46% of Offers Are On Homes With Multiple Offers

In August, our agents presented 63 bids on homes for sales and 29 of them, or 46%, were on homes with at least one other offer.

Marshall Park, the #2 ranked buyers’ agent in metro DC, is seeing a lot of multiple offer situations especially Falls Church and Fairfax:

Right now, homes in the $250,000 – $350,000 range that are priced well and show well are getting a lot of attention from buyers and going under contract quickly. Anything that is still on the market in this price range over 30 days is either overpriced or it doesn’t show well.

In previous years, the real estate market has cooled as the summer winds down and school starts. We’re not seeing that in the DC region this year and Marshall believes there are three reasons for this:

  1. A lot of first-time buyers in the market hoping to buy before November 30th so they qualify for the federal tax credit
  2. Sellers have a better understanding of the market and are pricing their homes closer to market value
  3. Buyers have seen pretty much everything that’s for sale in their price bands and target neighborhoods, so when something nice gets listed it’s going to get a multiple bids

3 Tips For Buyers

Marshall has three pieces of advice for you anyone trying to buy a home in Northern Virginia:

  1. Know what’s for sale: so you’re ready to pounce when you see something you like.
  2. Bring your strongest offer: so sellers know you’re serious from the start. If you start too low, they might not even counter your offer.
  3. Expect to bid on more than one home. Right now, it’s taking most buyers 1 -2 failed offers before they win one.

For more numbers, download the spreadsheet with the data on what happened in August.

Where else are you seeing multiple offer situations?

  • http://www.brandongreenandassociates.com/ Brandon Green

    Great news that you’re real estate team is seeing so many offers!

  • Dave

    This is really lame, lazy RE Agent advice:

    Bring your strongest offer: so sellers know
    you’re serious from the start. If you start
    too low, they might not even counter your

    This strategy leads to the (buyer and seller) agents closing the maximum deals with little effort, and no attempt to get their client (buyer) the best (lowest) price. Knowing you’re “serious” is conveyed by taking the time to write up the offer, and any verbal expressions of seriousness the agent makes on the buyer’s behalf. Clients are *paying*!! the agent to advocate for them, not just deliver paperwork.

    If I offer too low, and the seller is inclined to not even counter-offering, then we’re either truly too far apart, or the two agents aren’t bothering to talk to each other.

    In any negotiation, if you’re first offer is accepted, there’s always the “I wonder if they’d have accepted x% less” question. Only by getting the two parties together (through two agents with their own interests) in a back-and-forth negotiation can both parties walk away saying they got as close to what they wanted as possible.

    Just “bring[ing] your strongest offer” is only good advice if that one property is your absolute dream house. And given the number 3 advice (expect to try several times), you’re bidding on multiple properties.

  • Steve

    Agreed, Dave. If my realtor tells me there’s another offer on a house, I stop looking at that house — I don’t write a competing offer. There’s still plenty of houses on the market and (according to Greenspan) more waiting in the wings. Redfin’s own stats say home sale prices are down 9% month-over-month. That combined with the recent Post article about all the option ARMs that are going to reset (we’re right in the middle of the 3-5 year window from the peak of the market) means prices still have more room to fall.

    Suggesting that you need to meet sellers unrealistic listing prices in order to get a contract is just wishful thinking. Do the research, assess the features and (most importantly) look at comparable sold homes to get a sense of what is a fair price to offer. And if you don’t need to buy right away, don’t worry — there are plenty of homes to go around.

  • Steve

    “1-2 offers before one gets accepted”?????

    I just lost out on offer #8 and have been hunting since January!!!

  • http://www.expressrs.com Brad Chandler

    I wouldn’t advise not offer on a home with existing offers. The bank often accept the offer with the best terms not the highest price. We’ve had our asset managers accept cash offers $30k lower than offers using financing. I understand this only works if you are able to pay cash.

  • Lawrence

    Anyone looking to actually get a good deal on a house has to make an offer on a property with multiple offers, unless you get a unique situation with an existing tenant or something like that. I’ve bought 1 property this year, another yesterday and have a contract out there on a third and the only way you have a chance with the well priced foreclosures which are well below market value are to come with a reasonable offer to begin with. If you “low ball” on a property already lowly priced compared to the comps you will make 50 offers and still not win one.

  • Lawrence

    A prime example of my point. 73 Seaton PL NW Washington, DC. I offered $230k on a list price of $193k with a 15 day closing and just found out I still lost!! Recent comps are $400k so if you low ball on something like that your agent shouldn’t even bother submitting it.

  • Linda

    Whoever says its a buyers market is in denial. I have been looking for the past 6months.Every house I put an offer on has had multiple offers. Most bank owned or short sale properties I’ve looked at are a mess and needs work but still my agent says we must offer the highest and best because it has multiple offers. If I have to pay well above asking price might as well buy a reg sale home in move in condition. I agreee with Dave I think agents should fight to get us the best deal on a house we love not just a house just to buy a house. I sometimes wonder who our agents are working for the buyer or the seller..

  • Linda

    In Northern Virginia bank owned homes are not selling for that much less than a regular sale especially if the house has multiple offers above asking price.