It’s one thing to offer above the list price, but would you waive all contingencies too?
I think a judge would be reluctant to have a buyer lose a deposit. Listing agents who might keep a deposit should do a pre-listing home inspection, and give a copy to anyone making an offer with no contingencies, just in case.
Homes are selling fast in Seattle, spending about 25 days on the market, down from 65 in March 2012. It can be hard to find parking at open houses and some are so crowded that it’s hard to move around to see the home.
Sellers are seeing some of the biggest price gains in almost a decade, and they know they’re in the driver’s seat.
“You put a house on the market you will have 100 people through the open house on the weekend and maybe 15-20 offers,” said Patti Hill, a real estate agent who has worked in the Seattle market for more than 17 years.
To win a home, buyers are putting in aggressive offers.
“Some of them are kind of scary because they’re waiving contingencies that puts earnest money in jeopardy if something happens,” said Hill. It’s common for Seattle buyers to waive inspections and appraisals and go above list price.
When Harris and his partner found their soon-to-be new home, they did everything they could to come up with the winning bid. They waived all contingencies, went above the asking price and had an escalation clause.
“Buyers are totally at the mercy of whatever the sellers wants,” he said. “If you want the house, you do whatever it takes.”
The pair also talked to the listing agent to find out about any special circumstances about the owner and incorporated that into a personalized letter and also offered a 30-day rent-back-to-owner for free.
Their winning bid was $425,000 — $60,000 over the asking price and above their original budget.
Friend just sold house in Bay Area. Asking price 2.2m. First offer, preemptive strike. $2.4m all cash, contingencies waived, $200k deposit, 10 day Escrow, 60 day free rent back. Done!
Well it’s getting crazy here too, but not Seattle-crazy, Jim! A friend put their house on the market as they were moving to AZ (building a new home). The 3-year old house was built by a premium builder here and the backyard bordered a beautiful greenbelt.
The first day she had a showing for noon. But another couple wanted to see it then too. When the couple was told noon was already taken, they asked if they could come at 11:30.
Two offers by 5 pm of the first day. The second couple seeing the home offered $3,500 over list; the first couple offered $10,000 over, no contingencies and said they would do anything the sellers wanted. The sellers wanted to rent back for two months so they traded their washer and fridge for the rent.
All through the escrow period, the buyers were scared something would go wrong. They really wanted this house built by this particular builder. The other couple were heartbroken they didn’t get the home. My friend said her husband wanted to originally list it at $349,000 but she (and her agent) said lets go with $337,000 and see what happens. So they got $347K and were able to rent back. One day and the sign came down.
And yes, many of the buyers here in Boise are coming from Seattle. These particular buyers were locals though.