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Buying in a seller’s market

Posted: September 22, 2020 by Coldwell Banker MM Parrish

Buying in a seller’s market in Gainesville can be challenging. With mortgage rates and housing inventory at historic lows, Gainesville home buyers find themselves fighting over a limited amount of houses for sale. Bidding wars and offers at or over asking price are not unusual.

This news excites Gainesville home sellers. Gainesville home buyers...not so much.

Gainesville is a seller’s market

Gainesville was a seller’s market long before the start of the spring selling season. Normally in the spring, the Gainesville real estate market finds home buyers and home sellers playing a frenzied rendition of Musical Houses so that everyone can be where they want to be before school starts back up again in the fall.

When the anticipated spring wave of For Sale signs in Gainesville neighborhoods didn't materialize due to pandemic restrictions, housing inventory contracted even more.

Home buyers fight over a limited number of houses for sale in a seller’s market – Photo of house with sold sign

After a slow start to the spring home selling season due to COVID-19, the Gainesville area real estate market came back strong in June and July, outperforming 2019 metrics.

Houses in Gainesville FL seem to go under contract as fast as they hit the market, with home buyers fighting over the limited supply. Here are 3 tips to help buyers navigate a Gainesville seller’s market.

Here are 3 tips for buying a house in a Gainesville in a seller’s market – “House Buying Tips” photo)

3 tips for buying a house in Gainesville in a seller’s market

Be prepared

No matter what kind of market we are in, it's always a good idea to be prequalified before starting a home search. Getting prequalified for a mortgage gives home buyers a good idea of how much they can spend on a house.  Knowing a buyer is prequalified also reassures a home seller that the buyer is in a position to purchase their home. 

During these COVID times, being prequalified before house hunting has become even more important. 

Because of the pandemic, in-person showings are often limited to prequalified home buyers. Given how quickly Gainesville houses are going under contract, home buyers who are prepared with a prequalification letter eliminate the stress of scrambling around at the last minute when they find a house they like.

Plan ahead

Homes for sale in Gainesville that are priced under $400,000 are in short supply.  It is not unusual for sellers to receive multiple offers. Because of the intense competition for homes, the home search can take longer than buyers may anticipate. Consulting with their Gainesville real estate agent will help give home buyers a better idea of when to start their home search based on their situation, price point, and timeline.

Recognize market realities

In a seller’s market, there are more buyers than there are houses for sale.  How strong a seller’s market is depends on the price point. When there are more buyers in a given price point than there are houses for sale, sellers are in a stronger negotiating position than buyers are. 

What does this mean for a buyer who wants a house that is in great shape, that is priced to market, and that other buyers are probably going to want as well? 

In a seller’s market, it means that lowballing is a really, REALLY bad idea. Sellers are not obligated to respond to an offer. Although there is no such thing as a guaranteed win, serious buyers stand a much better chance of success if they put together an offer based on what other comparable homes in an area have recently sold for.

These are just a few tips for buying in a seller’s market. By working with an experienced Gainesville real estate agent who knows the market, home buyers will receive even more tips to help them compete in this Gainesville seller’s market.

Image of a set of brand new house keys for a new homeowner

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