Things are really heating up in the real estate market in San Diego. Encountering multiple offer situations is not uncommon these days, especially with properties that are priced well and are in good condition. So, is it a seller’s market?
Attached homes: In the attached market many areas of San Diego are officially in the seller’s market territory. What does this mean? It means that sellers are receiving multiple offers, prices are going up, and sellers are able to often drive prices higher and pick their choice of offers. This means that buyers do not have as many opportunities to submit lowball offers, even when they would realistically pay more but want to “feel the waters.”
Of course, long gone are the days of severely inflated prices, but I will take a thorough look at comparable sold properties, and advise my clients to stay as close as they can to those numbers (assuming the properties are similar to the one on which they are placing an offer). Slight increases from the comps are definitely justified, as the market is trending upwards in many developments.
Overbidding is often something a buyer may want to do to secure getting their offer accepted, and as a listing agent I have received multiple offers sufficiently over the asking price. However, as much as I would like my sellers to get the highest price possible for their home, when I doubted that the offered price would survive an appraisal I counseled my sellers to choose not the highest offer, but the one most likely to close (cash offers first, and then loans with very qualified buyers and nice downpayments). So, it is not just about the numbers, but buyers DO have to be aware that if they truly want a certain property they need to present their highest and best offer in today’s attached home market.
Detached homes: Detached homes are still in the buyer’s market category here in San Diego in most areas, but in reality it depends on the area, inventory and price range. In most north county coastal cities, such as Carlsbad, Encinitas and Solana Beach, we have seen prices stabilizing and little change in trending. As more inventory comes onto the market as we head into summer it just may create a trend toward higher prices, but we will have to see how strong demand is at that time.
Personally, I have seen that listings are going very quickly in the detached market. Three recent listings of mine all received offers within days of listing, including multiple offers. So my advice is that it really matters in which area the property is located, and that buyers still want to write offers as strong as possible, unless they know there are no other offers and they feel they have time for negotiations. It is important you work with a skilled buyer’s agent who knows the local market and can negotiate well on your behalf.
The bottom line is that if you are a buyer looking for a detached home, it is still a great time to negotiate. Have your agent do her research on the comparables, and come in with a strong offer…but there is no need to offer an amount sufficiently above comparable solds. If your agent knows there are other offers on the property of course you need to discuss how to present your offer in the best light to give it the highest chance of acceptance.
Happy house hunting, and please let me know if you have any market questions you would like to see answered here.
Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.