“There is always another house,” Schneiderman said. “We talk people down. We also have a bunch of buyers who have pulled out of the market because they don’t want to deal with this.”
Economist Brian Bethune said it is important for buyers to keep the current market in perspective; home values in the Boston area are still down about 16 percent compared with 2005 highs. He also believes the scramble to snap up homes in more expensive communities by overbidding will ease as buyers widen their property searches.
“People will realize at some point it doesn’t make sense to pay that kind of money,” said Bethune, a professor at Gordon College in Wenham.
Some agents are hopeful that the competition will ease as the spring heats up and more people decide to take the plunge and become sellers.
Greg Kiely, sales manager for Century 21 Commonwealth in Newton, said he is already noticing a slight slowdown in buyer competition this month compared with February. “We have gone from immense pressure to significant pressure,” he said.
Victoria Criado isn’t feeling so optimistic. She and her fiance have spent several months looking in vain for a home priced between $275,000 and $400,000 in Jamaica Plain or Somerville. Already, the couple lost out a $325,000 home, even though they offered the owners $330,000. As she watches values escalate, Criado, 32, is starting to wonder if they started looking too late. She said it’s disheartening to arrive at an open house to find dozens of shoes lined up near the front door — another place packed with hopeful, or desperate, buyers.
“The worst part is not being able to make a reasonable bid and win,’’ she said.
Moorman, who is paying 12 percent above asking price for a Jamaica Plain condo, said he was disappointed when his bids on two other properties fell short.
When he toured the two-bedroom Jamaica Plain unit earlier this month — its first weekend on the market — the real estate agent told him bids would be opened at 5 p.m. Sunday. This time, Moorman was determined to come out the winner. On top of plunking down more money, he enticed the seller with a flexible closing option and a $5,000 cap on any needed repairs discovered during inspection.
“I feel confident it will be a good investment,” he said. “I’m just excited to know where I’m going to be living.”