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DWYM: How to buy a new home in today's frenzied marketplace

Home buyers are finding a blistering hot housing market
Posted at 6:35 PM, May 11, 2021

Houses are selling in hours these days, often for above their asking price.

Consumer reporter John Matarese speaks with realtors about how you can compete in the hottest housing market in decades, so you don't waste your money.

So you're thinking of buying or selling a home?

It's a great time to sell, but also the most competitive time ever to buy.

So we wanted to find out how to get ahead right now.

In normal times, when you're shopping for a home, you can take your time.

"This kitchen is spectacular, very open."

But these are not normal times. Young parents Jonathan and Tiffany Moore have been outbid on three houses in their hunt for a home.

"It already had several offers before we got our offer in," Tiffany Moore said.

"We prepare our clients, letting them know they need to be prepared to offer over asking price," realtor Denise Taylor said.

The Moore's realtors -- Steven and Denise Taylor -- say buyers need to visit a new listing as soon as the owners allow. And make an offer immediately at asking price.

"You can't make a lowball offer," Steven Taylor said. "The list price right now is the floor."

Even then, you can lose out to another buyer who is offering more, or even paying cash.

"I have been in the business 13 years, and we are in a bubble right now that I have never seen before," realtor Shelly Miller-Reed said.

Realtors Miller-Reed and Amy Roe say it's especially tough in trendy neighborhoods close to the city.

"I had a buyer write an offer on a listing that had 32 other offers on the table," Roe said.

If you are a seller, this market is a dream come true.

You can get multiple offers in a day: but then where do you go?

"A lot of people right now are choosing to rent, to take advantage of the seller's market, and then see what happens on the other side.," Miller-Reed said.

If you rent, you'll be ready to pounce -- with cash -- when your dream home comes up.

But if you want to buy now, Rocket Mortgage says to get an edge:

  • Have a bank pre-approval letter.
  • Add an escalation clause, that automatically matches other offers.
  • Drop contingecies and take the home "as is."
  • Write a personal letter to the seller.
  • And work with a licensed realtor who will hear about upcoming homes.

Miller-Reed's has simple advice for those looking for a home in today's market.

"One of the most important things is to work with an experienced agent.," she said.

And Taylor adds to be ready with what you want when houses are available.

"So we know exactly what is coming on the market," Taylor said.

Team Taylor is hoping to give Jonathan and Tiffany a heads-up on the next hot listing, so they can finally be awarded the "sold" sign.

"You are trying to win the race, but you don’t know where your competitors are on the race track," she said.

Realtors hope things improve next spring as empty-nesters no longer locked in by the pandemic decide to put their homes on the market.

Until then, don't waste your money when looking for a new home.