The pandemic-era real estate market has emerged as a windfall for sellers and a headache for buyers. A shortage of for-sale homes continues to boost prices across the nation by double-digits — and is pushing house hunters to go to extremes to win bids. 

Take a home near the Microsoft campus outside of Seattle that was listed for about $725,000. The buyers made a bid without seeing the home, offering $400,000 above asking price and waiving all contingencies — meaning no inspection or mortgage-financing contingencies were required, recalled Ryan Dibble, the chief operating officer of Flyhomes, which represented the seller in the deal. 

“Even we were a little bit like, ‘Wow, that’s aggressive’,” Dibble recalled. 

Increasingly, offering above asking price isn’t enough to win a bid in the ultra-tight pandemic housing market, according to realtors and buyers. Indeed, going above the asking price is simply the…

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