This growing trend is causing controversy in the Michigan housing market

'You’re really like ... at an auction home putting your paddle up in the air.'
Posted at 12:36 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 20:59:41-04

(WXYZ) — The real estate market remains red hot with industry leaders saying finding a home has never been more difficult.

If you are trying to buy a house, brace yourself. Inventory is low, and the number of people looking to buy a home remains high — especially as we enter the spring and summer months.

And now a growing trend in the housing market is creating more frenzy.

Nakia Washington has lived around the world, but when she was thinking about purchasing her first home she knew where she wanted to be.

“It’s got to be in Detroit,” she says. So, in October 2021 she started her search.

“It’s been interesting,” she says with a laugh.

Interesting and at times heartbreaking. Washington says she found a home and went all in, putting in an offer of $20,000 over asking, but then disappointment.

“We weren’t even like second or third,” she says. “It wasn’t even like we are going to consider you.”

“You’re really like, sort of ... at an auction home putting your paddle up in the air,” says Janet Graham.

Graham, an associate broker at Howard and Hanna, has been a real estate agent for 25 years. She says this market is unprecedented, and buyers need to know you’re not putting in an offer — you're putting in a bid.

“You have to come looking at a home with your checkbook in hand,” she says.

And there is a growing trend some say is pushing people to dig deeper into their pockets: listing a home with a best and highest offer deadline. For example, we found a home that had only been online for two days and wanted all offers in by the end of the week.

“The first time I saw that I told my wife, 'I'm thinking this is ridiculous, I don’t want to deal with them,'” says homebuyer John Fendo.

Frendo, who is going through the process of purchasing a home, calls the tactic a trap, used to get buyers to go off of emotions and overbid.

“That’s what the sellers want people to do,” he says. “It’s a way to create a real environment of demand for the home.”

David Hall the CEO of the mortgage brokerage Hall Financial says it’s a seller's market, and that will continue for the near future, but his advice to buyers? Stay patient and smart.

“You have to be disciplined in how to buy so you don’t get stuck in a situation where if you pay way too much then the market corrects,” he says.

But when will the market correct? With inventory still low, it could be a while. But Hall predicts as interest rates creep back up, more sellers may come onto the market, and buyers will have more options.

“I’m just cautiously optimistic,” he says.

Another tip from realtors: if you're looking to buy a home, try to get into a house before it goes on the market to avoid a bidding war. That means asking people in the neighborhood you want to live in if they know anyone looking to sell their home and being proactive.