Beware the new monster lurking in Bend. His name is “Multiple Offer”, and he comes in both natural, and artificial, forms.
I’m here to warn you, folks, that there is an ugly monster lurking about in the bend market that we haven’t seen hide nor hair of since 2006. His name, which I don’t even like to speak, is Multiple Offer. Egads! See, that wasn’t fun.
I have been involved this year in several multiple offers in Bend, and I do NOT recommend them. They generally cause people to bid homes up to levels that the homes don’t merit. Unless this home is your dream home, you have other options and I would always suggest that you exercise them and move on to your next choice.
This year they seem to come in more flavors than usual as well. You have the legit ones, where multiple people actually do offer at once on a home and they are then told they have so many days to come up with their “highest and best” offer. These things happen, and in a hot market such as ours, you will eventually come across one. But there is another kind that really gets my goat, an artificially drummed up kind in which the Listing agent sets the price artificially low, often on a short sale so that there is no real obligation for the seller to go through with it if no other offers appear. These are ugly, and in my opinion, unethical. And there’s a new type I just saw, which blew my mind. I’ll get to it in a bit. First, a couple examples of some I have seen this year.
The first was on a West Side bank owned. Those are rarely seen anymore, as we have pretty much run through our allotment of West side foreclosures, and it’s been a long while since I have seen one. But if you do see one and you want to buy it, you will be looking at multiple offer s. The one I was in occurred in January, and my buyer came in at $1000 over the asking price, which we thought at the time might actually get us the house. How wrong we were. This house ended up going for $28,000 over asking price, and mind you this was a home listed at around $175,000, so we’re talking a large percentage here. I DO NOT recommend you ever go more than a tiny amount over list price, as it rarely works out in the end for the buyer. Buyer Beware.
The next one was a short sale on the East side. The Realtor had been unsuccessful selling it, so one day she slashed the price by a large margin, to a hard to believe low amount. Well, it was hard to believe because it was never going to happen. This price was so cheap, the cheapest ever in that neighborhood, that buyers and their agents descended upon this home en masse. I ran into several agents that said “hey, have you seen this house? My buyers want to write on it.”. So did mine, I said. The Realtor then said that she was getting so many offers that she was telling everyone to submit their “highest and best” by that Friday. My buyers were willing to come in a bit higher than list, but I quickly became aware through other agents that it had already been bid up to a HIGHER price than it sat at for months with no offers! Much, much higher than the latest asking price! DO NOT fall for this trick! If a short sale looks too good to be true, folks, it is.
And now the new wrinkle. I saw a home, a very nice home, this week and it was a standard, traditional sale. The price seemed very fair, perhaps overly so. But the eye catcher was in the agent remarks, where it said that they were accepting offers through Thursday (the house just went on the market on Monday), and would decide Friday. Wow, I thought, what the heck is this? They must have already gotten a bunch of offers. Well, it turns out, that’s what they wanted us to think. But when I called on Tuesday to ask, I was told there were no offers yet. None. They were “anticipating” a buyer frenzy based on showing interest. Yep. That smelled to me like they were trying to build a buying frenzy through buyers liking this very nice home and being afraid someone would get it before they did, and gosh, now we better make our offer HIGH if we want to win! But a win when there is no one else competing is not a win at all.
So, the moral of my tale, folks, is that sellers and their agents have come up with some new ways to get you OVERLY excited. Don’t let them. These are the days of multiple offers in Bend. And if someone else m