In my last newsletter, I mentioned that I had felt a shift in the market. Homes are still selling quickly, but in the last couple of months we have not seen as many price escalations, or bidding wars that come from multiple offer situations. There is an element to this that is seasonal, but I do think we are seeing some subtle market shifts overall. Buyers are getting extremely savvy about what they are looking for, what they are willing to spend, and when they are willing to bid over the asking price. Decisions are happening quickly, with most listings receiving an offer in less than 10 days on the market. But the flexibility and negotiating room on those offers is much less than it was even 6 months ago. Buyers are grabbing the upper hand of the seasonal slowdown, and using it to their advantage. There is a small pocket of time between now and when we begin the spring upswing (that starts in February) where a Buyer could ultimately control the purchase. If you are thinking about buying, now may be the time! I am excited to see what spring of 2017 will bring to our market.
The Seattle Times says home prices grew 10.3 percent in September to a new median of $630,000 in Seattle, and shows a similar growth trend for surrounding suburbs.
How much does it cost to live in Seattle?
The Seattle P-I calculated the minimum annual salary you’d need to buy a home in 35 neighborhoods. To afford a median priced home, you need to make at least $111,000 a year.
B.C. hits foreign buyers with transfer tax
The Seattle P-I reports on the 15% foreign buyers Real Estate transfer tax, enacted by B.C. lawmakers to curb runaway prices. In Vancouver the median price of detached homes hovers around $1.5 million. Will Seattle enact a similar tax?
Is it time to refinance?
Bankrate.com says so. Mortgage rates slid to their lowest level in almost 3 months. “The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 3.54% from 3.62%, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. That’s barely above the record low of 3.5%, set in December 2012.”
As the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks, we’re donating $100 per Seahawks home game tackle to YouthCare to help #tacklehomelessness. So far this year we are giving $8,200 to provide essentials for homeless youth.
In this part of the newsletter I usually feature my listings and pending sales. In the past couple of months I have been involved in some of the most complex transactions of my career. I have learned invaluable lessons, techniques, rules and skills this year. I am currently working on 10 pending sales and I thought it may be interesting to touch on some of the unique challenges I am navigating through.
Epic Contingent Domino of Sales
I wrote an unlikely contingent offer on a farm property (which is in itself a new experience!) for a Buyer and it was accepted! We quickly put their house on the market, and in turn another of my Buyer’s wrote a contingent offer on that house. We listed the 2nd Buyer’s house and had it pending in less than 48 hours. If that isn’t dramatic enough, the inspections on these homes included 3 septic systems, a well, a propane tank, a swimming pool, and 2 barns.
Inspections protect both buyer and seller
In the past few weeks I have faced the following inspection hurdles: mold, leaky roof, broken sewer line, inoperable well pump, lack of permits, major foundation issues, plumbing leaks— and those are just the major ones. These items create additional stress for all parties, which in turn can create delicate situations to negotiate through. If I have learned one thing over the years it is this, “if it is broken there is always a fix.” At times it does feel impossible, and when it works out— a miracle! I have never had so many clients ask me, “Why do you do this job?”
For me, Real Estate negotiations create a puzzle and I enjoy working hard at finding a solution so that I can deliver keys to happy clients.
The best way to stay connected to what’s happening in the real estate market in your area, is to subscribe today to NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS.
Technology and creative marketing of properties is constantly changing and I recently commissioned a drone videographer for the first time, to film a unique property in the Kennydale neighborhood of Renton. It turned out awesome! This home has everything, 4 bedrooms, a pool house, shop, greenhouse, park-like grounds with an entertaining deck and hot tub, on a more than 1/2 acre lot. The FAA recently revised its guidelines on commercial drone photography use paving the way for more drone photographers to sell their services, and I’m so excited to add this to my marketing toolkit for sellers!
Last Spring, I redid my Master Bedroom closets at my house. Previously it was just a bar with a shelf over it. Our clothes were always spilling out and we never had enough hanging space. Lindsay worked with us to redesign our closets in a way that would work best and they were installed two weeks later. We love our new closets and I can’t recommend her enough!
I am having a Halloween Costume Contest! There are prizes for the winners in three different categories- Kids, pets & Adults. Make sure you enter on my Facebook page by November 1st! Share your photo with friends to get votes!