With the price of lumber being so expensive, more people are turning to buying existing homes rather than new construction homes. This has led to an influx of buyers that have truly turned most of the country into a seller's market. While buying a home is more difficult, there are some things that your real estate agent can help you with to get you into a home.

Help You Move Fast On New Listings

One key to buying a home is to see a home as soon as it is listed on the market. It is very possible that a home will be listed on a Saturday and be under contract Sunday night, as crazy as that may seem. This means that you need to stay on top of new listings and tour them as soon as you can to see if you want to make an offer. Your real estate agent should be helping you find those new homes; otherwise, you may miss out on a home because you have not been paying attention to the market for a couple days.

In addition, your real estate agent may be able to show you pocket listings. These are homes that are not officially on the market, but the sellers are accepting offers. They may not have the home staged yet, or they might be waiting for their next home purchase to officially close before their old home is put up for sale. Seeing pocket listings can give you a better chance of buying the home since there will be fewer competitive offers on it at the time. 

Help You Make An Offer

You will need to make a competitive offer to buy a house in the current housing market. Thankfully, this is another area that your real estate agent can assist you with. They'll talk to the selling agent to find out how competitive the offers are on the home, which will let you know how much you should be offering above the asking price. Your real estate agent will then look at recently sold homes in the area to find a comparable price, which lets you know if it is worth overpaying for the home and if it is a fair value based on the current selling conditions. 

Your real estate agent can also help with making alternative offers since an escalation clause is often used when someone finds a home they love and doesn't want to lose it. This means that you don't list a price — instead, you say you are willing to be the top offer by a certain amount of money. 

To learn more, contact a real estate agent.