Stay up-to-date with this comprehensive snapshot of the Seattle real estate market.
With the Seattle real estate market defying every housing market trend – a huge problem remains: there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available for sale.
With Seattle’s population rapidly growing recently thanks in part to large homegrown businesses like Amazon and Starbucks.
Home values in King County, which is where Amazon is located, have appreciated twice as fast as the national average.
Notwithstanding that the current Seattle market has remained a seller’s market for some time now, Seattle homeowners are still hesitant to sell.
So, what’s a home buyer to do when the market offers them no relief?
There are a few strategies that a potential home buyer can do to not just set them apart from their competition, but help them land the home they dream of.
Follow these home buying best practices and own the home meant for you:
1. Timing is key
a. If you are able to be flexible with your timeframe, let the seller know that you are willing to move as quickly — or as slowly — as they need. If the seller is looking to close their home within 30 days, they won’t be very interested in an offer from someone who won’t be ready to move for 60.
b. Do anything you can do to speed up the buying process and make it easier for the seller. This includes getting a pre-inspection.
c. Get prequalified by a home lender. Pre-qualifying yourself for a loan demonstrates to the seller that you have been vetted financially and details how much mortgage you can afford.
2. Add an escalation clause to your offer
If you want to compete with multiple offers on a home, the best weapon you’ll have in your offer will be using an escalation clause. This will help the seller measure how much more you are willing to pay over another competing offer.
3. Make it personal
When a home seller faces multiple offers, receiving a personal letter from a home buyer can help set that offer apart. Yes, many sellers will just go for the highest bid. However, if the home seller has an emotional attachment to the home, pulling at their heartstrings might just help you land the property.
4. Cash still talks
Make your offer irresistible by contributing more money up front in the earnest money deposit. Earnest money is cash provided by the buyer, ranging from 1% to 5 % of the purchase price, that gets held in escrow until the sale finalizes. Earnest money usually acts as insurance for the home seller in case the buyer backs out of the deal.
Were you able to purchase a home in a seller’s market? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Whether you’re a senior, empty nester, or simply looking to live in a smaller space, once you’ve made the decision to downsize your home, the first step is usually the hardest — getting rid of your stuff.
Here are three tips to successfully downsize your home and live comfortably in a smaller, cozier place.
1. Plan ahead with your new lifestyle in mind
– Will you have room for your existing furniture in your new space?
– What belongings will you be moving with you to your new home?
Don’t wait to make decisions and begin planning your downsizing early. Set timelines with goals. Think about what lifestyle you’ll want to embrace as you move forward and build a solid plan to make that happen.
2. Declutter your space
One of the most difficult decisions you’ll make while you begin your downsizing process is deciding what to keep and what to donate or discard. It’s perfectly normal to gain an attachment to your things- after all, they’ve occupied a place in your home for some time. Begin this journey by compiling a list of your wants, needs, and what you won’t be taking with you in your new space. Once you have completed your lists, remain committed to them. It’ll be easy to deviate from your plan but remember, you put the items on a list for a reason.
3. Make decisions with quality and purpose in mind
Remain conscious about what you let into your mind, life, and new environment. Choose furniture that can be utilized for different purposes, instead of trying to squeeze too many pieces into a single room. A great rule of practice is to choose furniture with good storage and space solutions. Think quality over quantity.
Lastly, allow someone to help in sorting and packing your belongings. It could be incredibly hard for you to let go of certain items that would just clutter your new space. If you find yourself stuck on a certain decision, ask for an objective opinion.
Downsizing doesn’t have to be a nuisance or a terrible experience— although, it may feel like it temporarily, think about the life and space you’ll get in exchange for all of the “stuff” you’ll be giving away.
Download the reports here —> MAY-2018_ JILL JUDY
Click to view the April Real Estate Market Reports for Metro Seattle Condos, Magnolia, NW Seattle, NE Seattle, Central Seattle, SE Seattle, Central Seattle SW, and West Seattle.
Spring is in full swing and the real estate market is blooming. If you are debating or on the fence about whether or not to sell your home this season, Here are 3 reasons you should list your home for sale during spring:
Tap Into Your Home Equity
According to a recent report released by Zillow, in Seattle, homeowners are gaining $54.24 in equity per hour, 3.5 times the minimum wage of $15 an hour. This indicates that home values are appreciating at a rate per hour that’s actually higher than the local hourly minimum wage. This equity, however,
is only available once a homeowner sells.
Low Inventory Means Less Competition
According to another report released by Remax, the Seattle metro area is tied only with Denver for lowest home inventory and has one of the fastest markets in the country. This means that, in the majority of Seattle, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.
Quicker Home Sale Than Ever
Due to the low home inventory, home buyers are doing all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford home shopping.
Only you can decide whether or not now is the time to sell your home or downsize, however, the real estate market is ripe for a quick and profitable home sale.
Click to view quarterly market reports for Metro Seattle Condos, Magnolia, NW Seattle, NE Seattle, Central Seattle, SE Seattle, Central Seattle SW, and West Seattle.
