How to avoid a bidding war? Avoid beautifully staged homes! Part 1.

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

There is a way of marketing homes in this area that becomes more popular as the inventory of homes for sale dwindles.  We all know it.  We all do it!

First, you convince the buyers to hire the best stager you know so the place looks, smells and feels wonderful.

Second, you convince them that when it comes to price, less is more - that homes priced below market will sell quickly at over the current market value.

Third, you get your sellers to take a quick little vacation - get them out of town or at least out of the house.

Fourth, you enter it into your local multiple listing service on a Wednesday night, preferably with the sellers out of town for several days.

Fifth, you set a deadline for six or seven days from the listing date for agents to submit offers.

Finally, you sit back and wait for all of the buyers to start to throw offers with huge escalator clauses at you.

If you are lucky, you will have 10 or more offers by the deadline.  The buyers will all be excited and imagining their wonderful lives in your beautifully staged listing. The agents will be a little nervous, knowing that after showing the house, preparing a market analysis for their buyers and dealing with 40+ pages of purchase forms, only one of them will have happy buyers, and only that one agent will get paid.

Even winning might, in the end, be losing.  To get the house, your clients probably had to forego all of the consumer protections in the boiler-plate contracts, waiving the home inspection, appraisal, and financing contingencies. And then there was the gigantic earnest money check to prove they were indeed serious about "winning" the war.  And because the contingencies were all waived, the really have no way of getting out of the contract without forfeiting the deposit.  And who is the focus of their ire if something goes sideways?  Why, that nice buyer agent who was supposed to be protecting their interests!

Lately, I've been working with a lot of first-time buyers who are looking in a price range with little inventory that cannot be described as "hovel".  But if they are flexible about the location, I can usually find them something that works.  But lately, even my off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods are becoming a challenge.  

How am I dealing with this challenge?  OK, that's a subject for tomorrow's post!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 06/02/2017 05:59 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 06/11/2017 11:50 PM
Home Buying
Diary of a Realtor
Local Expert
Stage It Forward...
dc area home buying
bidding wars

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Sam Kader MLO 130505 MB 78982
Pacific Coast Financial LLC Lic# MB78982 - Seattle, WA
Real Estate NMLS 91980 Mortgage Broker Lic MB78982

Excellent post Pat! Thanks for sharing.  I had a purchase that fell through recently for winning a bidding war but failed to appraise.

Jun 02, 2017 10:54 PM #51

Great article! Looking forward to your follow-up post.

Jun 03, 2017 02:23 AM #52
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Hi, Pat - Long time!

It sure feels good to have a pile of good offers for a listing, but I encourage buyers to be open to homes that are not staged or do not have great photos. It's highly likely they will find a gem among those homes and maybe even be able to purchase it for a great price. 

Great post, as always. Congrats on the feature!

Jun 03, 2017 04:09 AM #53
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great post, Pat. I love this approach and the staging and the buyers absence is all part of this recipe for success. I am looking forward to part two and hoping for a favorable appraisal.

Jun 03, 2017 05:12 AM #54
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Great way to handle a listing in a hot market.

Jun 03, 2017 05:55 AM #55
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Pat, you have laid out so well another reason to be a Listing Agent.

Your scenario is a nightmare for the Buyer's Agent.

Looking forward to Part 2.

Jun 03, 2017 07:32 AM #56
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Pat, our homes were selling over the weekend, but then had 2,000 new listings hit the market first of May, causing most listings to remain past the weekend.  Great post, and nice to see you back in the RAIN! 

Jun 03, 2017 07:52 AM #57
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a great observation!  It depends which side of the transaction you are working.   It validates the old adage "List to Last!".  A

Jun 03, 2017 11:26 AM #58
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

If that situation ever happened here, agents would think they'd died and gone to heaven.

Jun 03, 2017 01:23 PM #59
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition. This is excellent advice to share.

Which home stager to you recommend?

Jun 03, 2017 04:55 PM #60
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I just reported the spam I saw as the last comment. To the post you bring up a different perspective and a creative one that would be a great lesson to new agents.

Jun 04, 2017 08:51 AM #62
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Since the homes sell so fast anyway and the traffic for a new listing is so high, definitely have your sellers take a few days off!

Jun 06, 2017 09:08 PM #63
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Pat, this is harrowing for you and for your buyers. Portland has been seeing this...$40K-$50K over asking price, everything waived, allowing sellers to rent back for however long...yikes. Tiny houses are becoming the next big project for Portland because there isn't anything available for purchase for those with smaller incomes. 

I have only been through three multiple offer situations. The last one was a foreclosure and a NIGHTMARE, as the buyer was a very controlling person! 

I would love to avoid both those scenarios! 

Jun 07, 2017 07:08 AM #64
LLoyd Nichols
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL - Fort Myers, FL
Southwest Florida Homes By The Sea

I cannot feel bad for agents with your kind of problems ;o) certainly it pays to do your home work ( great if you can tell your sellers to take a break ) and have the home staged by the best. It will pop out. Next is the curb appeal. Thank you for the information. Multiple offers is tricky. The buyer has to be ready before hand to compete. 

Jun 07, 2017 09:18 AM #65
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post and a good entry for Anna's FAQ contest!

Jun 09, 2017 04:19 PM #66
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Foregoing inspections, appraisals, and other important issues are a recipe for disaster and might lead to unnecessary legal action, especially if the agent is recommending that their clients exclude these items in their offer.  

Any property in a desirable neighborhood will get multiple offers IMO, so it's not only dependent on those elements. 

Jun 09, 2017 08:45 PM #67
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Always fascinating reading about your market, which is so different from what we see here. Excellent post

Jun 14, 2017 11:00 AM #68
Sherry McNabb
Nest Ahead - Katy, TX
Local Roots | Global Reach

Hi Patricia!  Great perspective.  I believe I would want to be the seller's agent for this scenerio, it would be very difficult to be the buyer's agent and deal with the possibility that your client has to forfeit everything that protects them!  Can't wait to go read Part 2!

Jun 18, 2017 10:29 AM #69
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Good one... and looking forward to part 2 which I'm going to read right now.

Jul 05, 2017 07:46 PM #70
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Wow, I am so impressed that you are still blogging as much as ever!!! I have really slowed down with blogging but this is still the ONLY spot I do it. Hope this finds you well......Sascha is still living in Berlin, so who knows when I will make it up that way again.....

Jul 10, 2017 10:24 AM #71
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Patricia Kennedy

Home in the Capital
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