Who’s Calling the Shots: Buyers or Sellers?

The housing market is changing, creating a “new playing field for home owners, who are finally able to sell, as well as would-be buyers who’ve been delaying a purchase in anticipation that prices would keep falling,” Money Magazine reports.

Mortgages for home purchases are expected to soar 55 percent in 2013, according to forecasts by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“The days of buyers sticking it to sellers are over,” says Tracie Peay, a Salt Lake City real estate practitioner.

Still, home sellers should keep their expectations in line: Price increases are to be modest and gradual. Fiserv forecasts home prices will rise 3.3 percent a year in value between now and 2017.

As for buyers, they may need to have a better understanding of the increased competition they may face.

“If you want to buy, you have to be ready to make an offer,” says David Howell, chief information officer at McEnearney Associates, a real estate agency in the Washington, D.C., metro area. He says the first offer should be close to the home buyer’s best offer.

Lowball bids will get ignored, adds Fran Bailey, a Chicago real estate professional.

According to Money Magazine, home sellers may have the most bargaining power in the West, while home buyers may be more in control in the Midwest and Northeast.