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‘We just got really spoiled’: Bay Area real estate agents complain of fierce competition

When Redfin real estate agent Alex Sobieski meets with a potential client about selling their home, he knows there is competition to represent the listing. Typically, Sobieski said, he’s up against one or two other agents, and the client ultimately chooses who they think will fetch them the highest price. Lately, however, Sobieski isn’t just jockeying against another agent — he’s in a race with four or five of them.

The number of new homes coming on the market in the Bay Area is down 32% compared with last year, according to recent Compass data — that’s 22,000 fewer properties for sale across the seven counties the data includes (San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Benito). With limited inventory comes increased competition among agents; some say the horse race is the fiercest they’ve ever seen it.

“Realtors competing for listings feels like it’s at a record high, as they are more limited,” Sobieski said. “Realtors are cutting commissions, paying for staging and promising the world in terms of sales price and service.”

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