Like many desperate house hunters in popular District neighborhoods, Robert Epstein and his wife Melanie Bixby experienced their share of disappointment when several properties that seemed ideal to them were snatched up by someone else in bidding wars.
During the past year, would-be buyers eager to take advantage of nearly record low interest rates have flooded the local real estate market. But the growing demand, coupled with historically low inventories, has pushed the price of the few houses that are on the market out of their reach.
Epstein and Bixby, nevertheless, managed to purchase a house in Cleveland Park by asking their real estate agent, Marjorie Dick Stuart, to try another strategy: wooing people whose homes they like but that aren’t for sale.
“The only reason we were able to get this place is that Marjorie found it for us before it went on the market,” Epstein says. “If we had waited, then there would have been multiple bids.”