How to Maneuver Pittsburgh’s Hot Real Estate Market

By Kim Henderson

It is no secret that we are experiencing a hot real estate market here in the ‘Burgh. Being that it currently is a seller’s market,  buyers can end up frustrated if they do not have the right guidance. I would like to help you make this experience as stress-free as possible by providing you with some advice I have learned through my experience selling homes for the past 14 years.

Find an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent.

I feel that continuing my education is the best thing I can do to service my clients. I attend various training sessions within my office, local Board of Realtors, and continuing education courses. Obtaining the Seller Residential Specialist (SRS) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations recently have added to my skill and knowledge base that will benefit both buyers and sellers. I have been honored to receive the FIVE Star Real Estate Agent recognition for multiple years.

Hire your choice agent as an exclusive buyer’s agent.

Many buyers are under the false impression that they will get a better deal working with the listing agent. The agent whose name is on the sign is hired by the seller to work in their best interest. A listing agent cannot protect the interest of both parties. Working with a buyer’s agent does not cost you anything, the seller pays the commission. However, working with a buyer’s agent, allows you to have someone truly represent your interest.

Get your financing in order.

You will need to meet with a lender before starting your home search. The lender will qualify you based on your income, expenses and credit ratings. You will receive a pre-approval letter from your lender that will become your “golden ticket”! When an offer is presented to a seller, a copy of your pre-approval will accompany your offer reassuring the seller that you will not be taking their home off the market only to find out weeks later that you do not qualify for a mortgage.

Make a list of your needs and wants.

Needs are the non-negotiable items that must be present in a home for you to even consider presenting an offer to the seller. Wants are those things that would be nice to have but you could live without. For example, you may need to have 4 bedrooms for your family. That is a necessity. You may want a fireplace, which may not be a deal breaker if the right home comes along. This exercise will help you identify where you can compromise.

Familiarize yourself with the areas you would like to live.

Research school districts, shopping, access to public services, places of worship, recreational areas and any other amenities that you would like to be located near.

Be available to your real estate agent.

In some areas of Pittsburgh, you may need to tour the home the first day it is on the market. Homes are selling fast, usually the first in the door has the best opportunity to purchase the home. Delay may mean disappointment!

Don’t low ball the seller in multiple offer situations.

When you find yourself in a situation where there are several offers competing for the property, do yourself a favor and come in with a very good offer. When considering your offer ask yourself, “How will I feel if I do not get this home?” If you think you would be devastated, don’t play games with your offer. Start with your best!

Listen to the guidance of your real estate agent.

When you choose to work with an experienced, knowledgeable agent, you should trust their advice. An experienced agent will provide you with information on recent neighborhood home sales that will help you determine your offering price. The type of mortgage you will be obtaining, closing date, items you would like included in the sale, and inspections are a few other areas that may make your offer more interesting to the seller. Your agent can advise you on putting together an appealing offer.


Contact me for a free consultation to see how I can help you achieve your home ownership dreams by phone at 412-848-3907 or email at I look forward to hearing from you!