was talking with Weichert Realtors agent Jane Wellbrock
a few weeks back about the increasing number of multiple
bids for what are, in most of the Philadelphia region,
too few houses for sale.
was lamenting the "quieter second quarter" she
was having compared with the last couple of years, but
she provided an example of a 25-year-old house that went
on the market for about $500,000 and had five offers in
the first week.
just no inventory," Wellbrock said, and she and
other agents are resorting to "cold calls" —
telephoning neighbors of recent sales to see if they are
ready to list.
answer, she said, is usually "not ready."
economist Kevin Gillen, of the University of
Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, continues
to point out that "home sales overall remain below
average," some of what is selling is being fought
hate to use the phrase bidding war, but as most agents
will tell you, buyers' search for bargains, coupled with
tighter appraisal standards, tends to keep final sale
prices at or just slightly above asking price.
hunting leads many agents to list houses a little below
asking, in the hope that buyers show up and boost the
sale price near that level or above.
Ermel Spadaccini, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Fox & Roach, told me about a house in Bucks County
that sold, after multiple bids, for $189,000. One offer
came in for $205,000, however.
asked the agent where he had gotten those comps
[comparable-sales data]," she said, "because I
knew that it would never appraise at $205,000."
problem with appraisals the last few years was that
there were not enough comps to support what agents
considered reasonable offers.
Kit Anstey, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Fox &
Roach, said that because of the run-up in sales in his
market, at least, there are enough comps for appraisers
to look at now. "We only had one problem in the
last year," he said, a far cry from December 2012,
when even reasonable offers were affected.
the market continues to sputter in many areas of the
region, sales remain historically low, and prices,
according to Gillen, are about what they were when they
hit bottom two years ago, multiple bidding — much
restrained from the excesses of the boom years — has
become more common as inventory stays low.
can you emerge victorious in a multiple-bidding
situation in today's market, given all the caveats I
Frommeyer, president of the National Association of
Mortgage Brokers, said buyers need to set themselves
apart with competitive bids.
escalation clause offers $1,000 above the highest bid
and automatically kicks in when other offers are
present, he said.
buyer can set a cap on the close, so it doesn't go above
his or her comfort level. The seller realizes the
seriousness of the offer, and the buyer is protected
from random counteroffers, Frommeyer said.
cash offer with proof of the funds is very valuable
because it involves fewer obstacles and makes it more
likely to close, he said.
offers don't mean no financing is required - buyers may
be using alternate forms of financing that count as cash
by leveraging assets," Frommeyer said.
he said, try to engineer a quick closing:
all financials in place before placing an offer,"
preapproved loan and regular contact with a lender can
show the seller how serious the bidder is."