Dated: March 3 2021

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When inventory is low and eager buyers are driving prices up, how can a seller best strategize for a successful home sale--and avoid pitfalls?

Sellers might think that a “hot” market means fast, easy money for their home. After all, a hot market means low inventory combined with lots of buyers looking for the perfect place. In many instances, a hot market does indeed mean a faster sale at or above asking price.

Get Your Home and Property Ready to Show

One of the “lucky” aspects of a hot market is that outdated or quirky homes sell more quickly than they otherwise would. As buyers become more and more desperate for a home, they become more willing to overlook cosmetic flaws, and might even be more willing to accept pricey fixes such as an old roof or leaky windows.

Home staging, on the other hand, is recommended even in a hot market. If you want to attract multiple offers on your property right after listing it, staging is probably the number one way to make that happen. In a hot market, buyers need to move quickly and are driven by first impressions and emotions. If you can’t afford to stage, at the bare minimum the property should be de-cluttered and thoroughly cleaned in preparation for showing.

Marketing Your House: Don’t Overlook the Professionals

Many sellers in a hot market will consider selling for sale by owner (FSBO). The impression in a hot market is that buyers are ready to jump at the first home that comes up for sale, and no marketing is needed. Therefore, why pay anyone a commission if the house will essentially sell itself? If inventory is low, buyers are more likely to use an agent to locate homes for sale either before they come on the market or immediately upon listing. Most of the time, agents are looking on the MLS or talking with other agents in order to find new listings for their buyers. For the most exposure for your sale, you still want to hire an agent to advertise your home to take advantage of the multiple buyers that are out looking.

Be Prepared to Review and Make a Decision on Purchase Offers

Time the placement of your home on the market wisely. Be sure that you will be present or able to review all offers within a short amount of time after the property is listed. Plan on responding to offers within 24 hours. As a common courtesy, if you know you won’t be accepting certain offers, let those buyers know as soon as possible so they can move on in their search. If you plan to counteroffer, do so in a timely manner. It's not uncommon for the negotiation process to take 24 to 48 hours.

Also, beware of the “perfect” offer. Pressured buyers sometimes make promises in their offers that they might not be able to keep just so that they can “capture” your house and put it under contract. If it sounds too good to be true, be aware that as the contract progresses the buyer could encounter unanticipated difficulties in keeping the contractual agreements.

Be Prepared to Move Quickly

Hot markets see more buyers purchasing with cash or minimal financing than other markets. If you’re lucky, your buyer might not need to be approved for a loan, which would greatly reduce the amount of time your property is under contract. If you decide to accept an all-cash offer, you will likely close in a short amount of time.

Be Prepared for Problems with Appraisal

Hot markets often arise quickly. Appraisers might be comparing your property to properties sold at least a year ago. If no properties in your neighborhood have sold recently, an appraiser might have to look back many years to find comparable sales; sales which will likely be for a lot less than your current offer. Be prepared.

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up Too High!

Just because the market is hot does not guarantee multiple offers for over asking price.

House prices can differ drastically within neighborhoods. Many criteria that aren’t readily apparent from researching the MLS or past sales might make a property sell for more. Take solace in the fact that you are selling in an up market and are more likely to sell for closer to your asking price than you would in a down market. And, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who garners more from the sale than you ever imagined, feel free to pop the champagne at closing!

I am a Real Estate Professional with Southern Shores Real Estate in Chapin, South Carolina. Offering Excellent Service with Consistent Results,  I have been assisting clients with purchasing and selling homes in  Camden, Lugoff, Lake Wateree, Lake Murray, Blythewood, Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, Chapin and Newberry areas for years.

Visit my website at for yourself and explore all of your home opportunities. I will get your home sold fast and for top dollar! Call me at 803-315-1940, or feel free to email


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Melissa Dille

Many people choose to work with me when they have real estate needs. I know each person needs individual attention and I provide excellent service with consistent results with each home buyer and hom....

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