In the Trenches: Behind the Scenes of America’s Bidding Wars

We’ve been talking a big game about bidding wars this season, telling you that they’re rampant in places like the Bay Area, Seattle and DC, and sharing the tricks of the trade so you know what it takes to win them. But which homes are actually inciting these bidding wars and what’s it like to take part in the battle? Here you’ll find several homes across the country that have recently been the subjects of bidding wars, and we’ll give you the full scoop of what went down.  Click on the listing photos for more details about each home.

836 SYCAMORE Dr Palo Alto, CA 94303
Listed by Chris Iverson, Intero Real Estate Services

Small House, Big Bucks in Palo Alto, CA

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 971
Listed: Mar 27, 2012
Closed: Apr 26, 2012
Days on the Market: 9
Asking Price: $948,000
Final Sales Price: $1,350,000
Sale to List Ratio: 142.4%
# Offers: 12

“My clients came in with a competitive all-cash offer of $970,000, 2.3% above asking,” said Redfin Agent Brad Le, “but we couldn’t compete with the winning all-cash offer 42% above the list price.”


Listed by Jeremy Cunningham, Redfin

Listing Agent Considers Unlisted Phone Number in Springfield, VA

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,559
Listed: Mar 29, 2012
Closed: Apr 30, 2012
Days on the Market: 4
Asking Price: $339,950
Final Sales Price: $381,000
Sale to List Ratio: 112.1%
# Offers: 14

“For the three days after I put this listing on the market, my phone did not stop ringing, and there was a steady line of cars lined up in front of the house,” said Jeremy Cunningham, Redfin Listing Specialist. “The winning offer had essentially no appraisal contingency. We chose it because even though it had VA financing, which requires an appraisal, the buyers agreed to cover any deficit in the event that the appraisal came in low.”


Listed by Simon Kiang, Re/Max

Cash is King, And Time is Money in Sunnyvale, CA

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 1,933
Listed: Mar 1, 2012
Closed: Mar 21, 2012
Days on the Market: 9
Asking Price: $1,029,888
Final Sales Price: $1,083,000
Sale to List Ratio: 105.2%
# Offers: 6

“My clients made an offer of $1,081,000, almost $60,000 over the asking price, with a 14-day closing, no contingencies, and a 90% down payment,” said Redfin Agent Miawand Bayan. “The seller ended up accepting an all-cash, non-contingent offer with a 7-day closing, with a price only slightly higher than our offer.”


Listed by Loic Pritchett, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Burning the Midnight Oil in Washington, DC

Beds: 2
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,496
Listed: Nov 9, 2011
Closed: Dec 15, 2011
Days on the Market: 7
Asking Price: $649,000
Final Sales Price: $667,000
Sale to List Ratio: 102.8%
# Offers: 6

“My clients, their lender and I were up until 2:30 a.m. negotiating with the sellers and their agent,” said Redfin Agent Stuart Gavan. “We managed to beat out the other offers by reducing our contingency deadlines significantly and offering well above the list price.”


Listed by Erica Johnson, Coldwell Banker

Get Your Offer In First, Then Make Necessary Adjustments in Seattle, WA

Beds: 3
Baths: 2.25
Sq. Ft.: 2,460
Listed: Mar 29, 2012
Closed: Apr 30, 2012
Days on the Market: 1
Asking Price: $587,000
Final Sales Price: $600,000
Sale to List Ratio: 102.2%
# Offers: 4

“Ours was the first offer submitted, and once we found out a second offer had come in, we added an escalation clause,” said Redfin Agent Chad Pluid. “In the end, our offer wasn’t much higher than the competition, but I made sure to respond quickly and honestly to every request the listing agent had, and I think that helped us win out.”

1918 15TH St NORTHWEST #2 WASHINGTON, DC 20009
Listed by Nick Chaconas, Redfin

Seller With Cash Stands Out Among the Rest in Washington, DC

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,500
Listed: Feb 3, 2012
Closed: Mar 16, 2012
Days on the Market: 9
Asking Price: $799,900
Final Sales Price: $803,418
Sale to List Ratio: 100.4%
# Offers: 3

“The top two offer contenders were just a few hundred dollars apart and had nearly identical financing,” said Redfin Listing Specialist Nick Chaconas. “We asked both buyers to come back with their best and final offers. The winning bidder quickly turned hers into an all-cash offer above list price with a rent-back period and no contingencies.”


Listed by Irene Bremis, Bremis, James J. Inc.

We Asked What the Seller Wanted, And We Gave It To Him in Somerville, MA

Beds: 5
Baths: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,056
Listed: Mar 20, 2012
Closed: Apr 30, 2012
Days on the Market: 16
Asking Price: $759,900
Final Sales Price: $754,900
Sale to List Ratio: 99.3%
Estimated # Offers: 3

“We won this bidding war not only because my clients’ offer was all cash, but also because we included a Use of Occupancy agreement so that the sellers could close early and move out later,” said Redfin Agent Matt Zborezny. “We ended up negotiating $5,000 off the sales price after the inspection, but the sellers still preferred our all-cash offer so they could use the money toward their own home purchase.”

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