Buyer Cheat Sheet for a Seller’s Market – TAKE NOTE!

Hello Blog Readers – I jumped for joy when I read this article and thought I’d share it!  Read on if you want to be an owner and not just a buyer in this Bay Area Real Estate Market!


Buyer Cheat Sheet for a Seller’s Market


In a seller’s market, home buyers need to be willing and able to act fast to snag the home they want. This spring, areas across the country are facing a limited number of homes for sale.® offers up a cheat sheet for surviving a seller’s market.

  • Be on call. “If you’re only looking now and then when it’s convenient, you’re probably wasting your time,” says James Malmberg, a real estate professional in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He suggests treating house hunting like job hunting. If someone calls with a lead, follow up promptly to gauge whether it could be a good fit and don’t linger.

I have to laugh – I just texted my buyers to show them a house BEFORE the open house!  Waiting till the weekend doesn’t work!  Get out and see homes during the week – when you competition doesn’t even know about the house.

  • Bring the paperwork. To be taken seriously, buyers would be wise to get a mortgage pre-approval letter as well as a “proof of funds” form from their bank to show they have enough to cover a down payment. They’ll be able to act quicker when they do find the right house.

This is where I draw the line.  The Caton Team will not show property to a buyer until they are totally pre-approved.  I know this might sound mean – but when you go house hunting – guess what?  You will find a house!  And in order to compete with other offers – you need to have that loan DONE!  There is not time to get approved when you find the one – we hardly have time to review disclosures and write the offer.  So – if you truly want to become an owner – you need to get pre approved, submit all the necessary documentation and then – you are ready to buy!

  • Limit the contingencies. In a seller’s market, buyers may need to drop some of the contingencies to score the house. Sellers prefer the fewest number of hurdles to closing as possible. If your buyers come in with several contingencies — such as “if” they secure financing — the sellers are more inclined to bypass their offer and take another with less hassle. Also, “don’t waste your time lowballing a seller,” advises Sean Kelley, a real estate professional with Howard Hannah in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Always put in an aggressive offer.”

INDEED – The Caton Team will inform our buying clients as to where the market could take the offer.  You must put your best foot forward – because you may not get a chance at a counter offer.  As for contingencies – each home has its own story – and we approach each offer the same way.  Depending on how many inspections and disclosures are provided in advance will guide each client on how to tackle contingencies.  

Cast a wide net. Search for homes outside prime locations if faced with limited or high-priced choices. Buyers need to carefully consider what they’re willing to compromise on. “Sometimes properties sit, even in a seller’s market, because of a problem that is scaring other buyers away,” such as some renovation work that may need to be done, Malmberg says. Those “flaws,” however, might not be a big deal to your buyers. “Finding a house this way can also cut down on the amount of competition you will face,” Malmberg adds.

As I always say – buying a home is a processes of elimination – not a process of selection.  So look up, look down, look side to side.  Consider areas that are close to your target but may be overlooked.  You won’t know what you’re missing till you try.

The Caton Team is happy to sit down with anyone thinking of buying and discuss the market, how to save, how to be prepared to buy and come up with a plan that works for you!  How can the Caton Team help you? 

Thanks for reading! – Sabrina

I read this article at:

Remember to follow our Blog at:

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:

Visit our Website at:


Visit us on Facebook:

Yelp us at:

Or Yelp me:

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008


Published by

The Caton Team - Realtors

Sabrina & Susan are native Californians - born and raised in the Silicon Valley with a passion for Residential Real Estate. A mother and daughter-in-law duo called - The Caton Team. With over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time. Call | Text at: 650-799-4333 | Email The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true. The Peninsula is our backyard - let us help make it yours. We represent Buyer’s and Seller’s throughout the Bay Area. The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina A Family of Realtors Effective. Efficient. Responsive. What can we do for you?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.