How Buyers Can Find The Right Deal In A Seller’s Market

How Buyers Can Find The Right Deal In A Seller’s Market

While this market is terrifically hot if you’re a current homeowner looking to level up or a real estate investor ready to bank a tidy profit, it can feel daunting if you are searching for an affordable, long-term home for you and your family. 

It’s a seller’s market for better or for worse, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable opportunities for home shoppers. You just have to be smart and partner with an experienced real estate team that knows the Chicagoland housing environment intimately, so you can develop a winning strategy that will give you a competitive advantage over other buyers.

Ready to learn the insider tricks that will give you a leg up in this volatile market? Let’s dive in!

Supply And Demand

A basic concept of economics, the delicate balance of supply and demand has a huge impact on the affordability of where you rest your head at night. The current seller’s market means that there is a low inventory of houses with a high number of people all trying to get into them, which can create a bit of a cutthroat atmosphere.

What are some of the things you’ll see on the journey to finding your ideal abode?

  • Properties are listed and then immediately snapped up
  • Final sales are well above the original asking price
  • Outright rejection of contingencies, like a home sale or appraisal
  • Bidding wars ensue
  • Unusual seller demands
  • Less wiggle room on things like closing dates or post-closing possession

But by planning ahead and getting your ducks in a row, you can be ready to pounce the second you find something you really want and won’t lose valuable time scrambling to get it together.


One of the biggest things you can do to ensure you’re in a prime position for buying a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. If you’re totally serious about making this major life milestone, then the process should begin with your lender instead of touring open houses.

To get that pre-approval letter, you’ll need to show a raft of documentation regarding your

  • Income
  • Assets
  • Good credit
  • Steady employment
  • Driver’s license, Social Security card, and miscellaneous other paperwork

As you assemble this vital proof that you’ll be able to afford to pay your mortgage payment, now is also the time to start working on your next smart move — finding your dream team. 

It Takes a Village

With so many apps and review sites and DIY options available, you might think that you can go it alone when it comes to buying a home. Not only is this not a wise idea, but it’s also virtually impossible. Purchasing real estate isn’t like buying a refrigerator or a car. There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of people involved, and many legal documents. 

For an event this momentous and in this kind of seller’s market, you’ll want to find a support network that has your best interests at heart. The property owner will certainly have people fighting on their behalf as well, so you deserve the same benefit on your side. 

So who’s on this tiger team of homebuying experts? Let’s break it down:

  • Your real estate agent – you should choose a well-recommended professional with plenty of local expertise. Not only will you benefit from working with a skilled professional, but your agent will have access to pre-listed homes – homes that may even sell before they come on to the MLS or are accessible by the general public on the standard real estate app or website. 
  • Your mortgage lender – be sure to apply for pre-approval before you start looking at homes.  
  • The home inspector – once you’re under contract your home inspector will perform a detailed evaluation of the property to find any safety concerns. In this market, many buyers are opting to buy a home “as is”, but that does not, and should not, preclude you from conducting a home inspection. 
  • Your insurance agent – rarely the first person you think of, they’re necessary for this process, as you’ll need insurance in order to close on a mortgage. 

With the best real estate team in Chicagoland in your corner, you’re sure to find the right deal for you and your family in this exuberant seller’s market.

Money Talks

If owners have the upper hand, one surefire way to get their attention is with good old-fashioned green. You can be sure to gain an edge and stand out from the crowd with a little extra cash. 

Start off strong and put your best foot forward with an offer that’s near the top of your budget. If there’s competition for the home, it’s very unlikely that an opening bid below the list price will even be considered. Combine that with a personalized offer letter to connect with the seller on an emotional level. You want to let them know why you’ve fallen in love with their home. No need to go overboard — a little flattery goes a long way, they say. 

An often overlooked looked component of every offer in Illinois is the strength of your earnest money deposit. A larger deposit will show the property owner that you mean business. But what is it, exactly?

An earnest money deposit is a show that you’re in good faith and truly interested in the property. The funds are held in escrow and will be applied directly to your down payment. The amount depends on your target purchase price, but the more you can throw down, the better your chances will be of scoring the home that you love. 

Get Going 

In a seller’s market, time is of the essence. Once you have your loan pre-approval and your proof of funds ready to go, your real estate agent can help you get the ball rolling fast. Homes in the hottest neighborhoods are always going to sell more quickly, so set alerts on your smartphone so you’re notified as soon as there are new listings. Ask your Baird & Warner agent about getting access to Zenlist – a mobile app that will allow them to share homes the moment they come on to the MLS, or in many cases, before they do!

Just because you should move rapidly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be selective. Remain patient, and be prepared for a lengthy search. If you have any questions or concerns about the right buying strategy in this sometimes exhausting seller’s market, don’t hesitate to reach out — your knowledgeable local Baird & Warner agent is ready to be your guide on the hunt for your perfect home.

When Home Means More, You Need a Team With More to Offer

Ready to find the home that will make this the best summer ever? Let us help! Home is about so much more than just four walls. Buying or selling a home is a big deal, and with everything we’ve experienced recently, our homes have never been more important. That’s why your local Baird & Warner agent is with you at every step of the way, from finding the perfect home to connecting you with local experts in mortgage and title. Whether it’s the beginning of a story or the end of a chapter, we’re here to help.

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