Does this sound familiar?
You have one or multiple mobile Real Estate apps and a number of searches saved. You go to open houses every weekend and put offers in only to get outbid or be asked to waive every contingency known. As you chase the market up and increasing price points you get more and more discouraged.
There's got to be a better way, right? Here's what I see going on.
Some buyers quickly "get it" and understand that in this low inventory multiple offer environment unless you are willing to do what it takes, you will not get into escrow.
If you are pursuing the new listing open house strategy, it is important to accept the fact that the listings you are looking at will sell for 3-5% over the asking price, or more, if they go into escrow the first few weeks after they hit the market. So rather than get priced out, you might be better served by reconsidering your downpayment amount as 25% of the purchase price and then looking at properties initially priced 5% below that. I totally understand that at the lower price point you may not be looking at properties you ostensibly aren't interested in. And there's no way I would recommend that you buy a home you don't love. But you will get into escrow by adjusting your expectations.
Alternately, another strategy is to be looking at homes that have not sold in over 30 days. They will sell below the asking price, often by 1-3%. You do not want to wait for the price reduction to happen because now you are in a competitive situation again.
Another good approach is to have your agent, maybe that's me, calling to check on properties in escrow whether the status is backup or pending. Properties fall out of escrow and if you can get one before the market frenzy starts again you may be ahead of the pack.
Lastly is the elusive "off market" pocket listing.
Yes, they exist but don't believe every agent who tells you they have a "special list". They don't. We're all networking and know about listings before they hit the market including those of other agents. As I write this I can think of 3-4 properties coming on the market in Redondo Beach the next few weeks. Can I get you into those before they are on any websites? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The best source is the "coming soon" on Zillow and other websites. Sometimes the seller will take an offer before the listing is supposed to be out. I can think of 2 incidents of that happening the past few weeks including one of my own listings.
The "win" today is getting into escrow because by the time you close most likely your new home is worth more than you just paid!