I keep running into the same problem...not enough houses for sale for all the buyers right now. Currently I am working with a sweet, young couple looking to buy their first home. They both work and have 2 little children with a 3rd one on the way. So needless to say they are busy. Time is limited. And when they do make time to go view some houses, we are finding they go under contract before we can even set up a showing. It's so frustrating for them and for me. I want to do the best job for them and make this a happy experience. But this is a tough, competitive market we are in. And to get their hopes up over and over is discouraging to say the least.
Example; we tried to view a new listing yesterday. We were told "no showings are allowed right now." So we waited until the next day. When I called to set up the showing I was told "no more showings period. That house is now under contract." You can imagine our frustration. We never even got a chance to see it. I called the Seller's agent to find out more.
Here is what I learned: That house went on the market 2 days ago. The first day it had 21 showings. And they received 8 offers on it that night. Many of the offers they received were well above asking price. The seller took the highest one and did not even have to pay any concessions. And, her buyer is so intent on closing this transaction that they have already indicated if the appraisal comes in lower than contract price, they will pay cash for the difference.
This is what happens in a Seller's market. There aren't enough houses available to meet the current demand. Bidding wars occur. The highest offer gets the deal, and everyone else gets to go back out and try again for a different property.
My best advice in this type of market: Have your lender pre-qualification letter in hand when you hit the road and start looking. Any time you see a new listing come on market, try to be the first one through the door. If you like the house, DO NOT hesitate in writing your offer immediately. Go above asking price, as high as you can stomach. And...hire a good Realtor who knows how to work in such a market!