We all want to find a deal. As the real estate market continues its historic climb, Newport buyers and sellers wonder whether the time is right for them to make a move. Sellers may be tempted to overprice their property, while buyers may hope to find a bargain based on inaccurate online estimates. Navigating this market successfully takes skill.

Many years ago, before I was a real estate agent, my husband and I bought a home in a seller’s market: low inventory, high demand, rising prices. After losing two bids for homes we loved because we could not imagine paying over asking, we found an agent who helped us navigate the process and get a home in our budget. It was a fixer we transformed into our dream home.

Now that I’ve been assisting people buy and sell real estate for 14 years, I’ve honed some tips for sellers and buyers to make the most of market conditions.


  1. 1. Prepare your financials so you can move quickly when the right property becomes available. You’ll need a pre-approval letter to submit with your offer to win.

  3. 2. Prioritize your wish list. Knowing whether lot size, pool, view, or single-level is the most important factor in your decision will influence your budget and ability to find what you’re looking for. Pick your top 3.

  5. 3. Work with an agent you trust. Part of the seller’s listing contract in California is an agreement to pay for a buyers’ agent. It’s a free gift from the seller to protect your investment and interests in the deal.


  1. 1. Price your home right. Consult with an agent who’s an expert on your neighborhood. Even the Zestimate for Zillow’s CEO’s home was wrong, so it’s important to work with a knowledgeable agent who will look at upgrades, comparable properties, and more.
2. Upgrade kitchen, baths, flooring and yard to gain highest offers and spur a bidding war.

  4. 3. Know where you want to move and have a plan for when the home closes– especially if the sale goes through quickly.

Carol Lee is a Newport based real estate agent specializing in Newport Coast, Newport Beach and Corona del Mar. Her marketing and negotiating expertise has helped both buyers and sellers maximize their success. Her analytical skills set new records and led to quick sales in 2017. You may contact Carol at 949.395.3994 and at Carol.Lee@EVUSA.com