Homebuyers need patience as well as a strategy


In some instances, buying a home in today’s market amounts to a lot more than making an offer, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. It means having a strategy and “winning” in a multiple bid scenario. Just talk to anyone who has lost out repeatedly on a home they wanted and he or she will agree.

Such was the case of a Baltimore man named Skutch who preferred not to use his last name in a story told by Realtor.com’s Lisa Marie Conklin. As she tells it, “It took two years of touring more than 50 homes and losing out on every offer he made before he finally devised a unique solution to conquer the competition.” That, however, was the result of nearly two years of patience and grit for he and his girlfriend, Allie.

Skutch admits they rode the highs and lows of the home-buying roller coaster by ensuring they “managed expectations” in today’s tough housing market. And by the time the couple found three-bedroom, three-bath, 1,800-square-foot row house at the right price, they knew not to waste any time.

“They made an offer $4,000 over asking,” says Conklin. “It came with a catch, though. The offer had terms that expired the very next day—a day before the open house was scheduled.This is when Skutch explained why this tactic worked, along with some lessons he learned before he and Allie finally snagged the keys to their first home.

First lesson? You might have to look outside your current neighborhood. At first they honed in on a specific Baltimore neighborhood they loved and for the first 12 months, they remained doggedly stubborn about it — essentially “expecting a unicorn to pop up,” according to Skutch. When they realized the ones in their price range needed renovations, they decided to revise their house-hunting tactics.

Next? Be prepared to tour a lot of duds. “As the couple started to explore other nearby neighborhoods, Skutch changed the listing filters for his online home search to include surrounding communities,” says Conklin. “He recommends using all the filters to personalize your home search.” That included the listing price, since he vowed he would not go over $400k, saying, “There’s no sense in teasing or distracting yourself with homes you can’t afford.”

After conducting an open house marathon, touring house after house, with no winners, they were to find that even the few they did fall in love with became failed offers. Still Skutch and Allie refused to give up, adopting the mantra, “The more homes you see, the more you know.”

He got extremely organized during the course of his 2-year search, keeping track of his wishlist on a spreadsheet and taking notes on aspects of homes they’d viewed—such as the age of appliances.

“No first house will ever check all the boxes, but it sure helps when you’re reflecting after seeing multiple houses in a day that there are clear winners and losers,” says Skutch, explaining how the spreadsheet ultimately helped them remain objective.

Eventually the couple toured a handful of end-unit row houses, but it wasn’t until they toured the fourth one that they fell in love. It was listed for $389,000, and because they were true pros at this point, they researched the property history in the listing. They discovered the seller had the house on the market for about a month at a higher price. “Since Skutch lost out on every open house offer he’d ever made, he knew not to waste any time on this gem and made an offer above asking for $393,000—and stipulated his clever catch,” says Conklin.

“We put in an offer that evening—just over the asking price—that had terms to expire the very next day, Friday at 5 p.m.—a day before the open house was scheduled,” says Skutch.

One of the last lessons he speaks about is never to waive the inspections. “You’d be crazy to take that risk with these old Baltimore row houses,” he says. He also had some intel from the real estate agents involved that the homeowner didn’t want to sell to an investor, and that selling to a local like Skutch was important to her.

So, the couple wrote a letter to the seller and made it personal. It probably didn’t hurt that Allie, who works for a nature nonprofit, mentioned she was delighted to take over guardianship of the beautiful perennials and wildflowers the seller had planted.

All their hard work paid off. That Friday night before the deadline, Skutch got the call that their offer had been accepted. Still they had one more hurdle. The closing date and the date of their planned vacation were just a couple of days apart. So they moved out of their apartment, dropped off their belongings in the new house and took off for vacation. When they returned they began their lives in their new home.

If you find a house ready to be thrown open to the public, their agent recommends offering “just enough” favorable terms to entice the seller to cancel the weekend showings and commit to your offer right away.


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT

Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Mortgage Goat LLC

130 N Preston rd #318, Prosper TX 75078

Company NMLS: 258527 /133739

Office: 469-628-4544

Cell: 469-628-4544

Email: jc@themortgagegoat.net

Web: http://www.themortgageGOAT.net


J.C. Mier The Mortgage GOAT


Branch Manager/ Loan Officer

NMLS: 258527

Cell: 469-628-4544

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