With homes selling at a record pace, buyers frustrated with being outbid

With record-breaking demand and homes in short supply, it's triggering bidding wars around the country.

Google searches for "should I buy a house" and "should I sell my house" are at all-time highs in the U.S.

With the housing market red hot, prospective buys are trying not to get burned as demand soars -- but supply is limited.

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Home prices have risen to their highest rate in 15 years -- 11. 2 percent.

And demand is so intense that Redfin reports nearly half of homes are selling within a week of hitting the market. That's a record.

"The market is crazy right now," said Tracy Tutor, star of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and veteran real estate agent.

The spike is happening as a result of the pandemic, as more people work from home.

Mortgage rates have also dropped and millions of millennials are entering their home-buying years.

But people with dreams of owning a home could be in for a rude awakening.

Just over 1 million homes are available for sale, compared to a peak of more than 4 million at the height of the last housing bubble in 2007.

Newlyweds Alexia Shaeffer and Alexander Tiran were outbid on homes five different times before they got married in March.

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"We kept seeing houses on the market that would be gone with and some of them literally in 24 hours."

With a little patience and luck, they finally landed a home within their budget.

"We were outbid and then the other buyer fell through and they went with our offer secondarily."

Tutor says, despite the competition, now is the best time to buy a new home.

"Because interest rates are so historically low, know what you're getting into and make sure you secure that interest rate now, because you will not find it again," she said.

A secret tip for buyers? Use an escalation clause.

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"In an escalation clause, you can say my buyer is willing to pay $5,000 more than the highest offer you have and then you can cap that," she said.

And most importantly? Find out what the seller really wants.

"Every seller has different needs and wants and desires," she said. "Make sure that your broker is reaching out to the listing broker and asking them the types of terms that their seller is actually looking for. You'll be surprised that can kind of put it over the edge, all other things considered equal."
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