Détente in East Bay Bidding Wars? Not Likely

Détente in East Bay Bidding Wars? Not Likely

5847 Nottingham Dr


Real estate headlines recently declared that San Francisco Bay Area home sales have cooled and frenzied bidding wars  are slowing down. Words like “tepid,” “flat” and “new normal” are getting tossed around.

Yet we are finding that the East Bay market is primed for a hopping spring. We aren’t telling sellers to curb their expectations or advising buyers to be any less aggressive.

“The market is NOT slowing down but on the contrary is picking up, mostly due to an increased buyer confidence level in the economy, the cost of renting versus buying, lower interest rates and limited inventory,” says Abio founding partner Linnette Edwards

Linnette points to Abio’s listing 5847 Nottingham Drive in Oakland’s Montclair neighborhood. The two-bed, two-bath, 1,126-square-foot house drew 20 offers and sold for over $1 million, with the top three bidders removing all contingencies.

Likewise, Berkeley, Alameda and parts of Oakland are showing increased activity, and homes have been consistently selling 30 to 40 percent over the asking price, Linnette says.


16 Offers for Walnut Creek House


Contra Costa County is seeing multiple offers, but not at the same intensity. Homes are selling closer to 10 or 20 percent over the listing price.

Abio agent Mary Anne LaHaye, a welcome addition to the Abio team, reports that she just closed a deal for a buyer on a Walnut Creek house that had a whopping 16 offers. The asking price was $1,075,000 and it went for $1,205,000.

Sometimes it’s not just the dollar signs that help buyers win a bidding war.

“We made sure we were there early for the wine and cheese open house, and it allowed my client to talk with the seller and share that they had a common friend,” Mary Anne says. “We wrote a very clean offer, with approval of the lender and client only a physical contingency in place.”  


Don't Wait for Market Cooling That Might Not Come


Abio agent Mariah Bradford notes that well-priced houses spark bidding wars, especially properties listed for under $650,000, where FHA loan rates remain low and buyers need less for a down payment.  

“I see lots of buyer fatigue, where they are not wanting to deal with the competition that they heard about or experienced and just want to ‘wait until it cools down,’” Mariah says. “I think this is a mistake. Who has a crystal ball to say that will happen for sure? Unless inventory suddenly triples, things are not going to slow down that much, even if it takes little dips here or there.”

Linnette says there is no algorithm to calculate how high a home will sell. A good agent will be able to advise buyers by researching the comps, getting a feel for the current market and connecting with the other listing agent.  


Contact our Abio Properties agents for more insider tips and strategies for pricing to sell or bidding to buy your next home. 888-400-ABIO (2246) or hello@abioproperties.com