House hunting in times of scarcity

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

I've been enjoying a few days of spring-like weather over the last couple of weeks, soaking up all the rays and gathering strength for the next round of waiting in line to see a property with my buyers and elbowing our way through it. 

Alright, the latter is a bit exaggerated but not by much! There are no physical altercations, but there are lines at public open houses. Lines to score a parking spot, lines to get up the stairs or waiting to come back down, lines to peek in a bathroom. 

What else can you expect while house-hunting in times of listing scarcity? 

Short time slots for home-tours: 30 - 45 minutes are normal, 60 if we get lucky, 15 if all the other buyers want to see this particular home, too. 

Short offer deadlines: especially for owner-occupied homes. A few days of back-to-back showings can be exhausting and overwhelming for the seller (and the listing agent) and when the first offers roll in within hours, there's no reason to keep it on the market long. 

Short list of homes to see, a very short list of homes that meet most of your criteria, and occasionally, no homes to tour at all. 

How do you best prepare?

Have patience. Be realistic. Work with the best. Pursue the homes that fit the bill aggressively. Forget about the ones that don't. Make an offer that leaves you with no regrets. Be on stand-by to be able to respond quickly during offer presentation. 

You must be ready to go! It starts with interviewing and hiring the best-for-you REALTOR®. In Maryland a written and signed buyer-broker-agreement has to be in place, otherwise the agent you are talking to and who is showing you the house is considered to be a sub-agent of the seller and obligated to represent his best interests! 

It includes going over all the offer docs, discussing the process and offer strategies with your REALTOR® before you even write your first one. You must be ready to jump on an opportunity! 

You also need to have your financing squared away as much as possible. Know what you can (comfortably) afford and which lender you'll be working with. This is not the market to shop around after you've found a house, nor one where you can afford to work with a lender who is not reachable after 5 pm on weekdays and not at all over the weekend. You need a responsive lender who will punch numbers and get you a letter no matter the day of the week! 

Winning the bidding war

Call me at 240.593.2860 if you'd like my short list of trusted lenders in Maryland and/or would like to discuss the home buying process in more detail. If you are a seller, YES. NOW is a great time to sell. Please get in touch. I may already have a buyer for your home.  

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

Fluent in Real Estate and German.
Old house lover.
Accredited Buyer's Agent.
Certified International
Property Specialist.
REALTOR® on the Run.

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Comments (23)

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Thank you Endre Barath, Jr.! That's what I tell my buyers, give it your best. I don't want to hear "if only we had offered..." if you offer is not the winner. It's ok to be disappointed but it's much easier to move on when you know you made your best offer! This is not the market to hold back, or "see what the sellers comes back with" because they won't. 

Feb 18, 2022 03:20 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

very well said, Andrea- I especially love "Make an offer that leaves you with no regrets."  The best thing they can do is work with an experienced agent like you!!!

Feb 18, 2022 05:06 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, this is all true. Buyers have got to be ready to go, lenders have got to be responsive, and offers have got to be the best they can be. Great post!

Feb 19, 2022 05:50 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a crazy market, I would not want to be a buyer in this market.  Even as an agent it is discouraging to show up to a listing and see other people there seeing it as well.

Feb 19, 2022 05:59 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Andrea - it can be difficult to be a buyer (or a seller) in any real estate market but in times when scarcity of properties for sale exists, the angst can increase.  You're absolutely right about having patience and being realistic.  Of course, it's often easier to say than do.   Good luck to clients and their real estate representation.  

Feb 19, 2022 06:11 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Home buyers are continuously redefining their needs as inventory is scarce and the big wish list is no longer practical

Feb 19, 2022 07:10 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Feb 19, 2022 06:31 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Feb 20, 2022 02:36 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Andrea. Luckily, except at the peak of the condominium conversion era, I have worked in more normal markets. As I read many blogs here about the current market, I am glad to be retired. Enjoy your day.

Feb 20, 2022 05:08 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Andrea -  the stressful market has been going on for some time and the only way keep your spirits high is balancing your day or as we say in HR, work life balance.

Feb 20, 2022 06:00 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Andrea, Great information for those searching for a home during this time. The struggle is real but I'm sure they're in good hands with you.

Feb 20, 2022 07:00 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

It can be difficult for buyers in this current market. I let clients know what to potentially expect, especially those properties that are in high demand, multiple offers are the result. Congrats on being featured in Kathy's weekly picks!

Feb 20, 2022 08:50 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

It can get crazy at times!  There have been a few BA's that got of of line with other agents are some of our listings and we had to 'break up the fight' per se.  We actually weren't there but I got a few phone calls from BA's saying an agent cut in line - as if it were 'her' time....which it wasn't.  Seriously?  So unprofessional.

Feb 20, 2022 09:11 AM
Andrea Bedard

That is something else Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker, that goes way beyond the old "just forgot to put the key back in the lockbox" excuse. Wow.  

Feb 22, 2022 07:55 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

We see a lot of escrows falling out due to rushed offer deadlines and 15 minute showings. It's not necessary, it's not real estate and it's not a sign of the's a sense of the listing agents' urgency and unprofessional behavior. The offers aren't going anywhere! Slow down and close more deals the first time!

Feb 20, 2022 09:25 AM
Andrea Bedard

I LOVE your comment Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets! Yes! I tell my buyers to pass on a house if they feel too rushed to research, think, and put it in writing. There'll be another one, and it may just be a better one. 

Feb 22, 2022 07:48 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Great post Andrea Bedard  so well written - so glad Kathy Streib  feature it as I really do not know how I missed it 

Feb 20, 2022 01:53 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

We are in unprecedented times with a lack of inventory.  Some sellers and listing agents are showing their true colors as well. 

Feb 20, 2022 04:42 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Lots of good advice here! It's definitely a challenging market for buyers. We were at an open house today and there had to have been 100 people through while were there, and that was only a portion of the OH. Agent said 150 people came through yesterday. It's tough to compete, for sure.


Feb 20, 2022 07:56 PM
Andrea Bedard

Just wow! And I thought it's crazy in Maryland Jeff Dowler, CRS.  

Feb 22, 2022 07:49 AM
Gwen Fowler-864-710-4518 SC * Mountain* Lake*Home
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

It's great to have a market like this but it leaves us wondering when it's going to hit bottom.  

Feb 21, 2022 05:34 AM
Andrea Bedard

It does. I am hoping for a slower pace to lead to a more balanced market and sustainable growth from thereon.

Feb 22, 2022 07:51 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Thank you all for your comments! I have had a few wonderfully busy days getting a new listing ready and house-hunting, and barely a moment to check in here! I miss you all and will stop by your blogs this week. 

Feb 22, 2022 07:53 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Glad to see this post featured by Kathy! Your clients are so fortunate to work with you!

Feb 24, 2022 02:13 PM