase your chances of finding a good value, even in a strong seller’s market. So if you’re hoping to maintain a bargain hunter’s mindset this buying season, start with these successful strategies.

1. Add Sweat Equity

Rather than searching for the perfect move-in-ready property, consider focusing on potential. A home that meets your major requirements, such as size or location, but requires updating or offers a layout with room to improve can be a less competitive option. Patience, a little do-it-yourself approach, or possibly a 203(k) renovation loan can have you on the path to your dream home without paying a premium.

2. Go Bigger

Unfortunately, it seems that a seller’s market typically hits entry-level buyers the hardest. Homes at the lower end of the price spectrum and in good condition will often attract the most interest. Since they are usually smaller homes, the price per square foot may be much higher than larger alternatives. If your budget can handle it, aiming your search at larger homes, even at a higher price, can mean less competition and allow you to get much more house for your money.

3. Compare Lenders

It seems like common sense, but taking the time to find the right lender is a step many homebuyers take for granted. Comparing the cost differences between financing options, shopping for the best interest rate, and understanding how your choices can impact your borrowing power can save you a ton. In addition, a responsive and experienced lender can go a long way toward making your offer stand out in a crowd.

4. An Experienced Realtor

Similarly, your realtor can make a huge difference when timing and connections can make or break your house hunt. An experienced agent will know how to craft the strongest offer for a particular seller and may also have the network to identify houses whose initial sale falls apart or that other buyers are overlooking.

5. Have Patience

While waiting for a seller’s market to reverse is probably not a realistic option for most, waiting for peak real estate season to pass may be worthwhile for buyers with time. When the end of summer approaches, owners of unsold listings may adjust their expectations. New listings can mean motivated sellers and fewer serious shoppers to contend with by the time winter arrives.

Get ahead of the game this buying season with the professional experience of an Open Mortgage originator. Explore our website for more house-hunting resources or call to start your loan application today.

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