Well, that was by all accounts the longest, coldest, snowiest winter we’ve seen in decades. I was really glad to have winter tires on my car, from November onward, and only now considering taking them off for my summer slicks. My motorcycle just got a set of knobbly tires for a summer of off-roading, starting with a clinic in northern Washington (for which I am full of nervous anticipation!). Mentally I’m getting ready for a super quick market that is already taking off like a rocket.
Prices always do a jump at this time – daffodils start blooming and buyers start buying, like CRAZY. Irvington for instance just did another 12% jump over last time I looked. I’ve been in this business for over 20 years and I’m still in a state of some shock! I’ve been helping buyers all winter and a few tricks of the trade have changed. Until recently it was common to see ‘escalation clauses’ in offers, where the buyer would offer maybe 5% over the asking price and then say they’d pay another $1,000 over any better offer; that way they’d win without massively overpaying, potentially. The problem with this route for the selling agent, is if there are 5 or 6 offers and they all have escalation clauses, then there’s a lot of negotiating to find the highest and best offer of the lot. Once that has been achieved, as often as not, that buyer would get cold feet and it would be back to square one (with back-up offers hopefully in place). This year the mantra has been ‘highest and best’ because frequently there are 15 offers to go through and there needs to be a clear winner or two. As the buyers agent it’s my job to find another way to become the winner without encouraging my buyer to pay through the nose to win the deal. The market is moving so fast that history is too old (if you’re looking at just sold’s that’s a month ago that offers were written) and houses will go to market at slightly below where we think it will end up. This forces buyers to bid over the top – often between 10 & 15% over. But if everyone is doing that, how best to rise to the top? Well, I’m not giving away my trade secrets here, but I have successfully won every offer (bar one) written in the last three months! I know how to help you find AND win the house of your dreams.
I am both a Realtor and Interior Designer. I have transitioned from simply selling homes to selling what makes homes beautiful.
©Suze Riley 2013