Believe it or not, these are real deals. And sometimes they actually work.

“You hear of buyers throwing sweeteners into the mix – wine, dinners – to get it home,” said Esty Perez, an agent for Knipe Realty in Portland, Oregon. “Then, a buyer arrives who says to me: ‘Hold my beer’. Let me take this back. ”

Perez said one of his clients was in a bidding war for a $ 530,000 house and offered $ 25,000 more than the asking price.

The other top offer was only $ 15,000 more. But this buyer also launched 10 Ether coins, which – in early May, when Ethereum was trading at $ 3,900 – was worth almost $ 40,000.

“We couldn’t beat that,” Perez said. “My client couldn’t offer crypto to counter that. It was a bit laughable.”

In many hypercompetitive markets where cash offers far above asking price are standard rates, buyers have found some mind-blowing ways to stand out.

Buy two houses to have one

Would you buy two houses just to get the one you really want? A buyer in Austin, Texas did it.

Competing with 50 other bids on the home, the buyer offered more than $ 100,000 above asking price – all in cash, according to Thomas Brown, agent and founder of The Agency Texas, who represented the moving buyer. to Austin from the San Francisco area. But this offer was matched by other buyers. So to seal the deal, Brown’s buyer offered something more: buy the seller’s next home.

In total, the buyer paid $ 1 million for a $ 500,000 home, Brown said. “Buyers come here to live in million dollar condos and see they can buy a 3,000 square foot house for less. They say ‘Even if I pay more I’m only here for $ 1. million bucks?’ “

Brown said his buyer was concerned that all the money invested in the house he wanted would result in property taxes. to soar, so they preferred to invest the extra money in a new home for the seller and make it a separate transaction.

Brown understood the seller’s needs and his plans for an upcoming purchase. With his buyers, they struck a deal with two separate transactions: the home the buyer wanted, listed in the $ 400,000, and a new home for the seller, which was listed in the $ 300,000. Both exceeded their advertised price and were paid in cash by the buyer.

How many houses can I afford?

“Regardless of the price, there are currently several offers for each home,” Brown said of the Austin market. “I’ve never seen anything like it and the reality is it’s not going to end anytime soon.”

Adam Pugh, a real estate attorney and partner at Cagle Pugh in Austin, said buying two homes just to get one was pretty wild, but creative.

“As we see people from all over the country paying too much for real estate in Austin, I’ve never heard of anyone buying a seller’s next house as an incentive,” he said. he declares. “But, honestly, it’s not even that surprising.”

Money – much more money

A mid-century three-bedroom house in a cul-de-sac in Berkeley, Calif., With stunning views of the San Francisco Bay was almost a one-off property, said Jill Carrigan, an agent for The Grubb Company who listed it this spring.

“It ticked all the boxes for a lot of people,” she said. “I have never had a property with 29 offers and buyers were increasing their offers without even contradicting them. The Bay Area is always competitive, but it was something I had never seen before.”

Listed at $ 1.15 million, this Berkeley, Calif. House sold in two weeks for $ 2.3 million in cash, double the asking price.

Listed at $ 1.15 million, the house sold in two weeks for $ 2.3 million in cash, double the asking price.

Neither Carrigan nor the vendors, who had started planning a move to Texas, had expected it to be okay. But this offer was clearly impossible to pass up.

“People are getting very creative with their offerings,” Carrigan said. “Sometimes if it’s a photo finish and someone threw tickets to the Warriors it could be a tiebreaker. But, at the end of the day, it’s the money and a clear offer that usually win. ”

More and more people have paid a lot more this year for a house.

This Berkeley, California home received 29 offers when it went on sale.

The Berkeley home was just one of hundreds of homes in the United States that sold for $ 1 million above asking price this spring – there were 310 of those sales nationwide just in March , according to Zillow, up 74% from last year.

And paying half a million dollars more than the list price isn’t even that rare. According to Zillow, more than 940 sales exceeded the list price by more than $ 500,000 in March, twice as many as last year.

Remove obstacles

Buyers who have the cash flow to offer significantly more than asking price certainly have the edge, pushing first-time homebuyers and qualified homebuyers who need a mortgage lower on the seller’s list. or completely out of the race. This has helped widen the wealth gap across the United States, making it nearly impossible for low-income buyers to invest in a home.
Too many Americans cannot afford housing.  But there is a solution

But sometimes money isn’t the barrier – other buyers are.

Brown said he sometimes learned of the main competition through the seller’s agent. That’s when, he said, some of his buyers paid another top buyer to leave. In one case, he said, the buyer offered more than $ 100,000 to the competition.

“They buy time and opportunities,” he said. “The seller gets a better deal. The other potential buyer gets something to go on and my client bid more and gets the house.”

While this type of offer may raise eyebrows, Brown said it works as long as all parties are aware of it, both the buyers and the seller.

Pugh said that in this situation ideally all parties have some understanding of how the deal will play out, but it would not be legally necessary. Buyer one could pay buyer two to walk away without even involving the seller, he said.

It may be a little heartwarming for homebuyers who repeatedly lose deals, but there are some buyers who have taken huge swings, putting everything they have on the table, and always written off.

Michael Perry, an agent in Salt Lake City, said one of his buyers noticed sports memorabilia while visiting a home. The buyer made an offer to purchase the house and added two season tickets for any local sports team, he said.

“It was a thoughtful idea, but we lost that one,” Perry said.

Even if the buyer wins the offer, sometimes the extra giveaway is just too strange.

In another case, Perry represented a salesman with a beautiful garden. He said the winning buyer sweetened his offer by allowing the seller to continue to use the garden and backyard for up to five years after the sale. “It was a little weird,” Perry said. “But they’re super cute. They won the auction, but I don’t think the sellers will accept them.”

Should I rent or buy a house?

There was a buyer Perry was working with who made an offer he thought was a grand slam: The house was listed at $ 1.95 million and its buyers offered $ 2.75 million in cash, closing in one week. Perry said his buyers offered a $ 500,000 non-refundable deposit upon acceptance, and that they allowed sellers to stay in the property for six months to a year until they found their next home. .

“They gave them everything,” Perry said. “The only thing they could have added was to bring a bag of money with the offer.”

They still lost the auction, Perry said. The sellers went with a buyer who basically matched that offering, Perry said, showing that in this market the bunch is never far behind.

“We were disgusted,” he said. “I didn’t know what anything in this world meant after that.”


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