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Bidding War! Part 2

The seller of our new listing in Encinitas Ranch has been discussing a move for six months.  He contributed his decision to sell now primarily to what he read here on the blog.

Specifically, that what appears to be a frenzy slowdown is NOT reflective of the market normalizing – instead, it’s due to just the opposite; a continuing decline of inventory.

What’s my #1 tip for sellers? Sell when everyone else isn’t!

The Encinitas market is starved for higher-end luxury homes, especially those sexy, turn-key ready homes that can be occupied within 30 days (a dearth made worse by most listing agents demanding 60-days free rent after closing for their sellers).

We thought if we went on the market in October and appeal to the buyers who wanted to close and occupy by Thanksgiving, we’d have a special niche all to ourselves.

But we had work to do to maximize the appeal, so we spent the last two months and $50,000 to get the home in tip-top condition. By yesterday, it was perfect – thank you Donna!

What happened next wasn’t luck or happenstance.

It was a planned strategy to maximize the opportunity for buyers to not only purchase a home yesterday, but to also have the process be a fair and clear competition utilizing full transparency. I made sure that everyone knew the rules of engagement, and how to win.

Today, I get to go back in the jungle.

We made a cash offer with different clients yesterday who are hoping to buy a home in Carlsbad, and got the usual routine. Agent doesn’t answer his phone, doesn’t call back, doesn’t acknowledge receipt of the offer until today and leaves a cryptic email suggesting that he might have multiple offers but no other game plan on how the winner will be determined. You know, the normal way agents handle their business.

Full transparency is the best way to achieve top dollar, and you can only find it here!

Underpricing to Create a Bidding War

Why you should Get Good Help!

Kim Rohrer was looking forward to leaving the leaky windows in the two-bedroom Berkeley rental duplex that she shared with her husband and two small children.

The couple recently found a three-bedroom, two-bathroom chalet-style house in Berkeley listed for $799,000, which seemed relatively affordable for the area.

The house needed significant work, including plumbing upgrades, but the couple wasn’t deterred. “It was like a dream house,” said Ms. Rohrer, who works in human resources for a tech company. (Her husband works at the University of California, Berkeley.)

The couple offered well above the asking price: $850,000. They knew there would likely be multiple offers but they also needed to save some money for the necessary repairs. They didn’t get the house.

They didn’t even come close. The home sold for $1.4 million — nearly double its asking price. “It’s terrible,” she says of her house hunting experience so far. “Completely terrible.”

(more…)

Easier to Go Up Than Down On Price

This is a repeat of the 2br house featured on my tour a few weeks ago, with the resulting sales price.

The agent admitted they priced this 2br house low on purpose to attract a crowd, and it worked. The list price was $699,000, and it sold for $1,100,000 cash. Meanwhile, the two other listings around the corner priced at $1,149,000 and $1,200,000 are still unsold.

Sellers are resistant to price attractively, but look how well it works when you Get Good Help!

Sold for 57% above list!

https://www.compass.com/listing/2725-glasgow-drive-carlsbad-ca-92010/842339809239950025/

Over List in July

The percentage of buyers who were willing to pay over list reached another all-time high in July:

NSDCC Detached-Home Sales, % Closed Over List Price

January: 38%

February: 43%

March: 53%

April: 55%

May: 54%

June: 59%

July: 64%

There were 33% of the total sales that closed for $100,000+ over list price!

One out of three!

In July, it was the $1,500,000-$2,000,000 range that was red hot, with an incredible 82% paying over list:

Percentage Who Paid Over List Price by Price Range

Price Range
March
April
May
June
July
$0 – $1.0M
76%
79%
89%
88%
89%
$1.0M – $1.5M
68%
78%
84%
75%
74%
$1.5M – $2.0M
66%
66%
72%
66%
82%
$2.0M – $3.0M
54%
32%
34%
66%
56%
$3M+
16%
22%
22%
17%
26%

The average and median prices were slightly lower MoM, but the product mix is different every month.  Just having the average and median sales prices being higher than the list prices is remarkable enough:

NSDCC Average and Median Prices

Month
# of Sales
Avg. LP
Avg. SP
Median LP
Median SP
Feb
224
$2,298,797
$2,257,334
$1,719,500
$1,758,000
March
252
$2,295,629
$2,260,524
$1,800,000
$1,825,000
April
357
$2,396,667
$2,403,962
$1,799,900
$1,828,000
May
300
$2,596,992
$2,581,715
$1,900,000
$1,994,500
June
348
$2,509,175
$2,537,953
$1,900,000
$1,967,500
July
311
$2,421,326
$2,442,738
$1,795,000
$1,855,000
July, 2020
351
$1,937,896
$1,863,623
$1,450,000
$1,423,350

Compared to last July, the average sales price was +31%, and the median sales price was +30%!

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The Typical Bidding War

Here’s a great snapshot of how the vast majority of listing agents handle multiple offers. They just grab one, and kiss off the rest – which isn’t good for the sellers, it’s not good for the losing buyers who might have made a better offer if there was a highest-and-best round, and it’s not good for the buyer-agents who should have the right to compete fairly to sell the home.

But the listing agent gets to go back to sleep, so there’s that.

The most common response? “I just did what the seller wanted to do”. But isn’t it your job to advise them of a way to create a fair competition that could get them a better offer and more money? I think so.

CCP and The Future

Two years ago, the National Association of Realtors began the Clear Cooperation Policy, a directive that compels agents to submit their listings to the MLS within one business day after any public marketing.

It was an attempt to quell off-market sales, but Glenn says that it’s done the opposite.

Specifically, because the CCP allows brokerages to have ‘Office Exclusives’, he asserts that more companies are withholding their listings from the MLS and selling them in-house without any attempt to include outside agents or buyers.

Rob and Sam, two industry titans, conducted a livestream discussion to see what else can be done.

Rob has the likely solution – that any agent who wants to exclude their listing from the MLS will need to get a signed waiver from the MLS committee to do so.

Yes, it has come to that – agents can’t be trusted to play by the rules, and will need a permission slip from the principal to officially withhold a listing from the MLS.

But it gets worse – I left a bomb in the comment section here:

https://notorious-rob.com/2021/05/in-which-sam-debord-and-i-solve-the-clear-cooperation-dilemma/

Listing Agents Handling Multiple Offers

The frustration among buyers on how listing agents handle their multiple offers is continuing to mount.  Because there isn’t any guidance from the industry, listing agents just make it up as they go – and in most cases, they just pick their favorite without any thought of other solutions available.

Here are more ways I’ve seen sellers leave money on the table lately:

Listing agents selling homes during their Coming Soon period, denying any other buyers.

Counter buyers for their highest-and-best, but then accept one within minutes before other responses are received.

Only countering some of the offers.

Off-market deals, which are great for the winning buyer, but bad for seller and other buyers.

The worst part is that sellers don’t have a clue – they are just happy to sell for more than expected.

When I’ve suggested my method to agents, they have trouble grasping the concept – that’s how deep the current snatch-and-grab mentality is ingrained in agents to make a quick deal.

What’s the solution?  List your home with me!

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