Buyers in Sonoma County are faced with lots of challenges when trying to purchase a home, including the fact that they are often competing against multiple offers that go well above asking.  People are finding that they have to remove contingencies, pay all cash, offer a short close and pay well above the asking price to not be outbid.

Jack Benson and his wife, Linda, are retirees from Southern California who have been looking for a small home or condo throughout Cotati and Santa Rosa for the past 3 months to share with his aging mother. Over that time, they have made all-cash offers on four homes and have been outbid each time.  The first house, located in Rohnert Park, was listed for $349,000 and had 29 offers. It sold for $455,000 – over $100,000 above the listing price.


5239 Evonne Avenue in Rohnert Park, which recently sold for $106,000 over asking at $455,000.

All photos courtesy of NORCAL MLS.


The kitchen at 5239 Evonne Avenue, which is a 5 bedroom, 2 bath home with 1,882 square feet.

The most recent home that the Bensons tried to purchase had over 24 offers and sold at $50,000 over asking.  Jack said, “It is really frustrating to offer $30,000 over the listing price and still not get the house.  All we want is a small place where we can care for my mom and maybe do a little gardening. We had no idea what a challenge this would be.”

Glen Ellen recently had a property sell for a whopping $251,000 over the list price.  200 Mound Avenue is a 560 square-foot home with two bedrooms and one bath, but it rests on a prime four acre lot that prompted a final sale price of $750,000.  We have a feeling that this little house will be a mere memory in the not-too-distant future.


200 Mound Avenue in Glen Ellen, which sold for $251,000 above list price and had nine offers.


The living room at 200 Mound Avenue.


Cotati, Rohnert Park and Sonoma seem to have frequent bidding wars that run from $23,000 to $100,000 over list price, but Santa Rosa, Cloverdale and other towns in Sonoma County are not immune.  A quick scan of recent Santa Rosa home sales shows sale prices ranging from $11,000 to $22,000 over asking, and 566 Monaco Circle in Cloverdale sold for a $10,000 premium at $440,000.  A 1,516 square-foot home, it has three bedrooms and three baths and had two offers.  Granted, these homes all sold during the hot summer market, but buyers in many areas of Sonoma County are still facing bidding wars as we head into fall.


566 Monaco Circle in Cloverdale, which sold for $10,000 above list price at $440,000.


The kitchen at 566 Monaco Circle.

With the Smart Train opening up future commuting opportunities to Sonoma County, Santa Rosa looks to become even hotter.  Do you have a crazy real estate story or want to hear about other real estate topics?  Let us know in the comments.