BUFFALO, N.Y. - If you're looking to buy a single-family home in Western New York, you're going to have some competition and fewer homes to choose from.
At the end of January, there were roughly 3,400 homes for sale in the eight counties of Western New York, according to the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors. That's the lowest number on record. Compare that to nearly 10,000 homes for sale at any given time between 1990 and 2000.
Lower interest rates are bringing out more homebuyers.
The low supply and high demand is making this a seller's market. Some realtors are seeing sellers get between $20,000 and $50,000 over asking price.
Broker associate Al Ryer of Remax North said that's especially true in the City of Buffalo where the inventory is far lower than the number of people looking to buy.
"Pricing is critical, and if you do price it right, in the city of Buffalo, you're still probably going to wind up 20, 30, 40, or even $50,000 over asking. If you do that same scenario in Amherst or Clarence, Orchard Park or Hamburg, you're still going to end up well over asking," said Ryer.
Ryer adds that it's important not to price your home too high to start.
"If you price it right, all of the right buyers will get to see the property. If you price it too high out of the marketplace, all of the people who should be able to afford your house won't see it," said Ryer.
He said there are also more cash buyers and people putting down larger down payments to try and beat out the competition.
Ryer offered three key tips for buyers: 1) It's a business decision, so be sure to keep in mind resale value and location. 2) Don't buy based on emotion. Too many people buy with their eyes instead of making a sound financial decision. 3) Look at what's wrong with or missing from a home versus what's right. That will help you determine if the asking price or price you're willing to pay is really worth it.