How can I buy a house for my family when investors keep scooping up the houses in my desired area?

Asked by Jforchange, 92078 Fri Jan 17, 2014


Do you have any tips on how to beat out investors to purchase a home? I'm looking for a home for my family and feel like I'm at a serious disadvantage. I currently own a townhome that will likely sell very quickly when the time comes, but cannot risk selling before securing another home for us to live in. I also need to use the proceeds from my current house as the down payment on a new one.

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, ,
Sat Jan 18, 2014
I have never heard of an investor paying retail, but I guess it is possible. More likely, you are trying to purchase like a cash buyer without actually being one because you haven’t sold your existing home yet.

When I try to figure out my own interactional failures I reverse the roles, ask what I would do if I were the other party. If you were the seller and willing to take $x for your home, would you take it from the guy that can close in a couple of days or from the guy that wants to you wait for an undetermined time until he lists his home and then finds a buyer?

It is not unrealistic to believe you can find a deal, it is unrealistic to think your position is the same as a buyer that can close this coming Friday.

The source of your dilemma is not the actions of the investors; it is your lack of action and the desire to work backwards. Hire a Realtor you trust and lay out a plan, good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
I answer questions about financing real estate based on my decades of experience dealing with mortgage underwriters. This answer is my personal opinion, has not been reviewed or approved by the company I work for. I do not offer legal or tax advice, if you need answers from an attorney or CPA find one knowledgeable in your local market.
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1 vote
Jim, 'Blackstone' is consistently paying 96% of fair market value. That's a hard offer to turn down.
Flag Sat Jan 18, 2014
Steven Shaff…, Agent, Vista, CA
Wed Jul 9, 2014
You can sell your home with a contingency on finding suitable replacement housing in your contract with the buyer. If you do not find a suitable replacement home, you can cancel your sale or negotiate for an extension. Additionally, arm yourself with a strong and convincing pre-approval letter - preferably with the Automated DU Findings, proof of your credit score, and proof of funds to close accompanying your letter. Work with an aggressive agent who responds quickly to phone calls / texts / emails from you and the realtors he/she is dealing with on your behalf. That combination is really the best you can do. The only other thing you could do is borrow cash from a wealthy relative and pay them back with a cash out refinance on a new home after you close escrow.
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Chad Roberts, Agent, Henderson, NV
Sat Jan 18, 2014
Efficient representation is imperative to ensure a successful purchase in many investor heavy markets. An effective strategy with a Realtor can assist with prompt offers. In doing so, be sure pre-qualification is in order and you are ready to move on that property with a strong offer.

Chad Roberts
Realty One Group
0 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jan 18, 2014
What did your agent say? If you are not committed to working with a single agent then the agents writing the offers for you probably aren't as invested in the process as you want or need. Interview a few agents and choose someone who will aggressively represent you.

There are 8 important questions every buyer should ask an agent before letting them write an offer. I'll put a link to the questions, and the answers, in the web reference below.

J.R. Thrasher
(619) 929-0105
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
If you are well qualified, have a down payment and conventional mortgage pre-approval - there's always a way. I've gone so far as to door knock in neighborhoods trying to find a home for a buyer. The other option is to buy a brand new home - which does exist in this zip code. When buying new, you don't have to compete with multiple offers - the process is dramatically easier!

I'd love to help you. Give me a call! Take care.

Cindy Davis, Broker
SD Home Source Realty
Phone: (619) 379-8616
CA DRE #01363537
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Kai Kamp, Agent, Escondido, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
Lots of great information here for you already, so I'll just add this: If you're looking in a certain neighborhood and there's no houses on the market I usually can find someone to sell to you via different methods of creative marketing. This may be the best bet if you're looking to buy in a popular area like San Elijo.

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Sharyn Seymo…, Agent, San Marcos, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
I just worked with a young couple moving up from a Condo to a home in Santa Fe Hills in San Marcos. They were able to get their new home purchase contract accepted even though there were 4 other bidders. Sadly - the results have a lot to do with the realtor you are working with - how the contract was written, the follow up, the documents attached to the contract such as proof of funds and loan qualification letter. If you have a good agent you can make this transition from a condo to a new home regardless of the investors bidding against you.
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James Deskins, Agent, Worthington, OH
Fri Jan 17, 2014
Are you looking for homes that are under market value? The reason I ask is that investors usually go after bank-owned homes, estates, etc. They don't usually "invest" in the meat of the market.
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Peter Whittet, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
You have lots of good input for positioning, I would add a piece of insurance that I haven't seen brought up yet and that is a loan that will allow you to carry and not have to pay for 2 homes during a transition, this is called a bridge loan and is currently avaliable for up to 6 months. This is a great back plan to allow you to move at the speed the seller of your new home wants and transition out of your current. would be happy to give you more details if you would like!
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Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
Hi Jforchange,
Call me! This is an easily remedied problem.
1) We put your home on the market. Any offer received is countered back with the clause that you are to find suitable housing prior to close and that the escrows will close simultaneously (also known as concurrently).
2) We start looking for your new home. I have access to homes immediately, so we will be all over new inventory as soon as it hits the market. (I am not a fan of people marketing their pre-MLS inventory, it has ethical problems written all over it, so be wary of anyone promising you pre-market access).
3) We write offer(s) on the houses you like, all contingent upon the successful sale of your current home.

