I’ve said it before but I am going to keep repeating myself – well priced Hoboken condos in good locations are in great demand. So great, in fact, that there have been multiple offers on 5 out of the last 5 units on which my buyers have made offers. There just isn’t enough inventory out there, and hungry buyers are competing for nice, new listings. Our last listing had 3 offers and went under contract in 6 days. Despite what you might read in the national media, the housing market in Hoboken is unlike the rest of the country and the bidding wars are back!
If you are a Hoboken condo buyer in competing for a desirable unit, here is what you need to know.
- Multiple offers don’t always result in over asking sales prices but they may.
- Time really is of the essence. It helps to be first.
- Some sellers go back and forth among the various buyers. Others do “final and best” and give everyone a chance to submit their final and best bid by a certain deadline.
- Most sellers will not disclose the amount of the other offers. Why should they? They think you buyers will bid higher and they will get more for their property.
- Just because there are multiple offers does not necessarily mean there is something “fishy” going on. It means that supply is low and demand is high. Other buyers out there want the same place you do.
I had an interesting (I’m being kind) experience with a buyer recently. He bid on a really nice, new listing and bid too low, despite my advice to the contrary. In fact, the buyer was angry that I told him he needed to bid higher, but I was just telling him what I thought was necessary if he wanted to reach an agreement. He did not offer enough, and someone else got it.
The same buyer then decided to make an offer on another property he had seen with me. This time, he was the only bidder and after some negotiation, his offer was accepted. He then changed his mind and wouldn’t sign the contract. Sort of embarrassing for me but he has that right.
He then made an offer on a third unit which was also a new listing. The property was listed on Friday and by Monday there were multiple offers. The listing agent told me the property was going to go for over asking, implying that they already had a full price offer. If the seller wants the other bidders to know this, the seller’s agent will tell us. When I informed my buyer that he would have to go over asking to win the bid, he (wrongly and insultingly) accused me of working for the seller and a bunch of other nasty things. Believe it or not, he actually won that bidding war but then, again, refused to sign the contract. Needless to say, I told him to take a hike. Working with unprincipled people damages my reputation, and I’ve worked too hard for too long to allow that to happen.
The lesson here is twofold. When your agent tells you something but it’s not what you want to hear, it does not mean they are being pushy or that they work for the seller. It is my role to provide buyers with truthful information in order that they can make informed decisions. I’m going to tell it like I see it. Secondly, I’m seeing the market really heat up. Inventory has been close to 200 for months. That is one third what is was after the mortgage debacle of 2008. If a nice property hits the MLS, you better be the first one to pull the trigger. There will be a line of others right behind you who want the same condo!
One last thought for sellers. I emphasized the adjectives “nice”, “well priced” and “good location” several times above. Not every new listing results in a bidding war. Delusional sellers who think they can get what they paid in 2006 plus a profit are, well, delusional. The key to selling your place quickly and for the most money is to price it right, right from the start.