Question: When is an asking price NOT the asking price?
Answer: When an offer date is set.
This is the conclusion I’ve come to in the last month as I’ve written offers for clients (and lost out) or simply watched properties that got immediate and intense attention from buyers. It seems that anytime I ask the listing agent, “What are you doing about offers?” and the dreaded, “We’ve set a date of…” comes back as the reply, I know it can’t be good — for the buyer, that is.
There are exceptions, I know, but generally of late, when there’s an offer date set, its result is multiple offers and most of them are over asking. There was even a situation recently when I talked to a listing agent the morning he was accepting offers on a condo. He had one in hand and was expecting at least one other (he had given out 10 disclosure packets). My client had been considering, though not terribly seriously, submitting an offer although he could only (only!) offer asking price. When I told the agent that we weren’t going to submit an offer, though if we had it would be at asking price, he said in as kind and gentle a manner as possible, it wouldn’t have been worth our time. What that told me was the offer he already had in hand was over asking — and that subsequent offers were likely to be the same.
Obviously this isn’t the case in every neighborhood, in every price range. But it’s close. I represent clients in all price categories who are interested in nearly every San Francisco neighborhood. This scenario I’ve described is becoming increasingly more common.
And all of this is in the face of today’s headline that San Francisco real estate sales dropped 32% over a year ago, though sales prices were up almost 6%.
Bottom line: those who are truly in the hunt right now (as opposed to those who are interested but are sitting on the sidelines) are aggressive — and hungry. Maybe it’s pent up demand. Maybe it’s the terrific interest rates. But right here, right now, San Francisco is getting hot again. Trust me.