Quick Closings, Free Rent, and Big Escalations: What's Behind DC's Above Asking Deals

  • June 4th 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

With homes regularly selling for above their asking price in a matter of days or even hours in the DC area, UrbanTurf decide to reach out to a handful of realtors involved in Above Asking transactions to get the stories behind the winning offers.

1410 D Street SE.

All Cash on the Hill

Matt McHugh and Heather Davenport's listing at 1410 D Street SE received multiple offers on the very day UrbanTurf included the house in our What X Buys feature. 

"We had 28 showings in a weekend and a line of people down the block waiting to get into the open house," McHigh told UrbanTurf. "We ended up with five offers [two all cash], all over $900,000 and all but one 100% contingency free. The prevailing offer was not the highest but was all cash, contingency free and closed in nine days! The super fast closing date is what tipped the scales for the sellers in terms of taking the second highest offer, as opposed to the highest. The sellers did a lot to get the house ready for sale including painting the entire inside and exterior, and staging. Even in this competitive market it is important to do all of those things to get the best money for your house."

  • Asking Price: $849,900
  • Sold Price: $960,000

Photo courtesy of Joe Hodgson.

Chevy Chase listing.

Half a Million Above Asking, Three-Day Closing

Compass realtor Dan Swayze also had a line around the block during an open house for his personal home in Chevy Chase; the open house had around 75 attendees — and there were another 70 private showings. 

"We had five pre-offer home inspections, which is key when you want to come in with a no-contingency offer. We ended up with eight offers total, and they were all very clean. What won out was [one that went] way over list price, no contingencies, and the part that kind of blew me away is that we were looking at offers on Tuesday, and they wanted to close it Friday — and they did! I've heard of fast closings, but that even took me off guard." 

The buyer was also one of a few bidders who submitted a personal note along with their offer, expressing their love of the garden and landscaping work Dan and his husband had taken on as a "pandemic project."

  • Asking Price: $1,295,000
  • Sold Price: $1,835,000

Photo courtesy of HomeVisit.

3505 Wesbter Street.

$100,000 Plus Free Rent

Personal consideration was also a factor for Silvana Dias's seller at 3505 Webster Street. 

"We came on the market on a Thursday. By the following Tuesday evening we were reviewing multiple offers," Dias said. "There were 28 showings and 7 pre-offer inspections. The sellers chose to work with the cleanest offer they received which also escalated the highest — to $651,000, $101,000 over list price. The winning offer had no contingencies, a very strong earnest money deposit, high escalating factor in their escalation clause and a super fast settlement. They also provided a 60 day free rent back for my clients which allowed them to house hunt and secure the purchase of [their] next home."

  • Asking Price: $550,000
  • Sold Price: $651,000

4415 Greenwich Parkway

Five Offers in Foxhall

Agent Courtney Abrams' recent listing at 4415 Greenwich Parkway NW got a lot of attention particularly because of how competitive the market has been in the Foxhall neighborhood. Two comparable sales to the Greenwich Parkway listing received around 12 offers each.

"The people who ended up getting the listing had lost two houses in the neighborhood, so they were very motivated. It seems like people who have lost a couple are a little bit more savvy," Abrams told UrbanTurf. 

"[The Greenwich listing] had five offers, and all of them except for one waived every single contingency. There was one cash offer, but [the sellers] went with one with a higher escalation [in addition to no contingencies]. That went for $1,170,000 from $995,000."

  • Asking Price: $995,000
  • Sold Price: $1,170,000

Photo courtesy of HomeVisit.

The number of offers on this listing was corrected since publication.

The Kearny Street listing.

Pre-Inspections Don't Always Lead to Offers

Agent Ken Germer noted pre-offer inspections as an indicator of market demand, although it seems that not all buyers who have missed out on previous listings are willing to be aggressive. Two of Germer's recent listings, one in AU Park on Burlington Place NW and the other in Brookland on Kearny Street NE, had buyers do pre-inspections, then opt not to make offers.

"The thing that I think is most interesting about where we are today is that we're seeing buyer fatigue," Germer told UrbanTurf. "In eight years, I've never seen a situation where a buyer did a pre-inspection, and then didn't make an offer." When Germer reached out to those would-be buyers' agents, they said the high number of pre-inspections and number of people making offers made their clients not want to compete. 

Although the Burlington Place listing still ended up with eight offers, only three came from the pool of eight prospects who did pre-inspections; some of the other bidders skipped the inspection contingency entirely.

"They're saying, 'I'm already bidding $150,000 over list price; if the roof is bad, it's not going to move the needle on my offer, so I'm not going to do the inspection.' Which is risky."

The winning offer on the house had no cap on their escalation clause and made an all-cash offer — which he notes is often used even when buyers still plan to take out a mortgage. The other thing buyers have to worry about now? Having the cash to cover the gap if a house is appraised for less than the sale price.

  • Asking Price on Kearny listing: $999,000
  • Sold Price: $1,261,000

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/quick-closings-free-rent-and-big-escalations-whats-behind-above-asking/18339.

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