Do these 3 things when looking for a home in a buyer's market

Spring home-buying season is almost here.

Grant Long, senior economist at StreetEasy, expects this to be a busy spring season. A lot of listings will come on the market in March and a really big wave will hit in April and May.

Last year was a really big spring buying season, he says, because a lot of sellers decided it was the right time to list. More than 12,000 units were listed on StreetEasy in March, April and May 2018.

Grant expects even more listings this year because half the listed homes last year didn't sell. That makes spring of 2019 a buyer's market and puts the power in the buyers' hands, Grants says.

Last spring, 70 percent of the homes that sold on StreetEasy went below asking price. Grant says that the median discount was 5.5 percent, which is about $44,000 off the median asking price of $800,000.

1. BE INFORMED. Don't expect deals off the bat. Sellers still tend to be very aggressive on pricing, Grant says, so buyers need to do research. How do you do that? For starters, check out multiple listings. Know how homes compare to one another so you get a better sense of what's going to be a competitive home and what's not.

2. ASSEMBLE A TEAM. Be sure you have a real estate agent, a lawyer, and a mortgage broker in place so you're ready to make an offer when the right home comes along.

3. MAKE A COMPETITIVE OFFER. When you're armed with information and your team is ready, make a competitive offer—even if it is below asking price.

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