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For Kansas City homebuyers, realtor says 'the rules of game have changed'

Elle Moxley
KCUR 89.3
Whether buying or selling, real estate agent Nestor Zuluaga recommends having an expert help you navigate the housing market.

Supply and demand are driving up home prices and leaving little room for negotiation. Here are some tips on navigating the purchase or sale of a house.

Homebuyers are in a tough spot in today's market. Homes for under $150,000 are in short supply, fixer-uppers are relatively non-existent and houses are going under contract within days of being listed.

When it comes to bargains for first time buyers, "a deal is still being able to secure a house," said Nestor Zuluaga, owner of the Zuluaga Real Estate Group.

"I think we just need to understand that the rules of game have changed. And we need to understand how to move our pieces so we can get to that goal."

Buyers should be prepared to move quickly, consider moving outside their geographic comfort area and have cash to cover a down payment, closing costs and the difference between the home's appraisal and purchase price, according to Zuluaga.

Even with the hot market spurring multiple bids for a home, an agent can help ensure an offer is reputable. Even though houses are selling with ease, sellers should know that improvements to the house will bring in premium bids from buyers. The housing crisis is not the same as in years past the realtor points out.

"I don't know that the market will ever cool off," Zuluaga said. "It's going to take a long time because the shortage of inventory. It's dramatic."

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