Buying a home in a competitive market can be a huge challenge. Also known as a seller's market, this market means your area has more prospective buyers than homes for sale. This high level of demand drives up prices. It also means you are likely to have a lot of competition when making offers on homes you like. Instead of getting discouraged, it's time to make a plan and be proactive. Here are three tips for buying a home in a seller's market.

Work With an Experienced Local Realtor

In a buyer's market, where there are more homes than buyers, you may be able to have success with a less experienced realtor. But in a seller's market, it's important to work with a realtor who is well-versed in the local market, will know about listings as soon as they go live, and is very responsive. Your realtor should also have a great network, including listing agents. 

Your realtor should be able to answer any questions you have about the local market and their own experience, as well as their success rate when making offers on homes. It's worthwhile in a seller's market to wait until you find the right realtor.

Look at Homes Below Your Budget

A unique feature of a seller's market is that some homes will elicit a bidding war, meaning the home may sell for above the asking price. For this reason, it's a good idea to look at homes that are listed for less than your budget, instead of focusing on homes at the very top of what you can afford. This means that if you find a home you love with many competing offers, you can confidently offer more than the listing price.

Get Pre-Approved Before Looking at Homes

The last thing you need in a seller's housing market is to run into delays in your financing. Sellers are more likely to accept offers from pre-approved buyers because there is a lower risk of the deal falling through. It's also a good idea to research mortgage lenders and work with one that has a great reputation for closing loans quickly and efficiently. Your realtor will likely have suggestions for which local mortgage lenders you should work with.

Armed with these tips and the help of a local realtor, you will be able to buy a home you love, even in a competitive seller's market. To learn more, reach out to a realtor today.