PHOENIX — Tari Mock can smile about all her plans for her new home now, but she still can't get over what it took to get her into it.
In all she had seven offers rejected and was outbid, usually with cash buyers.
"It felt very unfair," she told ABC15. " It felt like I had no hope. I truly thought I was not going to buy a house."
Her realtor Tom Scott said competition is coming from all over the country.
"A lot of Midwest, a lot of Seattle, Washington is coming down. A ton of California," he said.
But the hardest to compete with are big investors.
"They drive it up to where then it's out of the price range and the budget," Scott said.
So who are the large investors buying Valley houses?
ABC15 Data Analyst Garrett Archer searched data from the Maricopa County Assessor's Office and narrowed down the largest 25 purchasers of single-family homes since 2020.
The top five: LLC's owned by Scottsdale-based Progress Residential bought 1584, Dallas-based company Streetlane Homes bought 1551, Open Door has 1246, Invitation Homes has 954 and First Key Homes has 663.
All the companies rent out the properties except Open Door, which is who Mock bought her home from.
Zillow.com shows the house was listed at $595,000 around the time Open Door bought it. Less than a month later the company listed it for $620,000 and that is the price Mock paid. Her original budget was $530,000.
"So you have Open Door or Offer Pad buying these... buying these cash. And then they can go up and go up and go up until you know, they beat out every offer," Mock said.
She was only able to seal her deal with help from family and by being extremely aggressive to compete against cash.
"I tell every client, make sure you are fully underwritten with your loan officer," Scott told ABC15. He said that makes it easier to close in two weeks instead of four like a typical buyer. Scott said to compete with cash they also waived appraisal-which is a promise to pay the difference even if it is not worth the appraised amount, and agreed to forfeit the earnest deposit after inspection.
"At that point, you are as strong as a cash offer," he said.
But it comes at great risk, particularly if the appraised price comes back significantly lower than the list price.
Mock said the process was very stressful and it was a gamble that paid off for her.
But it's one she wishes that she didn't have to take.
"It's very disappointing, and hard and difficult, and you're making decisions that you don't wouldn't necessarily make in a normal market," she said.