REALTORS® Respond: Home Buying Advice

The past year was a wild ride for homebuyers, and the spring market is shaping up to be just as intense. While some experts predicted we’d see things steadily decelerate, now they aren’t so sure. 

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), total housing inventory at the end of January amounted to 860,000 units, down 2.3% from December and down 16.5% from one year ago. Add in high demand from buyers trying to lock in low interest rates, and you see housing prices continue to increase.

In fact, NAR says the median existing-home price in January was $350,300, up 15.4% from January 2021 ($303,600). This marks 119 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record. 

If you’ve been sitting on the homebuying sidelines, these numbers may have you even more hesitant to jump in the game. But don’t let intimidating stats keep you from achieving your goal of homeownership. It is possible to be successful in this complex market. You just need the right guidance. 

To help you get started, we asked three local REALTORS® to give us one piece of advice for today’s buyers. Here are their responses. 

Brock Fletcher, REALTOR® with The Selling Team, Keller Williams Realty 

Fletcher says there are many potential buyers asking the question, “Should I buy now or wait to see what happens?” His advice is to be decisive and make the move. 
“Home prices are increasing, and interest rates are rising. That combination is enough to give any buyer pause,” he said. “But if you are ready to buy, and can afford to buy, I suggest doing it sooner rather than later.” 

As much as buying in a hot sellers’ market is a risk, waiting may also be a gamble. If home prices and interest rates keep climbing, you could end up pricing yourself out of the market, losing the chance to purchase a home you really want. 

“We’re seeing continued low inventory, increased buyer demand, and no indication that prices will decline anytime soon,” said Fletcher. “There is also no reason to believe that interest rates will ever be lower than they are right now. Instead of trying to predict or game the market, it’s more important to look at things from an affordability standpoint. If you want to buy a home, consult with a REALTOR® and make your move.” 

Frank Vicente, REALTOR® with Century 21 Affiliated 

Once you’ve made the decision to buy, and you’ve found a home you love, Vicente’s advice is to be aggressive when making an offer.

“In today’s market. offering over the asking price and competing against multiple offers is expected. Buyers need to set their budget and expectations ahead of time so they know what they can offer and when to walk away,” he said. 

To help set that budget, it’s important to first obtain a mortgage pre-approval letter, preferably from a local lender. The pre-approval is the starting point for a solid, competitive offer. 

“Remember, you’ll likely only have one chance to impress the seller, so instead of writing an offer you hope is good enough, work with your REALTOR® to put together a strong offer you feel confident about,” said Vicente. “Limit contingencies, increase your earnest money deposit, shorten your inspection period, offer to close quickly, etc. If you really love the house, you have to make your best offer right from the start.” 

Amy Jackson, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood

Jackson’s advice is a two-parter that may seem counterintuitive at first, but it makes perfect sense in today’s market — be ready to act quickly and be patient. 

“If you find a house you love, you have to act fast. Homes are selling within a matter of days, so if you wait too long, it could be gone,” she said. “But because there are so many buyers competing for such a limited supply of homes, it’s likely you’ll face some rejection before you win your dream home, and that is where the patience part comes into play.” 

Jackson says the good news is that sometimes those “rejections” actually turn out to be blessings in disguise. She currently has a client who lost a few bidding wars, but those ‘losses’ turned out to be important lessons. 

“She’s actually relieved that the previous offers didn’t work out because the experiences led her to change some things on her wish list and she is looking for something a bit different now,” said Jackson. “It’s an emotional process, and it can be stressful at times, but just know that you will get the house you are meant to have. If you combine logistics and strategy with patience and a positive outlook, everything will work out for the best.” 

This is just a sampling of the advice you will get when working with a local, professional REALTOR®. While this can be a frustrating time to be a buyer, it can also be an exciting, joyful experience with the right preparation and guidance.

For a list of area agents who are ready to help, visit the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® website at