What you need to know if you're buying in this hot housing market

Don't Waste Your Money

(WXYZ) - If you're thinking of buying or selling a house in the near future, you may be stunned at what you discover when you jump in. The slow market of the past 5 years has disappeared in desirable communities. Homes that two years ago would have languished for months are now selling in days, if not hours.

Realtor Lori Wellinghoff says there's not enough supply right now for the pent up demand, so she offers some tips to get an edge. First, she says, you need to be preapproved and ready to go.

"You need to act very quickly, and be ready. You need to have your prequalification documentation ready to go on a moment's notice"

Next, she says, forget low-balling: In a hot area you need to offer close to asking price. She says avoid making to many special requests, like fixing a roof. That would have worked two years ago, but now it could make your office seem less attractive.

"In days of yore, you might have said contingent on selling of my existing home," Wellinghoff says. "Those type of contingencies will not let you be competitive with other buyers."

Then she suggests offering a large earnest money deposit: that puts you ahead of other buyers, and make the best offer you can, because you may not get a second chance.

Wellinghoff also suggests you enlist the help of an experienced realtor who may be able to find listings even before they hit the market.

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