Reader Question: We want to buy a home, but we have been outbid twice already. Agents say few homes are coming on the market, which is a big reason for the high prices. Do you have any suggestions about how we could find a home on our own?
Monty’s Answer: Here is what USA Today (bit.ly/31w1Ezr) says about the unusual market. The simple answer is to emulate in many ways what real estate agents do to find homes for sale. Assuming you are seeking a single-family home, below are some tasks you can undertake to try to discover a home before it hits the market. If you have the time and are willing to put in considerable effort, it could work. You should have an up-to-date preapproval letter. Here is a link to the preapproval process (bit.ly/3flW76S).
1. Drive neighborhoods: Look in neighborhoods that are in your price range. Bring a pad of large post-it notes along. When you spot a home that looks appealing, stop. Ring the doorbell or knock.
When the door opens, Have a big smile on your face and say, “Hi, I’m (your name). We want to buy a home in this neighborhood. Do you know of anyone thinking of selling?” If no one comes to the door, stick a note with the same message on the door with your telephone number.
2. Review all your friends and acquaintances: You are looking for people you know that are more likely than others to have a lead for you. For example, a mail carrier knows which homes on the route are vacant. A worker in a nursing home or a lawn care company sees…