With the cold weather out in force, and people preparing for the holidays, it would be safe to assume that the real estate market might be slow; that houses and the demand for houses decrease. However I have personally noticed that this is not the case.
I am working with about five people right now, who are all buyers. Three of which are ready to pick a house and start calling the moving company, two are just casually looking for “the house” to emerge from slumber somewhere within the Portland Metropolitan area. It is with my active buying clients that I am starting to see a trend: Every house we place a bid on has some kind of bidding war going on! Most of which have a set deadline where the listing agent will present all offers to the seller, and the seller will pick their highest and best bid to win the house.
Unfortunately, for those looking to move right now, this means that you may have to pay more for a house that needs a bit of work. Something I was telling one of my clients just last week was:
“The cost for this house is not in the quality (as it needed a new roof and some major work in the kitchen, yard, and bathrooms), but what you are paying for is the convenience of location.” (not to mention it had other bids, but we did not know this at the time)
This was kind of a jagged pill to swallow because she did not want to move so far out of town that she felt so out of reach from her friends and family, but she also did not want to spend all of her money on a house that would require more money to fix up. I don’t think anybody wants to feel left out of the goings-on when you have everybody so close into Portland.
So one of the things that I have suggested when we decide we want to enter into a bidding war for a property close to home, is write a letter. Simple and sweet. The thing about writing a small one-page note (and maybe a scanned picture) is that you are reaching out to the seller on a more human level. Selling your house can be pretty emotional, sure the highest and best bid might be the greater offer. But sometimes there are sellers that are willing to sell their home to a reasonable buyer who reminds them of themselves, or has something interesting going on in their lives (marriage, children, cool hobbies). I once had a buyer whose bid was accepted because I had mentioned that my buyer collected motorcycles! It really could take just that simple thread of showing a bit of identity with your offer that means you beat all offers out of the water.
In any case, my buyers are still surfing the market looking for the right house, as I have noticed all have multiple offers. And I’m sure if you are in the market to buy right now you may be running into the same issue. So try writing a little one page note introducing yourself and your family, and who knows. It might just evoke the holiday spirit, and you win a bidding war on the house of your dreams.
Written by: Whitney Gregoire