Like most things in 2020, the real estate market was an anomaly. Interest rates tumbled and housing demand increased. This combination of factors fueled the real estate market, which saw home prices explode.

To say the least, the real estate market truly took off and hardly slowed down for most of last year. It was like one long home-buying season, which usually gets going right around spring.

This year, as interest rates begin to show signs of reversing course, future homebuyers can prepare for any scenario this upcoming home-buying season. With increased optimism and relatively low interest rates, this spring home-buying season might be another one for the record books.

Keep these tips in mind this spring.

Get ready for competition
Housing demand remains strong so homebuyers will need to roll up their sleeves to get a deal done. As sellers receive multiple and above-asking price offers for their homes, bidding wars are more common. Homebuyers can prepare for this reality by understanding their buying power and submitting their best possible offer. In this seller’s market, homebuyers may have no other option but to sweeten the deal.

Get a preapproval
Knowing your buying power, as you’ve read, is a key strategy. Getting preapproval is the ultimate weapon in today’s market.

A mortgage preapproval enhances a borrower’s profile in multiple ways. Applicants who are preapproved will have a clearer understanding on the cost for financing a home and their limits on how much they can borrow.

Secondly, and just as importantly, a preapproval lets the seller know that you are already lender-approved and ready to strike a deal. There will be no delays for getting all the necessary lender approvals, speeding up the entire home-buying process. Standing out from the crowd of buyers is definitely an advantage in today’s fast-moving and high-bidding market.

Stick to budget
Now that you know how much home you can afford after being preapproved, it’s important to make a simple promise of sticking to your budget.

Some homebuyers will focus on how much the seller is asking instead of understanding the value of the home. Sticking to your budget can also mean not being afraid to use every budgeted dollar. While the asking price may seem a little high, a few thousand dollars will not make a significant difference in the overall scheme of things. So this home-buying season, don’t be afraid to maximize your budget and find the home you’ve always wanted.

Hire a good agent; stay focused
In today’s market, it’s important to partner with the best. Find a real estate agent you can trust then commit 100% effort to fulfilling your goal.

Hiring an experienced real estate agent is invaluable given the level of activity in the market. You’ll want an agent who’s well connected and is always in the know because things can move fast and you need every advantage possible.

Once you hit the ground running, stay focused. Don’t worry about outside factors or distractions in this hyperactive market. If you find a good home in a location that suits your needs, chances are you have your match. With a great team in place and all your prep work, you can now focus on your target and see it all the way through.