Low inventory and high buyer demand continue to push prices to record levels in the Seattle area. Rents have increased about 60 percent in seven years, while home prices have grown faster here than anywhere else in the country for the last 18 months.
Area-wide there is 1.3 months of supply – with 4 to 6 months used as a gauge of a balanced market. Three counties – King, Kitsap, and Snohomish – reported less than a month of supply. The condo market remains very tight as well, with slightly more than three weeks of supply.
A recent poll commissioned by the Puget Sound Regional Council showed that 35 percent of respondents in King and Snohomish counties cited that the cost of living is overtaking traffic as the most challenging part of living in the Seattle area.
What does this mean to home sellers and home buyers?
Home sellers need to carefully analyze any offers and compare price AND terms. With many offers going significantly above the asking price, sellers may have problems if the home doesn’t appraise. Buyers can include language in their offer agreeing to ‘bridge’ the gap between the appraised value and the sales price. Additional terms buyers may offer is higher Earnest Money – which can be released to the seller as a non-refundable deposit, higher down payments, waiving financing, inspection and other contingencies, and allowing the seller to remain in the home after closing for a period of time – called a ‘Rent-Back.’
Home buyers need to widen their home search criteria whenever possible (including size, bedroom and bath count, updates and location). For example, a buyer who wants a 4-bedroom home but really needs 3 bedrooms and an office may find additional homes to consider by searching for 3 bedroom homes and making an office space in another part of the house. Additionally, some buyers may want a newer construction home and miss seeing a completely remodeled older home.
Smart home sellers and home buyers will engage the services of an experienced local real estate professional to help them navigate today’s fast-paced market.
To download a FREE Home Seller’s Guide, go to: https://tinyurl.com/Sellingin2018
To learn more about Mary, go to: www.whyworkwithmary.com
Visit on the web at www.maryleerealestate.com