Realtors seeing bidding wars
Updated: June 11, 2012 8:13AM
Call it bidding wars, or as they say in the real estate world, “multiple offers.”
Oak Park and River Forest Realtors are seeing more back-and-forth activity in placing bids for the same property.
“It is crazy … from like the $300k all the way up to the $800ks,” said Steve Scheuring, an agent with Baird & Warner in Oak Park, who has been involved in five or six multiple offers in the past two months.
“There are a number of factors contributing but this does NOT mean prices are rising,” emphasized Scheuring. “Most of the bidding wars involve offers still under asking price.”
Although numerous Realtors are seeing more multiple offers on properties, the term “bidding wars” is misleading, said Jim Blaha, owner of the River Forest-based, buyer-specialized JFB Realty.
Multiple offers are happening but not driving price up like old days, just getting the seller a price closer to list but still below list, he said.
“Buyers often start aggressively low but if another offer comes in and the buyer still wants the house, the buyer will get reasonable quickly,” said Blaha.
However, “buyers are too cautious for bidding wars leading to excessive prices,” he said.
Still, it’s good news for the market. Andy Gagliardo, owner of the River Forest-based Gagliardo Realty, attributes the increase in action to better economic times and more buyers getting into the game. He said he has had a few multiple offer situations, both on listings and with some buyers.
“There is certainly more activity and sales in the neighborhood,” said Gagliardo. “Prices are not necessarily going up, but we may be leveling out. It has to start there.”
The fact that rental prices are also up about 18 percent (year to year) doesn’t hurt the situation either, said Scott Berg, of Berg Properties in Oak Park.
“Activity has been strong this spring — with pending sales way up and some Chicago brokers up 200 percent from last year,” said Berg.
To try and avoid getting into a bidding war, Roz Byrne, an agent with the Oak Park-based RE/MAX in the Village, advises her buyers to be decisive once they see a home they like.
“As soon as you like a house its not that uncommon that another buyer may like it too,” said Byrne, who had multiple offers on a listing last month, and last year had about 20 percent of her 30 deals obtain multiple offers.
“When a house is priced correctly in the first place or when a price adjustment brings it to the sweet spot, a buyer will come forth and sometimes more than one buyer!” she said.
At Weichert Realtors Nickel Group in Oak Park, multiple offers acually resulted with a bid being more than the asking price, said broker Sarah O’Shea Munoz.
“It appears that buyers are finding value in homes that both present well and are well-priced,” said O’Shea Munoz. “This is all good news.”
According to information provided by the Oak Park Area Association of Realtors, from Jan. 1 through March 31, Oak Park saw 60 single-family homes closed on compared to 45 in the same time period in 2011.
In River Forest those numbers were 7 this year and 14 last year. Those figures do not include condos and townhomes.