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Redfin: Market Competition Cools in April

While competition over available homes remains fierce in many areas around the country, the latest Bidding War Report from ""Redfin"":http://www.redfin.com/ shows some markets cooled off a bit in April.

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The report, based on statistics compiled from more than 2,000 offers written each month by Redfin agents for its homebuying clients, shows 73 percent of offers faced competition, down from a peak of 79 percent in February but slightly up from 70 percent last April.

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""The market is undeniably hot, but Redfin's data on bidding wars and insights from our agents indicate that some markets are just beginning to cool,"" writes Redfin analyst Rachel Musiker. ""For example, in San Francisco and Washington DC competition retreated slightly from March to April, with bidding-war rates falling 0.8 and 5.8 percentage points, respectively.""

According to Redfin, the most common components of a winning offer were: conventional loan (61.7 percent), a higher-than-asking offer price (51.9 percent), and a personal cover letter from the buyer to the seller (28.0 percent).

Successful strategies varied from market to market; Redfin agents in San Francisco said 91.5 percent of winning offers were above the seller's asking price, meaning buyers should consider the listed price as a ""low starting point.""

On the other hand, homebuyers in Baltimore found more success by throwing in a personal cover letter with their offers (52.9 percent of winning offers were accompanied by a letter compared to 28.0 percent of winning offers nationally).

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