ATLANTA — There are so few houses for sale here in metro Atlanta that home shoppers are going to extremes to court sellers, including paying way over asking price, even gifting beach vacations or thousands in cash with no strings attached.

“There’s a saying out right now, if you’d like to see a more expensive house I’ll show you the same house tomorrow,” said Cynthia Lippert with Ansley Real Estate. “The prices have been going up about 1% every month right now.”

Lippert’s been in real estate more than 30 years and she’s never seen such an extreme market. Low interest rates and an even lower inventory means buyers are pulling out all the stops to impress sellers, including paying over the appraised value of the home and gifts just to be considered.

The competitive environment is a shock to most of Lippert’s clients, including first-time home buyers Chris Stahelek and Emma Briggs.

“It’s been tough, you know,…

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