A number of market conditions can impact how you negotiate during your home-purchase negotiations. One of those conditions is low inventory. In many cases, low inventory means prices are on an upward trajectory.

When the buying competition is fierce, low inventory could be a part of the equation, turning it into a seller’s market. This does not mean, however, that you can’t compete as a buyer.

Here are a few ways that you can make your offer stand out from the rest in a seller’s market.

Get Pre-Approved

Your greatest ally is preparation. Don’t fall for gimmicky offers that are full of low interest rate promises. Instead, work with a local lender with a stellar reputation that can get you pre-approved.

Unlike a pre-qualification, a pre-approval is a more potent tool as you enter the home-buying process because it requires more financial information. When you know how much home you can afford you have more purchase power on the market. Often, a seller’s real estate representative will note the type of offer that comes in and which lender the buyer is using. As a person hoping to buy a home, you gain more leverage if you have a pre-approval with a reputable lender.

A pre-approval also educates you on your financial picture. This financial snapshot explains how much home you can afford, provides an estimate on your finance amount and gives you an idea of the fees you may experience.

Close the Deal Faster Than the Rest

Getting pre-approved can speed up your offer and the escrow process. For many sellers, time is valuable. So, if you can show that you can close quicker than anyone else, the chances of your offer being selected increase.

Special loan programs, like our Keys on Time Guarantee program that guarantees quick closing times, appeal to sellers.

Work with a Good Real Estate Professional

A strong offer can only go so far. Without knowledgeable representation, your initial work of getting pre-approved stalls. Be sure to interview and research multiple real estate agents. The best ones understand the market’s conditions and have experience in your desired neighborhood. You will know if the agent possesses these traits after a few conversations with them and some of their past clients. Finally, having someone connected to the rest of the real estate ecosystem will also be beneficial. Relationships matter and your agent’s established relationships can help you along the way in multiple areas. For example, he or she may have a pipeline to upcoming listings or know the seller’s agent well. We have a list of recommended real estate agent’s here.

Remember, preparation is one of your strongest friends as you set out on the homebuyer’s journey. Make the most out of your preparation by getting pre-approved, finding the optimal loan program/lender and working alongside a reliable agent.