In a fast-paced market, home buyers have to be prepared for competition. A good home will attract multiple interested buyers and, if you hope to be successful, you'll have to move quickly and make an offer that rises above the rest. These days, that's especially true. With a lower than normal number of homes for sale and buyer demand still elevated, listings are seeing more traffic than ever. In fact, according to one recent analysis, the number of showings rose 11.5 percent last year from the year before. In December, the average listing had six showings and, in some markets, much more. For example, listed homes in cities like Seattle, Denver, Orlando, and Dallas averaged more than 10 showings per listing – and that's at a time of year when the market typically slows. Fortunately, inventory is supposed to pick up this year, which will give buyers more options to choose from and cut down on buyer competition. But the improvement won't happen overnight. That means, home buyers looking at listings in the weeks ahead need to be prepared to act fast when they find a house that fits their needs. More than likely, they won't be the only buyer interested.