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2017: How to Buy a House in a Seller's Market

If you're searching for a home in Chicago this summer, you're going to run into competition. It's a seller's market around here, with Curbed reporting a 9.3 percent increase in houses sold and the prices going up by 12.4 percent compared to last year. Here's what to look for and know about buying a house in the current market.

The List Price Is Only the Starting Point

A seller's market means that the list price is the bottom of the bidding war. If you try to come in with an offer under this figure, you face a lot of rejection. Determining exactly how high you should go above the listing price depends on many factors, from the desirability of that particular Chicago neighborhood to the available housing inventory.
A location that doesn't see many new listings is going to attract a lot of attention from buyers wanting to get into that area.
In some cases, you may run into a house that's well beyond market value, even in a hot real estate market. When you submit your offer, justify why you set the particular price point. If the home needs many repairs or a major system like a furnace needs replaced, you can use these expenses as the reasoning behind a lower offer. 

Prepare for a Fast-Moving Market

2017: How to Buy a House in a Seller's Market with BrightLeaf
You don't have a lot of time to put together your offer if you want the house. You may be competing with house hunters willing to make same-day offers. Choosing the right property is a big decision, but you either need to evaluate your options quickly or be prepared to deal with a lot of missed opportunities on your journey.
Keep in mind that moving quickly may make it difficult to consider everything that goes into the house buying process. You may skip over inspections that you would otherwise do or fail to add contingencies because you want to avoid rejection. Once you move in, it's entirely possible that you have a lot of problems that need remediation or renovation before you can properly enjoy your new Chicago home.

Look for Realtors With Connections

You may not see the best listings in Chicago if you aren't working with the right realtor. These experienced pros hear about listings before they are publicly available. You gain a critical window before other buyers see the property, which could make all the difference.
Look for realtors with many happy clients and a long history in Chicago. Ideally, you find someone who knows a lot about the specific neighborhoods you have your eyes on. Online review sites and other websites could provide you with additional information on the prospective realtor.

Consider an Alternative to House Hunting

You want to buy a house that matches your needs and requirements. When you're trying to get in ahead of other buyers, you end up compromising on important details. If you can't find the house you want, or the prices fly out of your budget during a bidding war, think about building a home. BrightLeaf Homes helps you put together an affordable house that meets your expectations - and beyond. The market might be competitive in Chicago, but you can end up with an eco-friendly home easier than you think. 
Contact BrightLeaf Homes if you're done with Chicago house hunting in a seller's market. We'll be happy to discuss the options that you have for your future, forever home.
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