As any serious buyer knows the number of buyers far outnumber the listings. It feels like the minute a home in good condition hits the market several offers are being considered and the home goes under contract. It's a race to get there and put in the winning offer. Often buyers are barely looking at the house and the idea of due diligence goes right out the window.
So how do you compete and at the same time make a well informed decision? First really know what you want in a home, know the ideal location and features you must have. Don't waste time on homes you are not going to buy. Your agent can set up listing alerts with the area you want, features such as you must have a basement or need 4 bedrooms - looking at homes you are not going to buy in an area you don't want to live in makes the search even more frustrating. If you are looking in a lot of areas time to think about what is really important to you are there amenities you want and does one area more ideal for you? Are you willing to take down wallpaper, paint, put in new flooring? If not pictures tell the story eliminate homes needing that type of work.
So now you have a better idea of what your next home looks like time to get into few homes. Make sure you dedicate time to look at homes - many agents put homes on the market on Fridays so cancel your weekend get away plans. Make sure when you are touring homes you look at the bones of the house - don't get hung up on paint colors or bad furniture. Find out about the house hold systems, the HVAC, Windows, Roof,etc these are the items that keep your home intact and will cost big bucks if they need to be replaced. Knowing this information should help you decide if it's a good idea to fight for that home.