Anyone trying to buy a home in Palo Alto right now knows that it is tough out there. There are many more buyers than sellers and many Palo Alto homes sell with multiple offers way over list price. Some homes go as much as 40% over asking, but some do not. How does a buyer make the decision about how much to offer to have the winning bid in a Palo Alto multiple offer situation and not overpay?
The answer is not simple, and sometimes it not a question of price, but terms, like contingencies, length of escrow, length of rent back, etc.
But for right now, let's just discuss price. Here are some things to keep in mind when you make an offer on a Palo Alto home in a multiple offer situation,
1. In my opinion the most import thing is, how much is this home worth to you? In other words, what price would you offer so so that if it sold for $1000 more you would not be sorry because you do not want to pay that much. It may be that you would pay more than your offer if you could, but you can't so you are just doing your best. But if that is not the case you need to decide how much the house is worth to you so that if you do not get it you will not have regrets.
2. How is the asking price of this home compared to market value? If the house is listed low it will get multiple offers and sell for much more. If it is listed at or above market value it will not. This is not rocket science. Figuring out market value can be a little tricky since there are many variable, and the market is a moving target, but a good Palo Alto real estate agent should be able to help you analyze comps. Once you know the market value you will have to offer more in an appreciating market like we are in now. Sorry, but that is the truth.
3. What is the style of the listing agent? Does he or she like to list homes very low to get as many multiple offers as possible on their Palo Alto listings? Does the agent over value a home to try to get more money for their client, or just try to win out on a competitive listing? Does the agent like to work with multiple counter offers, or accept the the first best offer? Your agent should be able to give you insight into what other Palo Alto real estate agents like to do.
In the end, the final offer price and terms will be your decision, but if you have a great Palo Alto real estate agent he or she can help guide you through the murky waters of Palo Alto multiple offers.
If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in Palo Alto please feel free to contact me.