Should I buy the first listing I see?

Why contract contingencies are a must

Some buyers look for years before they find the right home to buy. These are usually repeat buyers. They already own a home, but it no longer meets their needs. And, they could be trying to find a home in a high-demand, low-inventory market.

In 2008, a couple in Oakland, Calif., made three offers on listings, in competition, before they were successful in buying a replacement home. Granted, they had specialized needs. Most people do when they make a move from their first home to one that will work for them indefinitely.

During the last several years, there has been a dearth of quality listings priced right for the market. Often, when a prime listing comes on the market, there is more than one buyer making offers. Consider yourself lucky if you find your dream house, or close to it, early on in your house search.

Often buyers have a difficult time buying a home they see the day they start looking. What if something better comes along? Is there something better currently on the market? Is the listing worth what the seller is asking?