8 top tips to compete in a hot housing market

Buying a home in one of the unique neighborhoods nestled within Portland’s six quadrants has become a greater challenge with today’s quick turnover of available properties.

We want to help you discover how to secure your dream home, in spite of how fast the housing inventory is moving. These suggestions will help you compete against buyers who swoop in with cash offers to snatch up recently listed houses and condos:


  1. Choose a top-notch real estate professional. Get to know them so they can potentially alert you to new opportunities before others hear about them. They can also expertly guide you through many of the other points we describe below.
  2. Select a quality lender and get a pre-approval letter. This one of the best ways (other than having a piles of cash) to let the seller know you’re serious and able to buy their home.*
  3. Make a large down payment, but don’t dip so far into your savings that it impacts your other financial needs and goals.
  4. Consider offering more than the asking price. Your real estate professional should be able to provide insight into market-appropriate offers.
  5. Make a larger Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). This is money you put down toward the home’s purchase after your offer is accepted. While most sellers require a 1-3% EMD, some buyers are communicating that they’ll make a larger EMD, such as 5-10%.
  6. Be accommodating. Sellers often have a specific timeline that works best for them, based on school year dates, employment situations, or availability of their next home. Demonstrating flexibility in the closing and possession dates can give you an advantage.
  7. Avoid contingencies. This is a part of the contract in which the buyer indicates their offer is good IF their own home sells. Other common contingencies include issues related to inspections, appraisals and financing. In the past, buyers could often include a contingency and still score the home they wanted — but that is unlikely to happen in today’s hot market.
  8. Share your story. Some house hunters are now writing letters to the sellers explaining why they love the home, what makes neighborhood special to them, how they’ll care for the property, etc. Ask your real estate agent for advice about writing this type of note.

We know it can be disappointing to fall in love with a home and find out that someone else’s offer was chosen. If it becomes an ongoing frustration for you and your family, you can consider waiting out the market until there are more homes available to choose from. With time, patience, and the right mortgage provider, you’ll discover with the right home for your needs. 

Give us a call to see how we can help!

*Approval is contingent upon receipt of executed sales contract, an acceptable appraisal supporting value, valid hazard insurance policy, and a re-review of your financial condition. Equity Mortgage Group reserves the right to revoke this Approval at any time if there is a change in your financial condition or credit history which would impair your ability to repay this obligation and/or if any information contained your application is untrue, incomplete or inaccurate. Receipt of an application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Restrictions may apply, contact Equity Mortgage Group for current rates and for more information. 
- Dec 22, 2021