Year to date, the metropolitan Washington D.C. market is steaming ahead of 2012  by nearly 12 percent. So far this year, 13,982 homes have gone under contract, which is nearly 1,500 units ahead of last year at this time. (Data Source: 
Meanwhile, though inventory has edged up a smidgen, buyers are still facing a tight market and many times will find themselves up against other buyers to compete for the home of their choice.
There's currently a 1.31 months' supply of homes, which means there's roughly a 6-week supply of homes and that if no other houses come on the market, the inventory will be depleted in 6 weeks. That's a tight market, but one that the savvy buyer can learn to win with the right strategy and guidance.
Currently, it's about price. The question for buyers today is, "Are you willing to do what it takes to win the house of your choice?" And, of course, they'll answer - "Well - what does it take?"
1) Be willing to provide the seller a good price. It's all about bidding - but this time around, bidding up. Most communities are moving up about 5-8% in value over last year (some are even hotter!), so be ready to provide the seller what s/he's looking for - the most money they can get in today's market. Most homes are selling for right around or above asking price.
2) Fewer contingencies. This means you may have to forego some of your favorite contingencies as a buyer - home inspection, radon, even appraisal in some cases. Or if the seller agrees to a home inspection - be careful what you ask him or her to repair. In a multiple contract situation, they can easily let you go for a buyer willing to purchase the home without asking for a lot of fix-ups.
3) Hot Market Gimmes. Sometimes, terms can help more than money. Would you be willing to let the seller rent back a few weeks so they can get sold, moved and settled into their new home? How about letting the sellers time to find their next home as a contingency for them?
There are plenty of other strategies and techniques to use for the savvy buyer - and an experienced and well-prepared real estate professional can help you Up, up, up!navigate today's fast paced market.
Looking to see what's happening in today's market? Weichert Realtors in McLean, Virginia is offering a Market Update Seminar, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. Call (703) 821-2300 for more information. We're located at 6257 Old Dominion Drive, McLean VA. See you there!