Yes, I have an agent. Now we've also added a strategy to meet up after I get off work to see any interesting new listings seen during Tuesdays' Broker's Open house. So far, we been going to see houses 2-3 days after they are listed. We've learned that if we like a house, our strategy will be to put in an offer over asking ASAP. Having been beaten by a day or 2 a couple of times now on homes listed for less than a week, we've instituted this new strategy. We also drive around the neighborhoods that we are interested in looking for "coming soon" signs so that our Realtor can get info even before the home is listed.
The questions subsequent to my initial post are just responses questioning some of the advice that Realtors posted in reply. I am not completely lost and confused. Sorry if I give that impression. Your replies are just confusing me. I know what the conditions of our offers are clearly, and Its a good thing my Realtor is taking care of all the details. I am just frustrated with the process of buying a house. With the last 3 homes we owned, we never had such a hard time with the purchase. We've struck out 3 times in 3 different neighborhoods with what were considered strong offers. None of these homes have closed, so for all I know, the buyers who are in escrow probably offered $300,000 over asking and are paying cash. If that's the case, then all the power to them. I don't know many people who are in that position, and if they are, why would they be looking at the same houses I am looking at. The other thing is that I am sick and tired of family and coworkers telling me how lucky I am that I am buying now because it is a buyers market. "you should be able to get a nice house for cheap. what is taking you so long?"
I was just questioning the advice that another realtor just gave me on this forum to put 10% earnest money down. Just didn't sound right. My Realtor didn't suggest that. One of you on Trulia, Cheryl, did.