Mystoura “Misty” Afolabi, a real estate agent in the Los Angeles area, was working with a young family for more than a year, trying to find them a home. But every time they saw a house they liked, they were outbid.

Then in March, the couple decided to bid on a house even before they had a chance to see it.

The two-bedroom, two-bath property was listed at $585,000, well below market value – a tactic increasingly used to trigger bidding wars in a super-competitive, pandemic housing market.

The couple offered $620,000, or $35,000 above asking. Their offer was rejected.

“We couldn’t believe it,” says Afolabi, an agent for Redfin.

However, the homeowners, who had received 32 other offers, reached out to the five prospective buyers with the highest bids, including Afolabi’s clients, and asked them to come up with their best offer.

Yoni and Meaza Kebede with their children and their real estate agent Misty Afolabi (right).

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