Seattle is the fifth-most competitive housing market in the country right now, according to new stats from real estate website Redfin.

It also shows the market has reached a point in which you need to be willing to pay more than the seller is asking and you need to make it personal by writing a letter to the seller.

Redfin s so-called Bidding War Report shows 74.6 percent of offers on homes in Seattle faced competition in April. That s up from 68 percent a year ago. Of those homes, 67.9 percent of the winning offers were higher than the seller s asking price.

What were the features of winning offers in Seattle? According to Redfin:

  • 2.4 percent were paid in cash
  • 63.1 percent used a conventional loan
  • 4.8 percent used an FHA/VA loan
  • 10.7 percent waived financing contingency
  • 14.3 percent had a pre-inspection
  • 19 percent waived inspection contingency
  • 17.9 percent used a cover letter

Redfin said the most common components of a winning offer across all markets were a conventional loan, a higher-than-asking offer price and a personal cover letter, written by the buyer to the seller.

The markets that showed more competition last month were Orange County (93.6 percent); San Francisco (90.8 percent); San Diego (86.9 percent), and; Los Angeles (86.2 percent).

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