in partnership
Outdoor recreation has emerged as one of the significant "needs" on the homebuying front. Opportunities to swim, play, and relax are more desirable than ever.

5 ways to gain a buyer's advantage in a seller's housing market

Staying at home amid a global pandemic can really change your interests. After spending so much time inside, it's easy to notice the things you took for granted and the amenities you wish you had.

Outdoor recreation has emerged as one of the significant "needs" on the homebuying front. Opportunities to swim, play, and relax are more desirable than ever. According to Margo Allan with Compass Real Estate, urban high-rise dwellers are now gravitating toward suburban options that include plenty of outdoor potential.

Unfortunately, the high demand comes at a time of low inventory. Here are five ways you can close on a home you love in a market that currently favors sellers so heavily.

1. Work closely with a strong real estate agent

You want someone who knows the real estate hot spots here in the Northwest and can find the best value for you. Scarcity is a huge factor in creating a seller's market, so you should try to find an agent who is both diligent and available to follow the constant changes. You might make a new best friend because you'll be talking to them so often.

2. Get pre-approved by a reputable lender

This allows you to make an offer the seller can trust. Other buyers who rush in without a pre-approved loan might get rejected because their offer doesn't have the merit that yours does.

3. Start strong

Open with your strongest offer, and don't demand too much. Sellers have the advantage right now. That means you likely don't have much room to negotiate the price, move-in date, remodels, or other contract contingencies. Margo says that homes continue to sell ABOVE list price in the greater Seattle area, so this isn't the time to go bargain-hunting.

4. Be ready to compromise

You could lose your chance at a home you like because you kept searching for a home you love. In a seller's market, you will need to be flexible on certain aspects of your future home. You'll also need to be ready to jump on one that matches most of your criteria. Updates happen quickly in a seller's market, and competing buyers aren't going to wait for you to make a decision.

5. Know your limits

The last thing you want is a bidding war with competing buyers. You never know the wealth of your rival buyers, but you do know what you can handle. Try putting forth earnest money to show you're ready to lock in your offer and move forward with the closing process. In most cases, you'll get back the earnest money you deposited if the seller chooses another offer.

A seller's market can turn into the wild, wild West with buyers frantically submitting offers in hopes of settling into the home of their dreams. Your home buying experience doesn't have to be like that. Choose the right agent and channel the proper mindset, and you'll have a buyer's advantage in a seller's market.

If you are looking to list and sell your home, Margo Allan with Compass Real Estate specializes in marketing and selling waterfront properties on the Eastside.

Check out all your options for real estate agents and properties at

This beautiful home on the shores of Lake Sammamish is on the market! Watch the recent Seattle Refined segment that gives you a look inside.