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Navigating The Market As A First-Time Home Buyer 2021

By Kevin Vitali | January 29, 2021

2021 has continued to be frustrating for first time home buyer in Massachusetts as well as many of the metro markets throughout the country.  While some areas are shoeing signs of the market weakening popular metro areas are continuing along the same vein as 2020.  So how do you navigate the real estate market as a first-time home buyer in 2021?

What Is Driving The Market in 2021?

As a first time home buyer 2021 understanding the what is currently going on in the market is the first step in successfully purchasing your first home..

We have seen exceptionally low housing inventory the past few years.  There are more buyers entering the market than there are homes for sale. 

Back in 2015 we had 1785 homes on the market on the same day in January in Essex County Massachusetts. In 2021 we only have 483 on the same day.. In 2021 we only have 483 on the same day.  Inventory is at 27% of what it was 6 years ago!

Properties were also selling at 98% of the list price vs 1015 today.  Many homes are going over asking and in half the time in2021.

What A First-Time Home Buyer Should Be Doing in 2021

The data shows that there is much competition among buyers.  Buyers are fighting for good homes. Lets look at some steps you need to take to be successful.

Find A Buyer’s Agent

A good buyer’s agent can make the whole first-time buying experience go so much smoother.  Interview several agents and find one you will be comfortable working with.

A buyer’s agent can help you buy your first home from the very start.  They can help find a lender that is best for you and bring you right to closing.  If you ever heard the statement you don’t know what you don’t know…. It could not be truer.  But a buyer’s agent knows!

Be Prepared

Get pre-approved before looking at homes.  Understand your finances inside out and backwards.  You don’t want to put an offer in on a home and have a surprise later. 

Make sure your agent gives you a good overview of the home buying process, so you have a basic understanding of what is ahead of you.

Educating Yourself On The Market

Knowing what type of market you are in determines many aspects of the buying process.  It dictates how you look for homes, structure an offer, negotiate and how you renegotiate after the home inspection. 

In many markets today, or what is a hot seller’s market, the sellers are in the driver’s seat and have the advantage. 

Understand You Are Competing

Understand what is happening in your local real estate market.  Many first-time home buyers are not aware of what it takes to get a good home and get frustrated, with some leaving the market. 

You need to realize you are competing with other buyers to get a home.  If you do not act quickly and step up, there is another group of buyers who will.  Buyers need to react quickly and stand out among the buyer competition.

Get Into Homes Immediately

The best of homes go under agreement in 3-7 days.  If you think you like a home, you must visit it immediately.  It will be gone a week later.   Most homes are getting snatched up immediately by buyers.

Get on your real estate agent’s system that sends you listings daily.  Review daily and schedule appointments immediately.  Find out if there is an open house and when offers are due.  Waiting a week to get into a home will just mean it is no longer available.

Step It Up

Many homes in hot seller markets can go well over asking.  When it comes time to write an offer step up your game.  Offer a competitive price and keep your contingencies and requests to a minimum.

Offering 10% below asking price will only lead to disappointment.  Your buyer’s agent can help you structure a winning offer.  It is not unusual for a home to get 12+ offers with in days of listing.  Make sure yours catches the sellers attention.

The Home Inspection

Unlike a buyer’s market a seller’s market puts the seller in the driver’s seat.  Be very reasonable about your repair requests.  If you aske for the moon, the seller will just tell you to step aside there is another offer behind yours.

Do not accept a sub-par house.  But just like buying a used car, you need to accept some dings and scrapes.  You are not usually buying a brand-new home.


Being prepared financially and being educated about what is ahead of you will make the buying process much easier on you to begin with.  That all starts with hiring a good buyer’s agent who can help you navigate the 2021 real estate market.  Check out these home buying tips for first time buyers.

This article Navigating The Market As A First Time Home Buyer 2021 is provided by Kevin Vitali your Middleton MA REALTOR 978-360-0422

Other Real Estate Resources:

Many first-time home buyers seek buying a home because they are sick of paying rent.  Petra Norris discusses the pro’s and con’s of renting vs buying as well as which is more affordable.

Bad credit does not necessarily mean you can’t buy a home.  Bill Gassett discusses how to get a home mortgage with bad credit.

Market conditions control your ability to negotiate home inspection repairs.  Paul Sian gives some great advice on how to handle negotiations after a home inspection.

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About Kevin: Kevin has been a full time agent for almost 18 years.Kevin works the Haverhill MA Real Estate market as well as Essexand Northern Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts.Kevin is a regular blogger who enjoys educating consumers about how to make the most of their next home purchase or sale.Kevin can be reached at 978-360-0422.
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  • 2 comments on “Navigating The Market As A First-Time Home Buyer 2021”

    1. I never knew that a house can get over 12 offers in a few days of posting the listing. My wife and I want to buy our first home this summer and I am worried about losing out on good listings. I'll find an agent that can help me structure a winning offer for houses.

    2. My credit is OK. I'm at 620 but my problem is no revolving credit and $2500.00 on my credit which they say goes to my debt to ratio. I only bring in social security and ssinabout $850 a month. I've been getting spousal maintenance since 2014 he has been paying faithfully but he pays with money orders has no record other than me. That's $400 monthly. Any ideas to help me?
      Connie Wright

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