The low supply of homes for sale in many markets means buyers must be prepared for bidding wars. Buyers should be strategic in how they present their offers, and avoid paying too high a premium for their "perfect" property.
Obtaining written confirmation of preapproval for a mortgage is a must, real estate agents say. Sellers looking over multiple offers will likely discard those on which financing is not assured.
In highly competitive markets like New York City, where bidding wars are now the norm, buyers should look in a price range slightly below their maximum in case they have to bid up, said Gea Elika, the principal broker at Elika Associates in Manhattan. "Today, you usually have to overpay to get something that you like," he said. "The question is: How much do you overpay and how quickly will you recoup that premium?"