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When inventory is low, it can be extremely challenging to find and buy the right home. If you are trying to buy a home on a sellers market, there are a variety of steps you can take to place yourself in the best position possible to close on a home.

Set a budget and stick to it.

This is without question one of the most important steps a buyer must take prior to their home search. There are a variety of factors to consider when formulating a budget, such as income levels, lifestyle, number of children, amount of existing debt, etc. Most people have an idea of how much they want to spend on their next home; however many do not actually sit down and crunch the numbers. Once you have arrived at your budget, it is important to understand you must stick to your budget. It is easy to get caught up with your emotions when buying a home and pay more than you can really afford.

Be ready to make a decision on a home.

The best way to give yourself a competitive advantage over the competition is to be prepared to move forward with an offer at any given moment. In addition to having a set budget, you should also do your due diligence by getting pre-approved so you and the sellers know how much of a loan you qualify for. In real estate, you do not always have the luxury of taking your time to think decisions over. You need to be ready to act when the right opportunity presents itself.

Bid competitively if you are serious.

While this is not true in all cases, you must be prepared to bid competitively in a tight real estate market. You may only have one opportunity to throw out a bid, so you think the home is worth it to you. It may be the case where you bid right at the top of your budget to help ensure you get the home.

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People have been hosting open houses for decades. While there are many people today who feel that open houses are not worth the effort, there are a variety of reasons why they should remain a consideration for sellers. Here are some of the main reasons why open houses are still important in 2021.

They bring in traffic

Although open houses often bring nosey neighbors and people who are not looking to buy anytime soon, it does often bring potential serious buyers. If a buyer is serious, they are more likely to schedule a showing after they tour the open house.

They allow buyers to gauge their interest

It can sometimes be challenging to get a full feel/understanding of a home from just looking at listing photos. A buyer who is on the fence about a home from seeing photos online can casually drop by the open house to see if it is worth their consideration. People still love open houses because they can view a home at their leisure without an agent standing beside them. Also,many people like touring homes this way without having to coordinate showing. If a seller is in fact interested in potentially making an offer on the home after the open house, they follow up by scheduling another showing.

They generate buzz.

Open houses serve as a way to generate excitement about a home listing. We must not forget that word of mouth goes a long way in real estate. A person who is touring a house may not be interested in buying the home; however, they may have a friend or family member who is looking to move into the area. The news of a new home listing travels fast and hosting an open house remains an excellent way to alert the community a home is for sale.

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We must not forget that buying a home is an investment. If you plan to sell your home in the near or distant future you must at least consider potential upgrades that will help your home sell quicker and for a higher price. Here are just a few home improvements that every seller should consider before listing their home. 

Replacement Windows

People today want energy efficient homes. Not only are new energy efficient windows aesthetically pleasing, but they help to save homeowners a lot of money on their utility bills. If your home currently features old, outdated windows you should consider replacement windows prior to listing your home. In most cases, you will recoup most of the investment after you sell this your home. 


You can’t say enough about the importance of landscaping when it comes to selling your home. Curb appeal will draw potential buyers to your home and creates a positive first impression. The great thing about investing in landscaping is that it does not necessarily need to be expensive. A splash of color from a few new flowers and plants can go a long way. Many sellers like to improve their walkways to make the home more inviting. 

Bathroom remodeling

In almost all cases, remodeling a bathroom proves to be a successful investment. Most buyers are looking for clean, fresh, and modern bathrooms. Items to consider upgrades include the tub, the tile, the sink, toilet, vanity, and other fixtures. Even a fresh coat of paint will go a long way to revitalize an outdated bathroom.

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The process of buying a home is exciting, as well as nerve wracking. For many, a home is the biggest purchase a person will make in their entire life. With many aspects to consider, it is easy for a buyer to overlook some important details during their home search. Here are a few of the top things homebuyers overlook today.

Added Costs

All too often buyers today get wrapped up in the cost of the downpayment and overlook other costs associated with purchasing a home. In many cases, buyers are not financially prepared for additional closing costs, property taxes, and lender fees. When formulating a budget, it is important to factor these into your math to ensure you can still afford the home purchase. You always want to provide yourself with enough cushion so you do not overextend yourself. 


This is without question one of the most overlooked details by buyers today. For some, limited parking is not an issue; however, for many people, it can be quite the burden. This may need to be a compromise if you find the right home, but it needs to be at least a consideration during a home search.

HOA Rules

Homeowners associations are not for everyone. If the home you are considering is part of an HOA be sure that you take a long look at the conditions and restrictions. You do not want to realize after the fact that you are unhappy with the rules. For example, some HOAs have pet restrictions, which is a deal break for many families. It is also extremely important to factor the HOA fees into your budget because they may push a home out of your price range.

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The COVID-19 pandemic made virtual tours more popular than ever before. Due to various social distancing measures over the past year, homebuyers relied heavily on virtual tours to view listings without leaving their home. As we slowly return to normalcy in our country, many are wondering whether or not virtual home tours will continue to be as popular. With this, here are a few of the main reasons why virtual home tours are definitely here to stay.

Virtual tours help to identify serious buyers.

One of the reasons why agents and sellers like virtual tours is because they help to identify serious buyers. While this is not always the case, it is fair to assume that a buyer who visits a listing in person after seeing the virtual tour online is seriously considering making an offer on the home.

A virtual tour can expedite a home search.

In a sellers market, listings usually do not last very long. A motivated buyer does not want to waste time considering properties containing deal-breakers. A virtual tour allows buyers to gain a pretty good understanding of a home listing. In many cases, a buyer can quickly rule out a home based on things they see in a virtual tour. Residential real estate is quickly becoming one of the fastest moving industries in our country. Any tools that can help a buyer, seller, or agent work to expedite their goals should be worth considering.

Buyers are seeking out virtual tours for convenience.

Because virtual tours have become increasingly popular, more buyers are looking for them during their home search. Real estate businesses who do not invest in virtual tours run the risk of appearing outdated. This is especially true if an agent's local competitors are using them.

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Your real estate agent can be the difference of whether or not you have a pleasant home buying experience or a terrible one. The right agent can lend their expertise every step of the way and find a variety of properties that may work for you. However, every home buyer needs to be careful when choosing an agent. With this here are some helpful tips for choosing the right real estate agent in 2021.

Ask friends and family members for recommendations

While this may seem obvious, it should always be on this list because it never hurts to hear other people’s opinions. While it's helpful to read online reviews, it is usually better to speak with individuals you know personally and fully trust. More than likely, you have a few friends and family members who can refer you to a reputable agent that they have worked with in the past and had a positive experience with. 

Find someone who has a similar personality

Do not be afraid to interview a few agents before choosing one. It is important that you find someone who you are compatible with from a personality standpoint. More than likely, you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person, you want to choose someone you can enjoy or even just tolerate being around. 

Choose someone who has experience in your area(s)

It is almost always in your best interest to select a real estate agent who has experience in your desired area(s). If they are familiar with an area they are better resources than agents who have never worked in a city or neighborhood. Always be sure to ask this question when interviewing agents.

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