Buyers are in for a rude awakening. The business has changed overnight, and Buyers for the most part are still unaware of these changes. We are now seeing just about every offer made on a home for our Buyers be countered with a highest and best request. This happens when the Seller receives more than one offer, sometimes 5 or more, and they are basically going into auction mode.
Buyers, we are now in a Seller's market. I'm really sorry, but the rules have now changed. Remember how your friend told you last year that they were able to "Steal" a home? They told you that they made an almost obscene offer and it was accepted by the Seller? Nope, not happening anymore. We are in a market where there are very few homes on the market and the good ones are getting multiple offers, sometimes on the day it goes up for sale.
The other tough thing is that Buyers are now able to be picky about which offer they select. If you have an FHA or VA loan, you may not be picked as these loans come with some strings attached. Seller's are moving on to cash offers or conventional loans with far fewer problems for them.
If you are looking to buy this year, I highly suggest sitting down with your Real estate agent and fully discussing the local market with them. They should be able to guide you as you start the process of finding a new home. We are telling our Buyers that if you need a night to think about a home, you may never spend a night in the home.