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Bidding wars the norm now?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis April 25, 2012 06:43 AM

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At least for homes attractive enough or priced right to get an offer, yes, multiple offers may very well be the new norm.

That's what Redfin contends it is seeing in Greater Boston. Roughly 54 percent of the homes Redfin agents wrote offers on in March wound up "in bidding wars with prices literally rising before our agents' and clients' very eyes," the online real estate brokerage reports in its Boston Sweet Digs blog.

Of course, we are hardly talking about every home on the market - these are houses that had enough going for them to get at least one offer.

We really have two different markets here in the Boston area. The first is dominated by ugly, worn and overpriced properties, and sadly, it may be the larger part of what's out there right now. That, in turn, is contrasted with a second, smaller market featuring new or renovated homes that are priced to sell - and scarce enough to generate multiple offers even in a recovering market.

Redfin's blog, for example, cites the example of one of its agents who helped his clients win a bidding war for a Jamaica Plain house against three other contenders. He hand-delivered an offer, for $16,000 above asking, to the listing agent before the open house ended.

Of course, the high offer ended up triggering an appraisal problem that everyone had to scramble to work out - that's a subject for another day but it's all in the Redfin post if you are interested.

While this is a great trend for sellers with right homes, it is clearly presenting headaches for buyers.

Too often, buyers in the Boston area are confronted with a cruel choice: Either settle for a house that no one else seems to want in hopes of fixing it up, or battle it out in a bidding war for a property everyone seems to want.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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