So we decided we both loved the house and it was within our price range, so we decided to venture out into the land of the bidding war.
How do you bid on a house in Sweden?
via text message. Yes, you send amounts like '3,000,000' via SMS and then the others interested in bidding see your message and decide if they want to place a bid.
You are not legally bound to actually fulfilling your bid. The agent does not need to check to see if you have any capacity to pay the sum you have bid. You can just bid. We were actually really close to purchasing a place a few years ago when the top/most aggressive bidder decided at the last minute they didn't want it and they offered it to us. At our highest bid. Based on the aggressive bidders tactics. The Swede says I am nuts, but I am convinced the top bidder was a close friend of the sellers. Because seriously what is stopping anyone from doing that? Absolutely nothing.
Someone mentioned in a previous post about the US system in which the buyer has a broker and how that can be a pain. Maybe. But sometimes I just wish there was someone looking out for MY best interest in the largest purchase I will probably make in my lifetime. The Swedish real estate agent is supposed to represent both buyer and seller, but since their salary is based on commission and paid by the seller, I cannot see how this can conceivably work. Especially when they are too busy to answer questions or take a personal interest.
Let's take our dream house as an example. Even when we said we wanted to place a bid, the agent never responded to me personally. Never answered any questions via email. Only sent out mass mailings.
OK, so there were that many people interested in the house. In 8 hours, the price went up 500,000 SEK or just under 100,000. For a house that needed some serious renovation that we had a hard time estimating the cost of, things went over our limit pretty quickly.
I'm sad to walk away, but you can only do so much.