How to make yourself stand out among other prospective homebuyers 

Although the housing market is continuing to improve in a number of ways, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the number of homes for sale in January declined 25 percent compared to a year ago, reaching the lowest number since 1999. With this in mind, states Bloomberg, the market for people looking to purchase a home is currently quite competitive, meaning that buyers may need to make an extra effort to stand out among everyone else.

Since many sellers are asking every bidder to counter, experts recommend including an escalation clause in the original offer, which means you agree to beat the top bid by by $5,000. However, price isn't the only thing that may convince someone to accept your offer. Another strategy you can use involves making yourself appear flexible and easy to work with so that the seller wants to conduct business with you. You may, for example, allow him to stay in the house rent-free for a short period of time after closing so that he can coordinate his move. 

Finally, you can use different techniques to tap into the seller's emotions, such as writing a sincere letter explaining why you love the home and would be the perfect person to live in it. Many people are sentimentally attached to a property, so this can help give them peace of mind when parting with it.

"I'm an online detective, bordering on being a stalker, so we can write a personalized note," Deb Tomaro, a real estate agent in Bloomington, Indiana, told Bloomberg. "A letter won't make up for an uncompetitive bid, but it can help differentiate you among competitive offers."

As the market continues to recover, more Americans may decide that it's a good time to invest in their own property. That being said, it's important for lenders to ensure that borrowers can stay on top of their monthly payments, which they can do by investing in and using loan management software.