I recently closed on a property in Hasting-on Hudson, NY and one in Tarrytown, NY. Both had received multiple offers, the listing agents asked for highest and best offers (highest price and best terms) and these homes each received approximately 8-10 offers.
Just to give you a sense of why there is so much demand for these homes I will give you a bit of background on each of them.
The property in Hasting-on-Hudson was an old and charming Village home walkable to all. It was priced reasonably but because of the convenient location, the size of the property and the strong demand for homes in Hastings-on-Hudson, the property sold for almost 10% over the asking price and was appraised for over that. The house in Tarrytown was beautifully renovated, fairly close to the Village on a very nice piece of property. It also sold for about 8% over the asking price and appraised higher as well. Both Hastings-on-Hudson and Tarrytown are very hot real estate markets. Many people who are moving out of Manhattan or Brooklyn have heard that both of these communities, though very different, have a great Vibe!
My Hastings client was able to compete because of the price he offered but more importantly he was able to drop the one contingency that is usually in every deal, he dropped his mortgage contingency. (Buyers still may get a mortgage but the deal is just not contingent upon it.) What that means is that the buyer committed to buying the property whether or not he was able to get a mortgage. How does that benefit the sellers of this property? They didn’t have to worry about the deal appraising or the buyer getting a mortgage commitment, two elements of a deal where things can get complicated or even fall apart.
The terms are as important as the price offered. You do not have to drop your mortgage commitment to win a bidding war. I have had clients win a bidding war with a mortgage contingency. The deal I just closed on in Tarrytown was a case where I represented a buyer who did not drop their mortgage contingency but ultimately ended up with the house.
The first time around we did not get the house. We waited to see if the first deal the seller took moved forward. What often happens in bidding wars is that buyers fight for a house, they get the house and when the dust settles they have buyers’ remorse and back out. We were next in line and my buyers stepped up and got the house.
The best advice I can give, when it comes to bidding wars– be tenacious, patient and make sure you are working with an agent who knows the values in the area. You do not want to lose the house but you do not want to over pay either.