Bidding wars not as common today

Hoping for a bidding war for that Chicago condo or single-family home you are selling? The odds are against you.

The National Association of REALTORS® recently reported that the number of bidding wars for homes on the market have hit a 10-year low. Sellers in Chicago, then, shouldn’t expect their properties to generate multiple offers.

The association reported that just 10 percent of offers written by REALTORS® with one national brokerage faced competition from other buyers in October. That’s down from 36 percent during the same month one year earlier.

A bidding war occurs when more than one buyer makes an offer for a home. Sellers like bidding wars because they usually increase the final sales price of a condo or single-family home.

Today, though, the number of multiple offers does seem to be on the wane. In good news for sellers, though, real estate officials quoted in the National Association of REALTORS® story predicted that this dip in bidding wars might be short-lived.

Why? Mortgage interest rates remain low. And in many markets, including Chicago, the inventory of homes on the market is low. When supply is low and rates are, too, that usually leads to a busier home-selling market. And, this usually leads to an increase in multiple offers.

Even if bidding wars are on the decline, you can still take steps to increase the odds of selling your Chicago home for the best possible price. First, work with a REALTOR® to set the right asking price, one that isn’t too low or too high for the current market. Next, stage your home so that it looks its best. Remove excess furniture and home décor so that rooms look large and bright. Make sure that your home is kept in a constant clean state. You want buyers to walk into your home and feel comfortable. You don’t want to give them any reason not to make an offer.