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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With a one-month supply of homes for sale in the Valley, it's definitely a seller's market.

First-time homebuyers are getting a rude awakening.

"They're getting crushed," said Valley real estate expert Dean Wegner. "They're not experienced homebuyers. They're entering thinking it's still actually a buyer's market, and you can offer 10 or 20 percent less, and wait a couple of days and the seller will get back to you. That's far from the case right now."

Wegner said that first-timers are getting beat out by investors and other cash buyers. For first-time homebuyers, this is a learning experience.

"What normally happens with first-time homebuyers is they make two or three offers, and they get rejected because they offer less than the asking price," said Wegner.

"Then they start offering the asking price. On about their 10th house, they realize they have to offer at least 10 percent more than the asking price, and then they get their house. They get a couple of black eyes until they figure out the game and end up buying a house."

Wegner's advice to first-time buyers is to be persistent.

"Look at lots of houses, make offers fast, and be realistic," he said. "It's OK if you're going to lowball the first couple of offers. You'll eventually learn what the game is like."

Bob McClay, Reporter

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