While the low inventory real estate market has sellers relocating to Easy Street, the struggle is real for buyers.  In Sacramento, Zillow reports there were 22.5% few homes on the market in December of 2017 as there were the year prior.  Buyers need to remain vigilant, open-minded and flexible to win in this market.  Here are our tips.

Settle on your location.  This is the one thing you can’t change about your house.  You’re not going to be happy if you don’t get this right.

Don’t rule out stale listings. These homes may have been priced poorly initially.  They’ve sat so long that they’re considered undesirable to many buyers.  Take a close look, you may find something that’s come down in price and will work for you.

Consider a fixer.  You’ve heard it before but it’s a great way to get into your desired neighborhood.  If you’re up to it, consider buying a home 20% below your budget with plans to renovate it into your dream home, or at least a home that makes you happy.

Be the first to know.  Get established with a realtor in your desired area. They should be the first to know about listings that are “coming soon”. 

Act quickly.  Get your financing in place and be ready to jump on appealing listings as soon as they become available. 

Be flexible on closing dates.  Make yourself more appealing to the sellers by being able to close early.  Have your inspectors lined up with your realtor in advance so you shorten the time frame.  This is where pre-approval will come in handy as well.

Get personal.  Many buyers are very invested in not only getting their homes sold, but selling to the right buyer.  Sellers want to know they’re selling their homes to people who appreciate it, will care for it and be good neighbors.  Take the time to submit at thoughtful letter with your offer. 

Timing is everything.  If a house sells quickly, hopefully to you, the seller might need more time getting their move organized.  Don’t rule out allowing them to rent back from you.  It may be a hassle on your end, but it could give you a competitive edge.