It's a bit tricky, but luckily I have done this many times over and can confidently guide you through it. Another bonus is that I live, work, and know North County San Diego better than anyone else!

​Sinead McAllister-Clifford
Real Estate Broker/ Realtor®

McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
License 01366009
858-205-5215 CELL EMAIL
0 votes
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
You "can" if you have a really excellent "Buyer Agent' on you side and working for you. I strongly suggest you interview and commit (via contract) to a professional who will work very hard to help you succeed in your goals.
An excellent Buyer Agent will go to work to find the right property for you. Your Realtor will also advise you on how to handle the sale and purchase in a way that will be attractive to the seller.
Good Buyer Agents often have strong contacts with other Realtors and can find out about property before it is listed, and may also know about "pocket listings" in your area of choice. It's not uncommon for a Buyer Agent to look at For Sale By owner property for you as well. In my opinion this would be your best course of action!
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Dusty Brazil, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
First things first. You need to put your house on the market like yesterday.. Subject to you finding a replacement property. Once u get a SOLID buyer then you'll have an escrow open which will make a huge difference when making a contingent offer upon the sale of your place. Because your offer is contingent you must make highest and best offers ( over asking usually) so you increase the chances of getting your offer accepted.

I live in San Elijo Hills and know the inventory well ( cause there is practically nothing ou there)

You'll need a responsive and local agent that will be able to drop what they are doing to get your offer submitted before the one u like goes.

Call me to discuss further. I may have a buyer for your townhome depending on location etc.

Dusty Brazil
760 207 7245
Pacific Sotheby's Realty
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Fri Jan 17, 2014
Hello Beat Out,
There are many ways to be competitive in this market.
The place to begin the analysis is revealing how you are currently going about your home search.
Very often a potential buyer undermines their objective by:
1. Hiring a part timer
2. Hiring a rebater
3. Using the agent referred by the lender
4. Refusing to make a commitment to their agent
5. Using an agent instead of a REALTOR.
6. Piling on contingencies.(the 'must sell' is a tough but CAN be negated)
7. Making offers at the top of your purchase ability.
8. Attempting a DIY purchase.
When you fix the problem on YOUR side, here is what your REALTOR can do:
1. Plug you into the FIRST LOOK network
2. Introduce your buyer profile to the other 3 invisible markets
3. Network with active agents in the target area
4. Contact agents who have ripple contacts from previous 'like kind' sales
5. Create and make relevant the solutions your purchase offer contains
Of course I'm not going to provide detailed, actionable direction, after all this is a business, not a hobby. Now, what has your real estate professional advised regarding making your offers competitive?
By the way, most sellers DO provide the ciitzen a opportunity to buy FIRST, before an investor.
Clearly you need to change something. WHAT are you WILLING to change?

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor University High School distirct
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Miriam Staff…, Agent, Hernando, MS
Fri Jan 17, 2014
The most important step is to talk to a mortgage lender before you start looking at homes. You need to be prepared to make an offer immediately when you find a home you love. I have seen many people lose the opportunity to purchase their dream home because they were not working with a lender and were not prepared to make on offer.
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, ,
Fri Jan 17, 2014
You have to have a higher bid than them. It is all about how has the highest bid and it has always been that way.

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

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Chris Keller, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
It's very hard to buy a home with a contingency to sell your home first. With low inventory and lots of buyers in the market sellers have no incentive to entertain your offer.

Here's a link to a blog article that talks about your situation;…

Let me know if I can help you!

Chris Keller
0 votes
Rashard Scott, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jan 17, 2014
You should have a realtor assist you, often times we have access to listings before they are listed. Price plays a large factor in it as well, if you are looking for a home $250k and below, many investors are all over those. Please feel free to contact me for assistance.


Rashard Scott
RBD Residential
Phone: 619-565-3604
Fax: 619-342-3332
CA BRE# 01703306

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