Despite recent rumors of a market cooling, we’re still in a world where overbids are a fact of life. Today it still seems that “asking price” is merely a jumping-off point. Eager would-be buyers sometimes offer hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking to secure their dream home. How far will they go?

Consider the top 20 overbids of the past two weeks. Led by a two-unit Duboce Triangle building  that sold for $1.715 million — 55.91 percent over its $1.1 million list price, and a two-bedroom Portola single-family residence whose $1.195 sale price was 49.56 percent over asking (LINK?) — the top 20 overbids sold for an average of 35.6 percent over asking.

What makes these homes so hot? Take a closer look at the list. If you do, you’ll spot some common factors that’ll tell you what you need to know about the present state of the local market.

Begin with location; none of these big sellers are in “showcase” neighborhoods like Pacific Heights, Noe Valley or Cow Hollow. Instead, they’re in traditionally entry- and mid-level districts far from the glittery lights of downtown. Five are in Bernal Heights. Five more are in the Sunset. Two are in the Portola.

These eager buyers aren’t in the market for glamorous mansions with billion-dollar views. The “top 20” list has a median asking price of $995,000, significantly below the citywide median of $1.16 million. The majority of homes on the list (13) were listed below $1 million, and 17 of the 20 were single-family residences (SFRs).

Add it all together and something becomes clear: the most hotly-contested properties in San Francisco are not Pacific Heights Victorians, Seacliff mansions or downtown penthouses; they’re modest single-family homes in established, under-the-radar neighborhoods, listed at or below the citywide median price.

As for the mansions and penthouses, there is a corresponding list: the top 20 underbids in San Francisco. Don’t get too excited, bargain-hunters; the percentages on this list are nowhere near as gaudy as those on the overbids list. Together the homes on this list sold for an average of 6.2 percent under asking.

What’s interesting about the underbids list is that it’s far more eclectic than the overbids list, making it even more clear that right now there is a specific “type” of listing commanding cartoonish overbids. You’ll find all manner of property — South Beach condos, Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow mansions, Yerba Buena penthouses — on the list, along with a broad range of prices. The price range, though, begins at $1 million and ranges up to $8.995 million. In fact, fully half of the top 20 underbids from the past two weeks had asking prices of more than $2 million (the median was $2.2 million). Four were listed above $4 million.

What does this mean? It means that the real scrums are happening at the entry and middle levels of the market, and that while it is possible to purchase a home in San Francisco for under asking price, its most likely at the top end of the market and even then, you’re not likely to get a bargain.