Here's an interesting article on CNNMoney.com.
Homebuyer demand has become so high in several parts of the US that homebuilders are now hosting lotteries for ready and willing prospective homebuyers. Each potential homebuyer that show up to these lotteries are already pre-approved for a mortgage and have their down payment in tow. The real estate firm featured in this article is a California based agency called O'Brien Homes, and they specialize in condo complexes. Spokeswoman for O'Brien Homes, Susie Frimel, revealed that buyer interest was so high that around 50 people would show up to their office's in hopes of being picked for a condo offer. Frimel says that for each unit, a winner and a back-up would be chosen (in case the winner backed out). Their 228-unit homes called Fusion, would go on sale a few at a time, with sometimes up to 38% price increases with every new unit. The remarkable thing is that buyers will still continue to show to these lotteries knowing that they may be more expensive than the last time. These lotteries aren't just taking place in California, but in northern Virginia and Florida as well. Who knows it this will start happening in Rhode Island, but it'd be interesting to find out. It's not uncommon to witness off-market sales or pocket listings, which are sold before the listing even hits the market.