Monday, May 4, 2009

Bidding wars in CA real estate

House hunting? It's not a buyer's market everywhere

..They bid $50,000 over asking price for a "great" four-bedroom contemporary in Valley Village, only to lose out to one of the 16 other offers tendered, Rivero, 33, said. A North Hollywood house he had been eager to see attracted so many people walking around with sales fliers that he couldn't find parking and drove off from the "vultures" who got there first.

"Every open house I've been to has been a zoo," said Rivero, who has examined 35 properties during the last three months. "If you follow what the [general] media say, you'd think sellers are desperate to sell a house, but when you get there it's totally the opposite."

...House hunters are trying to pounce on deals from sellers they expected to be frantic -- if not curled in the fetal position. What they're finding instead are bidding wars as low interest rates and pent-up demand in traditionally stable or chic areas have kept prices up -- not as high as the market's peak, but not nearly as low as they had hoped.

..King, the agent, said she'd heard earfuls about that, and noted that this was not your father's housing crash. Today, everyone is savvier, able to analyze properties with a few keystrokes or see a street view using Google.

Instant information, though, also means fiercer competition and fewer hidden gems. As an example, King cited a 1,625-square-foot, midcentury-style fixer-upper in La Crescenta priced at $299,000. Forty people were standing on the front lawn within an hour of its listing, she said. Ultimately, there were 80 bids, 15 of them exceeding $400,000. The winning bid was $480,000...,0,7623052.story

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