Flowers are blooming, spring is in the air, and the housing market is as active as ever. Take a look at these three great reasons why you should consider buying a home during spring.
Home Prices Will Continue To Rise
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months and predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.
Just to give you perspective, on a $400,000 dollar home that’s around $17,000!
With home prices continuing to appreciate in value, waiting no longer makes sense.
Mortgage Interest Rates Are Predicted to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey noted that in 2017, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage hovered close to 4.0%. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors, all agree in forecasting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by this time next year. Once again, driving up the cost of purchasing a home.
Pay Rent Or Pay Mortgage – The Choice Is Yours
Unless you are living somewhere rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As a homeowner, your mortgage payment can act as a form of ‘forced savings account’ that allows you to have equity in your home with which you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you’re helping your landlord gain that same equity.
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying one sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
If you’re a first time home buyer, consider reading my top first-time home buyer tips!
Ready to take the first step and own the home meant for you? Get in touch
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Downsizing
Selling a home can be one of the greatest financial and emotional decisions of your life, whether you’re downsizing or not. Avoid these common mistakes and take some of the stress out of downsizing.
1. Less is not always more
Just because a home is smaller than the one you currently own, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheaper. While most home sellers focus on the costs they’ll save on energy usage and utility bills in a smaller place, they can often overlook additional costs like increased transport fees or possible long-term maintenance costs. Carefully weigh up the all the possible costs of your new property, especially if you’re looking to not just downsize space but costs in your day-to-day life.
2. Budget for your move
Make sure to leave enough money in your budget to stay-up-date on payments in your current home, as well as any additional costs you might accrue in the process of purchasing your new home or rental. To make sure that you’re covered in the time between selling and buying your new home, look into obtaining a bridging finance loan. Check with your Realtor or mortgage broker to see if you need to apply for this type of loan. Otherwise, ensure that you’re budgeting enough to cover your move and any extraneous expenses you may face along the way.
3. Not letting go of the past
It’s normal to want to keep the personal items that you and your family have accumulated over the years such as memorabilia, furniture, photos, and knick-knacks. The best way to handle this would be by creating a downsizing plan and writing down a list of what to pack and what to discard. Although it might be difficult in the moment, be ruthless and stick to your list, not only will it save you space in your new smaller place but it will empower you to start anew!
4. Don’t forget to cancel services and utilities
During your move, ensure that all home services and utilities get canceled or transferred over to your new property. Neglecting to disconnect or redirect home services like your Internet, phone line and utilities, as well as your home and contents insurance, can cause unexpected costs that could potentially result in your budget being off balance.
5. Move Comfortably
A common mistake made by folks downsizing is not allocating enough time in their schedules to comfortably move. Even the most experienced and methodical organizers would find it difficult to sort out an entire life’s belongings in just a few days. A good rule of thumb is to set aside time in blocks of 2-hours and tackle one room at a time. On the other hand, be sure to also give yourself enough time to unpack when you finally make the move to your new downsized home.
Ready to downsize?
Contact Jill Judy
Jill Judy is a Realtor with Windermere Wall St with over 15 years of experience helping Seattle buy and sell their homes. Jill specializes in helping families buy or sell their home, downsize, and manage their estate sales.
When listing your home for sale, your top goals should be to get your house sold quickly and for top dollar.
Follow these 5 tips to get you started on the right path to getting your home sold!
Clean & Unclutter
The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. A clean and decluttered home allows for buyers to not be distracted by messes and instead focus on the parts of your house that they love. Depersonalizing your home has many great benefits, the top one being that it allows potential buyers to picture themselves living in the home.
Tip: Put any furniture/decorations that don’t serve a purpose in storage.
Rooms With Purpose
Giving rooms their own identities will help buyers picture themselves enjoying that room’s functionality. Remember, Don’t overcrowd a room with furniture that is too large for the space; it will only make the room appear small and cramped. If you have a room that serves only to gather junk, repurpose it into something that will add to the value of your home.
Let The Light In
Bright rooms feel warm and inviting. Consider getting rid of any drapes or curtains on your windows that prevent sunlight from reaching the rooms of your home.
For more tips on how to add more light to a room read this -> Tips To Increase Your Homes Natural Light
Stage Your Kitchen To Sell
Store away any non-essential appliances and clean all surfaces.
A successfully staged kitchen looks, feels and smells clean and fresh. Don’t neglect the inside of your cupboards and drawers. If they’re full of stuff you’re sending a message to potential buyers that you don’t have enough storage space.
Fix The Small Stuff
Fix and finish all of your homes small or much-needed improvements. Even small fixes like damaged door handles can devalue your home in the eyes of potential buyers. Enhance your home’s appearance and boost its value.
Small and easy fixes that increase value perception:
→ Fix any squeaks on house or closet doors
→ Replace your light bulb with new ones
→ Make sure all of your light switches work
→ Replace outdated drawer, closet, door knobs
→ Add new light switch plates
→ Upgrade your bathrooms shower nozzles
→ Update all your bathroom fixtures
→ Add a new coat of paint to the interior of your home