I-Team: How to be a competitive house shopper in a seller's market

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 15:28:15-04
The home buying market can be tough right now.
Our I-Team took a hard look at market data and found there aren't many homes to buy out there for people looking for start up homes.
Whether it's new or used, you would think it would be easy to find a home to buy right?  Think again.
"A lot of demand, you know, it's just eating up inventory," said Brad Monroe, the director of the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors.  
After crunching market data, the I-Team found home sale prices are going up, while inventory is very low.
It's making it hard for first time home buyers.
Pamela fisher knows the struggles in buying a house.
"Oh absolutely it was so discouraging." she said.
Pamela lost out on eight different bids before finally landing her home.
She tells us, "It was surreal. The fight for five to six months, so many road blocks, so many people saying no, so many closed doors so many tears."
Brad Monroe just sold a house that had 11 offers in four days.
Monroe said nearly a quarter of the buyers are cash buyers so if you're not aggressive and not pre-approved for a loan, chances are it may take multiple tries before you get one.
"It's a lot of people bidding for the houses and bidding over the asking price." Monroe said.
Compared to the rest of the country Tampa has the eighth largest increase in home values in the last year.
We also have the eighth largest decrease in for sale inventory.
So what can you do? There are city and county programs if you qualify. Hillsborough has a program that helps first-time home buyers who qualify with their down payment.
Pamela found home buying counseling in the Housing and Education Alliance.
"I'm just so happy that it all happened," she said.            
Realtors advise you to get preapproved, prequalified, and be aggressive.
It also pays to be persistent no matter how frustrated you get.