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Believe it or not: Overbids, but how?

It’s that time of year again when the San Francisco real estate market starts ramping up, so what better time than now to get back into our weekly* list of Top 10 Overbids.

Those of you that are familiar with theFrontSteps, and previously sfnewsletter, know that I’ve been putting these lists out for the better part of TWO DECADES!! Yeah, literally my entire real estate career has seen homes in San Francisco selling for more than list price.

Before I get to the list, you new readers might be wondering how the hell this keeps happening, even in a “down” market. Let me explain…

It all started back in the late 1990s and early 2000s here in San Francisco when people decided San Francisco was a pretty cool place to live, they could create businesses overnight, and – well – money seemed to be in the water here. San Francisco was the place to be.

Listing agents would get a home for sale, price it around what the market said it was worth (back then I think we were looking in the $300k range for many homes), and low and behold a ton of people would want the same property and it would sell for $200k over asking! Literally, almost every single property from a tiny condo to a massive multi family building would see an overbid. Maybe it was $15k over, maybe it was $500k over. We’d have sales meetings and try to guess the sales price on new listings for sale we had just toured. We were wrong almost all of the time. Every sale, set a new high. [If you want to see every Overbid post I ever did to see the meteoric climb, follow this link.]

It was then that San Francisco agents realized not only was this overbidding amazing, but if sellers provided a complete disclosure package up front (with pest and contractor inspections included) not only would these homes sell for way over asking price, but they’d also sell without one single contingency of sale! No inspections, no financing, no appraisal contingencies, no way for the buyer to back out. Buyers literally were throwing money at sellers and sellers were loving it. Competition was fierce, and the recipe for overbids had been established.

Fast forward a few years and we saw a bust cycle, followed by boom, bust, boom, more boom, more boom, and most recently the post covid / high interest rate “bust” so many are talking about. But, throughout all of these cycles one thing remained…Overbids. How?

Simply put, since the 1990s there have not been enough homes for the number of people that still, despite all the horrible news you’re hearing about San Francisco, want to live, work, play, and raise families in San Francisco. San Francisco neighborhoods are thriving. Our weather is really only bad when it’s foggy (some people love the fog, and fog is still better than 100+ degree heat), we don’t get wildfires, floods, hurricanes, or any of the other natural disasters so common around the country, we have jobs, we have a culture of open-mindedness, we have football, basketball, and baseball, sailing, surfing, cycling, golf, shopping, restaurants, hills, valleys, ocean, bay, I could go on forever… so why wouldn’t you want to live here? [Earthquakes, I know.]

Top 10 Overbids (closed within the last 7 days, and on the market many more days before that):

AddressBR/BA/UnitsDOMList PriceSold PriceOverbid
271 Upper Terrace 1/2/N/A14$1,195,000$1,580,00032.22%
1831 16th Avenue 3/2/N/A0$1,395,000$1,707,00022.37%
274 24th Avenue 276N/A/N/A/N/A9$1,380,000$1,680,00021.74%
1026 Pine Street 1030N/A/N/A/N/A5$995,000$1,200,00020.60%
4050 Ocean Avenue 5/4/N/A10$1,950,000$2,300,00017.95%
1140 Geneva Avenue 2/1/N/A4$859,000$1,000,00016.41%
1393 Brussels Street 3/2/N/A10$938,000$1,080,00015.14%
275 Carl Street 277N/A/N/A/N/A11$1,589,000$1,800,00013.28%
81 Dunsmuir Street 4/3/N/A12$1,299,000$1,450,00011.62%
166 Hartford Street 2/1/N/A8$1,495,000$1,650,00010.37%

The one glaring difference I see in the recent overbidding is the scale of which they are happening, and the types of properties that are competitive. Properties are currently being priced more closely to where a seller would accept an offer (so overbids are less – if at all), the number of properties for sale is way less (market report coming soon), and it’s really the Single Family Homes that are the big winners at the moment. Many condos and multi family properties are sitting on the market, and many more are selling for under asking…that’s not to say single family homes are immune to getting stale…all of this stuff is trackable on The Goods**, and all of it varies block by block, property by property, price by price.

There you have it. If you have any questions, you know where to find us.

*I use the term “weekly” very loosely and more for my own aspirations to get back on that schedule. ;-)

**You’ll notice on The Goods countless photos missing…you can thank the cyber attack for that. They will only be back online when MLS finds them and uploads them, or when each and every agent who had that property listed for sale re-loads the photos. The Goods is a business I created for agents to share with their sphere. If you’re an agent and want it for your marketing visit www.thegoods-sf.com or email [email protected] and we’ll get you set up.

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