In this weekly series I recap some of the activity and shifts we are seeing in the Seattle real estate market and beyond that might not be in the headlines at least yet.
Hey guys, it’s Kaylynn and I wanted to introduce a new video series that I’m gonna be doing on Mondays, all about what’s happening in the real estate market. For 12 plus months, you probably have heard that it is a seller’s market, and whether you’re casually following the news or you are actively in the real estate market thinking about selling or buying, this has been the topic of conversation, that it is a seller’s market and end of story.
Well, that is not the case right now, which is why I wanted to do this just very casual, very quick conversation with you each Monday. The little shifts that we’re seeing in the market are critical to making sure, number one, if you’re buying that you’re not over-paying for a home and that you’re getting the very best terms you possibly can.
From a seller’s perspective, that you’re getting the most you can from the market and being really smart about how you’re prepping your home and how you are listing your home especially when it comes to price. So essentially what I’m gonna bring you, is just anecdotal data points and information as a collection of the information that we get as Compass agents.
Each Monday, we get on the phone and we talk about what’s happening in the market. So I’m on the phone with someone from Bellevue all the way down to Vancouver, Washington, and we’re all talking about what’s happening in our market, what we’re seeing, how open houses are going, troubles that agents or that sellers are having and maybe buyers are having, and some of the things that just aren’t seen in the news that are gonna indicate a shift in the market.
So, what you’re not going to be seeing from me are… What you won’t be seeing from me are data dumps and stats and charts. If you want that, I am happy to send any of those data points and charts to you. All you have to do is just drop a note below or DM me, and I’m happy to collect any of the stats and info that we’re looking at every day and send them your way. I can drill down from city, zip code, County, you let me know, I can send that information to you. But what you can expect here is just a overview of the things that we are seeing as agents on the ground.
The biggest theme today is that… I’ll think about this for both buyers and sellers. The biggest theme that we were seeing today is that the best priced homes are getting the best activity. I’ll back that up. The best prepped and priced homes are getting the most activity. Buyers are skipping on homes that haven’t been properly prepped, and what I mean by that is repainting in neutral tones, updating carpet that’s 20 years old, paying attention to curb appeal, taking care of deferred maintenance items and getting pre-inspections. Those things are really important for buyers right now. The other is being really smart about the way that homes are being priced. The other is that offer review dates are going to the wayside right now. If a home is attractive, buyers are gonna make early offers.
So from a buyer’s perspective, you’re looking at being really discerning and careful about the offers that you’re making. You have a little bit more negotiating power than you’ve had in probably over a year. I’m seeing more contingent sales happening, which means that a buyer has made an offer on a home, but they need to sell their current home first before they can buy it. In fact, it’s becoming such a topic of conversation that we are hosting a workshop on reminding agents on how to do a contingent sale. So, that’s how important that element is to the market right now. Again, just a quick recap, basically what we’re seeing is that the best homes are getting offers and they’re getting strong competition from buyers. But buyers are being really careful about what they’re offering on and where and when they’re offering, how they’re constructing, how they’re constructing… [laughter] You can tell it’s a Monday, when I can’t talk. How they’re constructing their offers to be competitive. They are passing on homes that have too many deferred maintenance items, they’re passing on homes that are overpriced and where expectations from the sellers are just unrealistic.
So takeaway, if you’re a buyer right now, be really intentional about what you’re looking for and where you’re looking. Make a list of the things that are the negotiables and the non-negotiables. Know that the best homes are still gonna be really competitive, so if you find a house that’s in that… That is a cream puff, is what we call it, one of those perfect homes, know you’re probably gonna be competing. Bring your best offer. But if you like a home that’s been on the market for a little while and it hasn’t gone under contract, you might have more negotiating power than you’ve had in a long time, so take advantage of that. If you have been a buyer that sat out of the market for a little while because you’ve heard that it was too crazy, I would start thinking about making a move this year. What we know is that interest rates are really low right now. And while inventory is low, you still have more negotiating power than you’ve had in a long time. So those two things together, the fact that you have a negotiating power and the fact that interest rates are low right now means to me, this is a great time to think about buying. If you defer until spring, I can’t tell you that those things are gonna be the same. I don’t have a lot of confidence that interest rates are gonna stay low, and I do think that the competitiveness in the market is gonna come back in spring. I don’t have a crystal ball but that’s what I think.
From a seller’s perspective, you cannot be lazy on your house prep or your marketing, you have to do the deferred maintenance. Any old gross carpet has to be removed. You really have to pay attention to thinking about your home as a product and not as the home that you lived in for the last 10 or X amount of years. If you want more information about that and what I think is most critical to do right now, let me know. I have a list of things that are the most important items to attack when you’re thinking about listing. So just as a seller, I would say this is a great time to sell. I would still be really intentional about how you’re marketing your home so that you can get the very most, but know that you can’t just list your home right now and you’re gonna get 10 offers. You really have to be smart about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. And if you have questions, I’m here for that too.
So that’s what I’m hearing, and honestly, that is that sentiment that the best homes are selling and ones that are overpriced or in a condition of where they need to be or hanging out on the market, that’s consistent across most areas in the region right now, and most price points in the region. But again, this is just a casual conversation, giving you the most up-to-date information that I have on Monday. I will continue to update these each and every Monday. If there are is specific stats that you guys are looking for, let me know if, like I said, you want graphs and you want other things, I can send those to you as well. I hope you guys have a great Monday.
Thanks for being here. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
If you've been thinking about buying your next home and aren't sure where to start when it comes to buying & selling at the same time, this step-by-step guide is for you!