BERKELEY (KCBS) – Usually it’s sellers who take out real estate ads, but in the Bay Area’s searing hot housing market, one Berkeley couple fed up with being outbid has resorted to advertising the millions in cash they’re ready to spend on a dream home.

The glossy flier blanketing Berkeley via direct mail comes from Ira Serkes, an agent at Pacific Union Christie’s Real Estate and, who resorted to promoting his clients after several frustrating months of losing out to higher bidders.

High end homes on the market in Berkeley and the Rockridge area of North Oakland have typically received 20 or more offers lately, he said, and so wind up selling for 20 to 50 percent above the asking price.

“It is frustrating for buyers, and it’s also frustrating for agents. When you have several homes that have 20 or more offers, that means at least 19 people didn’t get a house,” Serkes said.

The young couple he is promoting are sitting on $3 million that they’ve been trying to spend since October. Serkes is hoping the unique move will give them an edge in a real estate market with low inventory.

“Peninsula’s strong, Marin is strong, but we have a median overbid of 16 percent above the asking price in Berkeley, and we’re seeing typically four to six offers.”

The phone calls from potential sellers have started to come in, Serkes said, so what might be a first definitely won’t be a last.

“What you’re seeing is an extremely competitive market,” he said, more so than ever before.

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