Advice

I want that!

KeysI love antique auctions and I’m a fierce competititor when I get some little goody in my sights. My upper hand is I’m buying things that make me happy and I want to enjoy. My competition usually is the antique dealer who likes something yet needs to get a bargain so the item can be resold for profit. This weekend I locked onto some antique keys that I just couldn’t live without.  The bidding started low and before I knew it I owed $67 for about 30 keys that were completely useless for anything other than sitting pretty on some shelf. I saw them; I wanted them; and I paid a ridiculous price.

The Washington DC metro area’s real estate market is heating up. In today’s market with multiple buyers vying for the same property, it’s common place for people to pay more than the list price for a home they really want. It’s very similar to an auction and who will pay the highest price. In some instances a higher price makes sense; many times it does not.

In the last month I’ve had clients who were willing to pay up to $50,000 over the list price for a property and still didn’t get the house they wanted. Recently there was a row house in desperate need of a rehab located in the H Street corridor. It went for more than $400,000 (no typo) above the list price. Ridiculous.

As you go through the home buying process try to keep your adrenaline and excitement in check. This is not an antique auction for a set of keys. These are homes that come with a 30-year commitment that includes large monthly payments. Be willing to pay a slightly higher price but, most importantly, be also willing to walk away.

Sometimes passing up what you think you must have is opening the door to a better opportunity. Another home will come along. You just need to position yourself to pounce quickly. Last week another client offered $41,000 above the list price, and he still didn’t get the home. The next day he found a property in a neighborhood he loved. We crafted his offer in such a way that the seller just couldn’t say no … and didn’t. My client is now under contract for a home which is larger and more desirable and about $75,000 less than he was going to pay for the first property.

If you want to be the highest bidder come join me at an antique auction. I’d love the company, as long as you’re not bidding against me.

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