They had great credit, a pre-approved mortgage and a baby on the way. But when Ian and Cindy Sagabaen began house hunting in the San Francisco Bay Area, a notorious seller's market, they were outbid at every turn -- until they tried something different.
They wanted to upgrade their single bedroom rental for a three-bedroom, single story home with a bigger kitchen for Cindy and room for an office for Ian. The trouble was that not long after the Sagabaens would visit a place they liked -- sometimes just a day later -- they were locked out by a stream of applicants who came first, or by people who paid outright in cash. The Bay Area ranks among the top three seller's markets in the country, according to Realtor.com. The area has always been in high demand because of its proximity to Silicon Valley, but recently it has been exceptionally difficult to secure a property there.
After over 20 unsuccessful inquiries, the Sagabaens found their dream home. Rather than letting another one slip through their fingers, they turned to some advice they heard through the grapevine: They wrote a personalized letter to the real estate agent representing the property. And to their surprise, it worked. Watch the video above to learn more.
(And in case you're thinking that couldn't happen twice, view the video about Lorena Lorez of Clovis, Calif., who tried the same thing.)
See more on homebuying:
How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time
Best Advice Now for Homebuyers and Sellers
Real Estate Agents' Website Could Give Homebuyers a Jump on Listings
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