How To Buy A Home In An Extreme Seller’s Market (That’s Occurring During A Pandemic)


Spring is usually the start of the home-buying season, but 2021 might defy the old model, one that counted on seasonality—and the traditional ways we shop for houses.

The pandemic has ushered in new rules for home shopping and buying. Instead of showing up unannounced to a packed open house—with finger-food platters that everyone picks from—potential buyers are scheduling in-person visits or even conducting walkthroughs via Facetime and Zoom. Oh, and the munchies are gone now.

On top of the pandemic changes, much of the country finds itself in an ultra-competitive seller’s market. All of this can make buying a house feel challenging, if not impossible.

Forbes Advisor asked more than 20 real estate experts, including brokers and lenders, for their best advice for buyers in the current market. Experts weighed in on what you might encounter this spring, buying strategies and how to find the best real estate agent.

Don’t Be Shocked to Pay More Than the Asking Price

Home-buying activity is hot—and it will likely just get hotter as the spring buying season approaches. Instead of the pre-pandemic spring buying surge eager buyers already have been lining up to buy a house for months, including during the usually slow winter season. This has occurred even as extremely low inventory has made it harder to lock in a deal, never mind get a discount on a home.

“We will definitely see more buying and selling, but it won’t be the typical spring spike because the market is already busy, and the pandemic is continuing to influence how people buy and sell homes,” says Daniel Beer, CEO of Beer Home Team of eXp Realty in San Diego. “Although interest rates are starting to inch up, inventory is still low. I think we will continue to see multiple offers and homes selling well over the asking price.”