If you’re hoping to buy a home in today’s highly competitive market, it’s important to make your offer stand out. If you’ve gotten advice from someone who’s purchased a home before, know that what’s worked in the past may not ring true anymore.

Today’s buyers shouldn’t shop for a home and expect to negotiate a lower sales price. In a typical housing market, buyers try to determine how much less than the asking price they can offer and still get the home. From there, the buyer and seller typically negotiate and agree on a revised price somewhere in the middle.

Today is different.

The current housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are:

• Receiving an average of 3.6 offers
• Selling in a median of just 18 days

This is due, in large part, to the fact that there just aren’t enough homes available for the number of buyers who are eager to purchase them. Low supply and high demand means homes often sell for more than the asking price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.

You may need to rethink how you look at a home’s asking price.

If you’ve found your dream home, you need to be realistic about today’s housing market and how that impacts the offer you’ll make. Offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not cut it right now. Currently, the asking price is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. That’s important to keep in mind as you work with your agent to craft an offer.

More homes may be on their way, giving you more options.

If you’re having trouble competing against other buyers, there is good news. There are some signs more sellers are about to enter the market. George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for realtor.com, says:

“Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.”

As a buyer, that means more homes will likely be listed this season, which gives you hope for more options. Just remember, you still need to be prepared to make a competitive offer if you really love the home. Here’s a look at the percent of offers over asking price, so you can get a feel for what to expect.

Bottom Line

Even if more sellers list their homes this season, it will still be a highly competitive market. Be ready to act quickly when you find the right home for you. Then, let’s work together so you can submit a strong offer based on today’s current conditions