How To Be A Successful Pittsburgh Home Buyer In A Seller’s Market

Holding sign the winner is

If you are a Pittsburgh home buyer, you probably have heard we are in a seller’s market! We have seen an unprecedented low inventory of available homes for sale. More buyers are looking to purchase a home than there are homes available to buy.

Because the interest rates have been so low, it is no surprise that so many locals have become Pittsburgh home buyers.

Finding the right home is a process that usually takes some time. In this current seller’s market, things have changed. Due to the lack of inventory, we have seen multiple offers on homes within a day of the house hitting the market. The competition is stiff.

Learning how to maneuver this kind of market takes some skill and experience. I have been selling real estate for over 17 years, and I can’t recall a market like this.

If a Pittsburgh home buyer wants to compete in this market, they will need to position themselves well before making an offer. I’d like to share some tips I use to help my buyers.

Work With A Buyer’s Agent

There is a misconception that buyers will get a better deal if they work directly with the listing agent. The listing agent has signed a contract with the seller. Their fiduciary responsibility is to the seller, which means their loyalties are to the seller. A buyer can hire an agent to work on their behalf at no cost because the seller pays the commission. By hiring a buyer’s agent to work for you, you will have someone in your corner who can genuinely advise you on structuring an offer to be competitive.

Make Your Best Offer First

If you want to purchase a certain home, it’s best to start with your best offer from the get go. Sellers are receiving so many offers; they need a reason to eliminate as many as possible to consider only the best. Trying to lowball a seller in this market in hopes of negotiating a lower price typically only gives the seller a reason to put your offer in the rejected pile.

Be Ready To Make Your Offer

Before you start looking for your home, take the time to speak with a lender and obtain your mortgage pre-approval. Your pre-approval will accompany your offer to provide proof to the seller that you are qualified for the mortgage to purchase their home. There is no time to wait to contact a lender in this market and go through the pre-approval process. Sellers are being inundated with offers and have no reason to wait for one more.

Increase Your Earnest Money

The amount of earnest money shows the seller that you are serious about the purchase of their home. Putting more money down will let the seller know you are serious about purchasing the home. The earnest money is held in an escrow account until closing and will be subtracted from the amount of cash you will need to bring to closing.

Get Creative

Many buyers have been offering thousands of dollars over the asking price. This has caused some issues with appraisals. Working with your lender, we can figure the best way to make an offer. In addition to offering a price over asking, you may be able to pay a portion of the seller’s closing costs. The seller is concerned with their bottom line. How we get, may not matter. Some other terms or conditions may make your offer appealing to the seller.

Be Prepared To Act Fast 

Homes are selling fast, and there is no time to waste when presenting your offer. There may not be time to “sleep on” your decision. Quick decisions are necessary for this market. Knowing what you want before you start your search will help you become a successful Pittsburgh home buyer.

Don’t Start Your Search At Your Maximum Qualification

If you start your search at your maximum mortgage qualification, you will not have any wiggle room if you want to offer a price over asking. Your lender will determine your price range when they pre-qualify you.

I have been helping Pittsburgh home buyers win the negotiation in this crazy market. I’d love to put my 17 years of experience to work for you!

Contact me by phone at 412-848-3907 or email at to schedule a free consultation to discuss your real estate needs.