CINCINNATI — Houses are selling fast in the current housing market, and for first-time home buyers it can be frustrating. However, one family made an emotional appeal to the sellers that ended up paying off.
Shauntel Whitfield said she and her family started the process of buying a home about two or three months ago and it was a roller-coaster ride from the start.
Whitfield said her family would schedule viewings of homes only to be told minutes later the house wasn't available anymore.
"The viewing was scheduled and then we got a notification an hour later saying the house was sold or under contract," she said.
Then, Whitfield and her family found a home they wanted and made an offer above asking price.
"We saw it, loved it and we were really hopeful about it, so we made the offer," Whitfield said. "We made the offer for $15,000 over the asking price."
But that wasn't enough. Another buyer came in and outbid her and her family.
As a final effort, Whitfield and her family wrote a letter to the seller.
"We did write letters to the sellers hoping that that might help. We have two little girls and a dog," she said.
The letters worked, and their offer was accepted.
Real estate agent Walter Gibler said Whitfield's story shows how tough the house-buying market is right now. However, it is just as good a time to buy.
"Right now with the inventory it just keeps dwindling to fewer and fewer houses, so it's gotten progressively harder," Gibler said. "If you look at the interest rates, how low they are right now, I think it's actually really beneficial in how much you can afford."
Gibler said getting pre-approval from a local lender will help give buyers an upper hand in this market. He also said hiring a real estate agent that knows where a home should be priced at and using an escalation clause, which protects the buyer from overpaying when they're bidding against different offers, are also beneficial.
Whitfield had one more piece of advice, too.
"You want to love it at the end of the day so try not to compromise too much on what you want in your home."
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