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Buying a home in a seller's market?

Here are tips on how to get the best deal.

TAMPA, Fla. — Right now, the Tampa Bay area is in the heart of a hot housing market, meaning if you want to sell, you should be able to do it quickly and for a good price.  But if you want to buy a home, you'll be up against a ton of competition.

According to Zillow, home values in the Tampa Bay area have climbed 10.3 percent in the last year and are still climbing. They're even expected to go up to 11.7 percent over the next 12 months. 

 Amanda Pendleton is a Zillow home trends expert watching the market. 

"Homes are flying off the market in seven days, which is 10 days faster than they were a year ago and twice as fast as the national average," Pendleton said. 

Pendleton says buyers in Tampa need to be prepared to work fast. 

"You're going to have to be ready to jump, right? So, you're going to want to have all your financial ducks in a row  before you even enter a competitive market like Tampa's."

RELATED: Is our booming housing market headed for a bust? Realtor says it’s not like before the Great Recession

Her best tips for buyers: 

  • Get pre-approved for a home loan -- it requires a more extensive financial check and lets sellers know you're ready to go.
  • Become tech-savvy -- "You want to use real estate technology to give yourself a speed advantage so virtual 3-D home tours and digital floor plans can give you a really immersive experience of the home from the comfort of your living room. And that's going to help you whittle down your options a lot faster."
  • Make your best offer first -- especially if there are multiple offers.
  • Use an experienced realtor -- who has dealt with competitive situations.

Finally, she says don't delay! If you want or need to buy a home, follow those tips and do it now. The historically low-interest rates may not last much longer and prices are only going up!

RELATED: Millennials are ready to buy up the home market, but there might not be enough inventory in Tampa Bay

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