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ATLANTA --Homes sold before they hit the market. Bidding wars for houses. It's a sign the housing market is improving in metro Atlanta, and thatwinning the home of your dreams may take more than money.

"Thingswere going so fast that it was tough to catch up and find something we really wanted," said Lisa Taylor, relieved to have finally closed on home in Suwanee.

Lisa and her husband Adamsay they knew they wanted thehome the second they saw it. They called their real estate agent, Susan Eshback, asking to see it that night.

"And I was like, no. We need to see it in an hour," Eshback recalled.

Good thing they did. By the end of the day, the seller, Julie Osteig says she had three offers.

"We never put a for sale sign in the yard, never had the lock box yet, it was that quick," said Osteig.

With multiple bids, Eshback suggested an escalation clause, promising to beat a anyone's offer by an additional thousand dollars. But Osteig says what really made them stand out was their letter.

"AT the end of the day, this family wrote a letter and it kind of spoke to me," said Osteig.

It's a tool real estate agents in highly competitive housing markets like California have done for years. But the idea hadn't hit metro Atlanta until now.

According to Georgia Multiple Listing data pulled by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate,a home inCobb county's30062 zip code only stayed on the market an average of 16 days.

In Dekalb, a Doraville home in the 30340 zip code lasted only 11. Brookhaven's 30319, had an average of 15 days on the market and Dunwoody's 30338, spent 16 days on market.

In Fulton County, a Buckhead home in 30305 really sizzled, lasting an average of only8 days on the market. Homes in the 30022 zip code ofAlpharetta/Roswell, spent 15 days on the market.

It's that kind of quick turn around that is forcingbuyers to get creative.

"I said, anything to get that house.He [Adam] was like,a letter?," said Lisa Taylor.

"I don't get this, I haven't really heard of this before. The idea of saying this is our background, do we really need to get into all that? But it worked out great," added Adam Taylor.

The Taylor's tried to sellthe sellers on their 8-month old son and furry companions, talking about how the yard and playroom would be a perfect fit.

Now that they're getting ready for the move, the Taylor's hope their original home goes as quick and that they get a chance to learn about the next family moving in.

"We have an emotion connection to this house. I think it would make a difference," said Lisa.

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