This summer may not be the hottest on record in Seattle by a long shot, but its real estate market certainly is.
Very, very, hot.
And although summertime may be the ideal time to sell one’s home – the nicer weather makes it show better, both inside and out, not to mention making the moving into and out of a given home easier – this season Seattle, and the entire state of Washington, in fact, seem to be fast-becoming a pricier place to live.
Multiple offers and aggressive, often frustrated buyers seem to now be the norm; this year, a majority of home sellers have received multiple offers – some 75% of them.
And multiple offers mean selling prices above – sometimes far above – the original, listed asking price.
Not to mention bidding wars, which have reached a decade-long high.
Without a doubt, it’s a seller’s market, to be sure.
With the median single-family home averaging about $560,000 in King County, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS), it’s the highest value. Ever. It’s also up some 16.4% from last year, and up about 55% when compared to four years ago.
As for Seattle, its average home price is about $641,250 – up 14.5% from last year.
What’s more, this very fast-moving, aggressive real estate market is not just restricted to single-family homes (which typically sell within a week or less in highly-desirable neighborhoods, such as West Seattle, Capitol Hill, and Belltown); stories of would-be condo buyers not only lining up but camping out for a chance to purchase a condo abound. Of Seattle condo buyers lining up with deposit checks worth thousands of dollars in-hand to reserve new condos selling in the six figures and that are not scheduled to open for 2-3 years from now.
So, how does a potential buyer act this in super-hot seller's market? A few helpful tips to keep in mind can be found below:
Stay calm, but be prepared to move fast – at each and every stage of the buying process. A level head, clear expectations, and knowledge of both the overall real estate market and individual neighborhood markets are important.
Build a good, solid, ongoing relationship with a realtor. Work and communicate well with a realtor who knows the market, the neighborhood, the type of property sought, and hopefully the seller’s agent. This agent will help short-list and then work through the preferred properties, prepare the offers, and check in with the listing agents so that those offers don't simply get lost in the stack.
Realize that property-buying can be a lengthy process, especially in a seller's market. Be prepared to make multiple offers on multiple properties, and avoid feelings of discouragement. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.
As always, cash is king. The more cash up-front available to offer, the better. Quick closures are also very attractive to sellers.