As Seattle grows by almost 3,500 new residents each month, the imbalanced gap between eager house-hunters and available homes continues to grow, prompting and increase in bidding wars on active listings. According to Redfin, approximately 90 percent of houses for sale in Seattle have ended in a bidding war over the last two months. These multiple offers can sometimes total in 12 or more individual bids for the same property. Compare this striking upsurge to the beginning of the decade where less than half of all available Seattle homes attracted more than one offer.
Although this is the seventh straight month that Seattle has lead in home price growth across the nation, the selling price of a home vastly differs between cases. In some instances, over ten offers escalate to a winning bid of over $100,000 over asking price. However not all houses with multiple offers are selling for over or even at the original asking price. According to the Seattle Times, “sellers will ask for offers all at once and simply pick the highest one,” and about a third of the winning offers are at or below the list price.
If homes are selling for at or below asking price, what exactly is the toughest aspect of Seattle’s current housing market? The answer is timing. Many buyers report feeling pressured to submit an offer within days or hours of a home hitting the market in order to even stand a chance. The Seattle Times notes that “buyers from outside the area are submitting escalating bids on houses sight unseen.” Qualified buyers are exhausted from spending 6 months to a year searching for and buying a home, as many are sold within days of being put on the market to cash offers and those who are willing to waive contingencies and inspections.
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