Buyers can balance the bargain hunt with realistic expectations.

By Rachel Koning Beals of U.S. News & World Report

Depending on the location, house hunters may find themselves in a strange, transitional real-estate market that’s emerging from historic lows.

Does the buyer have an advantage? Yes, in many areas, that’s still the case.

But buyers have guidelines for success in this type of market, too. They need to show that they’re serious if they hope to secure their dream house amid stiff deal-sniffing buyer competition or sellers so frustrated they may be willing to hold out for a stronger market turnaround. Professionalism and realistic expectations can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth and timely closing transaction, which is important to buyers and sellers alike.

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Traditional ‘rules’ of homebuying return