NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The real estate market in Nashville remains one of the hottest in the entire country. It skews toward sellers and places buyers between a rock and a hard place.

Sure, interest rates rock, but the housing inventory is quite rocky. Inventory has dropped nearly 50% from last year according to RE/MAX.

News 2 looked into a few things people should be doing or even avoiding when it comes to buying a home in this wild market.

You’re lucky if you get a deal at all.

“I’ve been licensed for 19 years and I’ve never seen this type of rampant activity, low inventory, and rapid appreciation,” said Jeff Checko, a realtor and broker with the Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage.

Buyers everywhere are looking for a great deal in a competitive market, which has been plagued with bidding wars and lots of California cash.

Checko said if you’re getting a mortgage right now, your chance of getting the deal are pretty slim.

“Not only do we have people coming from other markets and spending that cash, but you also have the competition of the institutional funds that are looking to acquire assets for their rental portfolio. You’re competing with them too,” Checko said, adding buyers are running out of options.

“For me repping buyers right now, the best deal is getting a deal. There’s so much failure involved. so much getting knocked down to the mat and having to get back up, because you were beat out by a higher offer or better terms.”

There are a few things a buyer can do to make the deal, if presented one, a little sweeter.

Checko said buyers need to be aggressive on price and terms, be ready to act fast and most importantly, be sure to hire an agent.

“Everyday I have calls at my brokerage from people who say ‘I’m outside this house, and I see the sign’. That’s not the way to look for a house now. Everyday I get calls from people saying I’m on this very popular website, and I want to see this house. Those homes sold in multiple offers in the first day. You have to have a real estate agent on your side,” said Brian Copeland, President of Greater Nashville Realtors

Get with your lender to make sure you have your cash and financial statements in good shape.

When it comes to getting a contract, you may have to give up concessions. Checko warned to not give up too much.

“I don’t advise people to give up an inspection contingency or maybe go over a pass-fail basis or limit the number of repairs you ask for but certainly maintain that protection,” Checko said.

Remember, cash offers are always “King”. Copeland said when it comes to the golden rules, whoever has the gold rules. He added terms often win over price.

Lastly, if you sleep on it, then you likely won’t sleep in it. In a competitive market like this, you must act fast.

Zillow’s Home Trends expert, Amanda Pendleton, said Zillow has forecasted home values will climb 12.5% in the next year. Meaning, you could be priced out of the market, if you sit on the sideline and wait. With the current rates, Zillow said if you act fast and now, then you could end up saving $2,500 a year or $75,000 over the course of a 30-year mortgage.

“I think the instinct in a crazy market like this is to say ‘I’m going to wait this out sit on the sideline and hold off until the fall or early next year’. And, I think that would be a mistake,” Pendleton said.