Being opportunistic in a hot real estate market

Gary Kelley, Realtor®
Gary Kelley, Realtor –

“We had no idea this would be so…frustrating. We’re ready to just give up,” sighed Brenda.

We were sitting at the kitchen table of Brenda and Eddie (not their real names, and I am listening to Billy Joel as I write this).

Brenda and Eddie knew it was time to upgrade from their first home and found their ideal home close by. They did not expect it would just appear and there it was…ready to go! They immediately wanted to offer and quickly got a preapproval from a large call center mortgage company. As we wrote the offer, it was clear they had to sell their home to make this all come together. We can get a home on the market quickly (24 hours was our fastest) and their home needed some cosmetic work – more than 24 hours of work.

Their offer was not accepted.

Not to be deterred, they immediately and enthusiastically offered on a different property with the same result. Two strikes and they decided to stop playing the game. We were now at the kitchen table.

“You’re getting sucked into the feeding frenzy of a super-hot market and need to change your strategy.” You could see the visible sign of relief.

“We are not going to push you to list your house or construct this transaction so you end up in a hotel for months.”

Our recommendations were straightforward.

“First, focus on getting your financing lined up. We believe in sitting across a table with a loan officer and explaining all your financial concerns and opportunities. They will help you know what you can afford and helps structure your offer.”

Note, I do have a predisposition to prefer local loan officers and recognize you can easily sit across the table from a remote loan officer using video conferencing.

“Second, get your house ready to go on the market. Get a dumpster to help declutter, finish the list of cosmetic improvements (including putting the outlet covers back on from when you painted). We can stage the house, get photos taken and a do a virtual tour.”

With this work behind us, listing the house is literally as easy as pushing a button.

“This will probably take you about a month, without driving yourselves nutty working every night after your full-time jobs. You can now be opportunistic pouncing on houses as they come on the market or we identify them.”

What a simple and effective approach to switch from being reactive to the market and to being opportunistic and ready to go!

The truth is Brenda and Eddie got sucked in and began chasing the market. With a little conversation and collaboration, they are on their way to a new home! This is the time (another thinly veiled Billy Joel reference!)

I’m not a huge fan of Zillow, etc. for buyers. Here is an app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS:

Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 discussing “All Things Real Estate.”

If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call at 508-733-6005.


Kelley is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist™ (CLHMS) and award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at