The Art of Buying in a ‘Seller’s Market’

SF Market Scoop

September 14, 2016

The Art of Buying in a ‘Seller’s Market’

This post is a guest contribution from Dale Boutiette. 

Dale has over 10 years of experience in San Francisco real estate and as of 2016, ranks in thetop 2% of San Francisco real estate agents for homes sold in the area. 

If you live in San Francisco, you know that talk of how ‘hot’ the market is lately, is almost as common as commentary on the weather. So if you are a buyer, how do you win in a ‘seller’s market’? Follow these mantras, and remember: stay calm and carry on!

Be in tune with specific neighborhoods, dynamics, and market demand.

Including the market demand for the specific property you are interested in. Your agent should guide you here, but if you are looking for more information, you can follow a newsletter like ours for the regular scoop on SF’s market fluctuations down to the neighborhood.

Devise an offer strategy that makes you compelling, without having to advocate to a seller directly.

Read: look great on paper! In market conditions like this, sellers will receive many compelling offers and you won’t have a chance to connect with them directly to persuade them to take yours. Look for gaps and strengths and weaknesses of a property, and leverage those. Take into account the anticipated demand, comps, and the condition of the home. This is another case where the right agent can make all the difference. Find someone you click with who has the experience to help you stand out.

Be ready—make sure your finances are in order so you can pull the trigger quickly.

And be ready to go all in if you have to—in a market like SF, sometimes you won’t have a chance to negotiate.

Position yourself so you don’t feel desperate.

There is nothing more stressful than having to be out of your current living situation with no place to go. If you can help it, make sure you have a steady place to live so you don’t feel pressured to buy something that isn’t perfect for you.

Expect Rejection.

I hate to say it, but even the best agent might not be able to win you the home you’re after if others outbid your highest offer. In a hot market, you will lose out on some places, but stay positive, your forever home is still out there!

Work with an agent that balances you.

There’s no question that this market can be a rollercoaster. Make sure you are working with a seasoned vet who will keep you steady and calm, and always keep your best interest at heart.
Remember that your home is out there. With every buyer we have worked with, the home they get turns out to be the right place for them and previous offers are but a fleeting memory. Don’t lose hope–your home is still out there and you will land where you are supposed to be.


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