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A few thoughts on overbidding ...

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Our market analyst recently studied trends in overbidding during a five-week period beginning in early February and ending in mid-March. A few things he learned:

· 2 in every 5 sales sold for 10 percent or more over list price

· 1 in every 6 sold for 20 percent or more over list price

· 1 in 3 closed between 1 to 10 percent above asking

· 1 in 5 sold at asking or within 1 percent of list price

· 1 in 9 sold below asking price by at least 1 percent.

What can we learn from this pattern?

  1. If you are buying, start your search in a price range below what you are willing to pay.
  2. If you have been waiting to sell until your home's value hit a particular price, now may be the time to make a move.
  3. If you are selling, list your home below its anticipated selling price. Listing it right where you expect it to sell could be a mistake. Case in point: a stunning three-plus bedroom/three-bath home west of Twin Peaks worth more than $1.5M is sitting because it was listed for $1.6 million. And a condo in the Castro worth between $750,000 and $800,000 just went through a price reduction after being listed north of $800,000. These properties now have a stigma and will likely sell for less than top dollar because they weren't positioned for a bidding war.

For buyers, a corollary to number three is to study inventory that has been sitting instead of selling. There may be values among these properties as the rest of the market shifts its focus to the next new hot listing.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners-- and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett's 'City by the Bay.' Call 415-577-0809 or email cblase@paragon-re.com. www.ceceblase.com

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