Seattle Times: Hardball tactics resurface in hot markets

The Seattle Times recently posted an article about the current buyer frenzy we are witnessing. Cash rules and contingencies are increasingly being tossed to the wayside (ALL of them!) while escalator clauses are pushing up sold prices. Quite a dramatic shift from even six months ago.

Some excerpts from the article:

They’re back after barely a decade: Escalation clauses in real-estate contracts, “naked” contingency-free offers and lowball-priced listings designed to pull in dozens of bidders and turn routine sales transactions into auctions.

These are all techniques last seen with frequency during the frothiest months of the housing bubble in 2004-05, when prices were rising at double-digit rates, buyers thought they couldn’t lose money in real estate, and mortgage financing was available to anybody who could sign a loan application.

Now they are reappearing in some of the hottest sellers’ markets from coast to coast, the byproduct of severe shortages in houses for sale combined with strong demand by qualified purchasers. 

Bidding wars are also increasingly frequent on well-priced listings in Washington, D.C., and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs, much of California, Seattle, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Richmond, Va., Boston and parts of Florida, among others. 

View the full article here.

By the way, the gorgeous house pictured above is one we listed recently in Norway Hill (edge of Juanita in Bothell). It received 10 offers, and the winning bid was all cash with no contingencies, $80,000 over asking.