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Bidding Wars Are Rampant in Seattle – How You Can Compete

Bidding wars are back and Seattle is seeing a healthy portion of many of these wars due to low inventory and soaring home prices. According to local real estate agents and the MLS, 75% of homeowners received multiple offers on their listings this year alone. This is pushing many homes to sell above their asking price and many buyers are finding themselves frustrated with the process.

Home buying and selling has proven to be the most competitive now than in the last decade. For the first time since the economic turn-down and housing recession, the majority of homes in the metro area are selling above asking price. First time buyers, repeat buyers and investors all bid for the same property and many first time buyers are simply getting outbid by fast closing times and of course, cash offers.

Read more: Seattle’s inventory could be absorbed in one month!

Several homes even have non-refundable deposits that must be given before an inspection can even take place. It’s an emotional roller coaster and so many buyers are left getting more and more frustrated as declined offers add up.Primarily, homes selling high above list price are in the downtown and the waterfront, north Seattle and Green Lake and just north of the Snohomish county line in places like Lynnwood and Edmonds. Some of these homes are selling up to 70% above list price! With cash offers, there are no banks to decline a low appraisal so the market continues to push upwards.

Currently the Seattle metro area is now seeing a higher rate of bidding wars than the San Francisco Bay area, which is really saying something, since the Bay area has been in this position for several years. Four years ago, the Bay area only saw a 55% multiple offer scenario, which is still quite impressive. Today, more that 50% of homes are selling for more than asking price in the Seattle area, twice the national average.

This could all be because of more qualified buyers as well. Buyers have recovered from the housing crash and have entered back on the market as well as many new millennials entering the housing market. A recent study showed that there may be more millennials entering the housing market in the next few years than baby boomers did in the 80s.

When a home is listed, especially in a tight neighborhood, buyers and investors flock to the property with a sense of urgency to get in before anyone else. Personal letters, incentives and escalation clauses are all in full effect. Agents are working around the clock to offer tours, arrange meetings and submitting offers just to get their client in the door first.

These wars are becoming harder and harder to avoid in the Puget Sound area, from Shoreline to Renton and everywhere in between. Some neighborhoods are even more competitive, such as Phinney Ridge, Fremont, Wedgewood, West Seattle and the University District. Upwards of 90% of homes sold this year alone saw a bidding war. However, there are some areas in the Puget Sound where offers are not that urgent. Places like Arlington, Monroe and Stanwood in Snohomish counties are not seeing the hype as we are in Seattle, but that may change as buyers are pushed farther out into the suburbs in order to just get their foot in the door on an offer.

Seattle homes are selling in about 8 days, five times faster than the national average. Homebuyers are frustrated but with the right agent, negotiations can win out. This is not a market in which to go at it alone. Buyers, especially first time buyers, need a qualified and skilled agent that not only knows the market but individual neighborhoods in order to make a competitive offer. There are tricks, tips and strategies that  Mary Pong has used for years, honing in on the best way to compete in any market against any competitor.  If you’re tired of getting beat out time and time again on a home in the Seattle market, contact Mary today. Utilizing her creative skills can help you get the home of your dreams.