Prices have risen 10-20% in 2013. Homes are getting multiple offers all the time. Buyers are having to make non contingent offers to win a bid. The concept of value is in flux right now. All neighborhoods are trending up not down. The buyers who are winning offers have agents who write the best offers, are very clear about what they want, and are making offers on homes that are below their upper limit. They are not contingent on appraisal and the buyer has the funds to make up the difference between the offer price and the appraised value.
These are the facts. If you still want to buy in this environment then I would respectfully suggest that you find a real estate agent to work as a partner. Searches should be done by both parties, so you do not miss off/pre market opportunities, homes that are listed by out of area agents on out of area mls, and homes where someone knows someone. Not only are trends important, but also the habits of individual agents can make a difference. Your agent should know which agent has a history of listing a home low and who has a history of listing a home high.
Does your agent have a good reputation with other agents? Part of getting an offer accepted is making the listing agent feel as if the buyer's agent will be easy to work with. When I list a property I know who is going to be difficult and who is respectful and pass that information on to the seller to put in the equation of which offer is chosen.
Most important, you should trust your agent. This is a big decision, and you should be able to rely on your agent's advice. If you do not trust what your agent says, get another agent.
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto
"Be willing to see the place ..." hmmm, yes there are neighborhoods and houses (some houses which I've sold more than once in my 30 years) that I could evaluate because I've recently seen them but making an good offer isn't just running recent a recent sold history and sending an offer to the listing agent.
There is more to buying a house than just finding one and making an offer on it. Everyone can play baseball but professionals win the competition.
It is easy to see trends:
The key to understanding is making and listening to hundreds of purchase offers each year, talking with buyers at open houses, working with people who really want to buy the best house they can get, ....
Give me a call or send me an email. Let's talk.
Juliana Lee, MBA LLB
cell: 650-857-1000, email: homes@JulianaLee.com
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty
Over 30 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
As always please feel free to contact me with any questions.
At your service,
Certified Distressed Property Expert
In terms of overpaying - there is no such thing. As soon as your offer is accepted it sets the new market price. The definition of the market price is what a willing buyer offers and a willing seller accepts.
I've been in the real estate industry for over 25 years. I live in Mountain View, and work constantly in each of the areas you've mentioned. My knowledge of the market, and of past and current trends is second to none.
The choice of price to offer for a property is always yours, and your agent can only provide you the information necessary for you to make that decision - they cannot choose an offer price for you.
Your agent should be able to provide you with clear market history, and data that explains current trends.
Unfortunately, however, in a situation where there are multiple offers, it is almost guaranteed that the property will be 'bid up'. That's not the buyers' agent's choice, that's the result of choices made by the other buyers in the market right now. And there are a LOT of other buyers.
Buyers with all cash...buyers who are prepared to take a property As-Is, with no contingencies...and buyers who are prepared to pay a little more than seems reasonable.
You should consider the listing price for the home - it is listed intentionally lower than it should be? Does it seem too good to be true? If so, then it probably is... It is a very, very common strategy to list a home a little under what the expected sales price is, and then watch the buyers compete against each other. This is just how property marketing works in this market.
As a buyer, you need to be as informed as possible - knowledge is power - but be prepared to work within the bounds of current market conditions, or there isn't an agent in existence that can make you successful.
Sorry it isn't better news. Let me know if you'd like to talk more about it.
I can certainly tell you when you are overpaying when the bids aren't supported by current demand. However, if you're concerned about overpaying just because prices are going up, then you shouldn't be buying in this market.
If you aren't looking to compete purely on price, then there are other ways to go about it. But the approach is not for everyone.