I'm involved in my 4th multiple bid situation in the past six weeks. I'm almost as stunned as my clients are. Multiple offer scenarios haven't been common here since the market peak back in 2008 or thereabouts.
From what I've been involved in, as well as chats with other agents, multiple bids seem to be largely confined to one hot part of the market — houses with 2+ bedrooms in country settings with some charm or interesting features priced under $200,000. This is a market segment with a lot of buyers looking and a shortage of good inventory. When an appealing new listing hits the market in that range, it's getting almost immediate attention. All 4 multi-bid situations I've been involved with have had deals within a couple of weeks of being listed. A common factor among all 4 houses is that they were very well priced. Rather than shooting for the stars, the sellers set an asking price to get them sold.
Move above $200,000 and the situation changes dramatically. I'm seeing interest in the mid $200's and above, but there isn't the same feeding frenzy. Over the past few months I haven't been involved in any multi-bids for properties listed above $200,000.
Not everything that's well priced sub-$200K that I thought would be hot is moving. There are a couple of really cute one bedrooms that aren't getting buyer love, and a sweet little log home with privacy on the market at $179K that I thought would fly off the shelves in still available. But log is less popular with the 30-somethings urbanites that are prime buyers in the sub-$200K market.
I think that buyers are a little shocked when they find themselves in a multi-offer situation. But right now it's a reality in hotter market segments with more demand than supply.