October, 2008 Well buyers, that day we never thought we would ever see is now upon us in Seattle.
A metro Seattle home once listed @ $699,000 is now on market for $289,000. It's not a short sale! In the Central District, a four bedroom home once listed @ $459,000 was reduced yesterday to an unheard of $299,000.
If your credit and cash is rock solid, if your investment horizon is three - five years, if you have been waiting for me to switch gears and focus on buying agency exclusively for the next two years; you've just found the right website and the right Realtor!
Just one thing though........short sales and pre-foreclosures require special negotiation and a special amount of time to wade through it all. It will take a team effort to make our goals together possible. So please, let's be serious and ready as we embark on this journey together.
As your Seattle Realtor, I am here for you anytime.
You can look at it several different ways. Finding a home along the Blue Line light rail system between Tacoma and (eventually) Ballard will make it your personal energy policy for the future. Or, you just might end up being a landlord over the next decade. Regardless, if you follow the Blue Line route you won't go wrong for a home purchase. It's a simple enough strategy. Growth in Seattle is not only inevitable, it's predicted to be three times larger by 2030. Public transit is going to be the biggest Hot button of the century. Why not make your real estate portfolio a small part of the plan as well?
Especially interesting to me is Rainier Vista. Already at a premium, there is more equity return coming. It's just the beginning. And the Blue Line station? Across the street.
Other very good opportunities exist near McMicken Heights in Tukwila/SouthCenter.
See you onboard!
2008 is starting with a whimper in Seattle. All agents/brokers are having to keep ears to the walls and it's the only way to hear anything right now. And yet, Seattle is one of the strongest markets in the U.S. . Our employment and quality of life picture is bright. What is really going on? Are we the last important market to begin feeling the pain? Or is the Seattle market creating it's own downturn, as factors here are so different from the rest of the country? Is this human nature at work and not the fundamentals?
Based on my regional tour of homes for the past two weeks, sellers and buyers have become enemies.
I've noted this in previous posts, but today it's becoming more obvious to a wider range of real estate professionals; sellers feel entitled to their profits. Buyers do not care one bit and are waiting for their moment to make those offers. Neither is correct. Unless crystal balls have suddenly become envogue.
From Seattle to Snoqualmie, sellers are on average 30k above sold comparables prior to August, 2007. They are dictating to a market that isn't writing anything down. As for buyers, they have suddenly become experts and are wringing their hands, waiting for a giant correction that won't be coming in quite the way they think.
One thing I know as absolute truth is that buyers and their representation simply do not know how to work around a list price. We are simply not seeing negotiation skill at work. For sellers, they do not understand that list price to many is THE PRICE. You won't find this happening anywhere else. But Seattle? Nobody is having this conversation.
I enjoy being a listing agent, but I have my sphere of highly qualified buyers too. Just this past weekend, I watched my clients view four very good homes in Redmond/Sammamish and come down to an interesting but misguided conclusion. "It's worth 40k less to us, but we will wait until the listing price changes, thank you". Wha???
Never mind that my buyers also need to sell their homes in order to upgrade. Don't even think for a second whether or not they are considering how this pays forward when they list their own homes, "oh no, Karma has nothing to do with MY home". Meantime, we go through the motions, create the CMA's and make the presentation, only to see the buyer, who also needs to sell, raise their own listing price 30k - 40k above where it needs to be at.
The circle is complete and the market is creating it's own problem. It's like smog in the L.A. basin, just hovering until something from nature comes along and blows it somewhere else.
To paraphrase and tweak Gordon Gekko in Wall Street; Greed, for lack of a better word, is NOT good.
Most markets are trying to survive. In Seattle? We fight over 150k -200k gross profit for a three bedroom "war box" and how much of that pie from ownership during 2003- 2007 the seller can keep.
After 16 hours of MLS classes, in-house brokerage tutorials and attorney review, my office is pleased to come up with a solution for our buyers and sellers about several Washington State MLS changes effective October 15th. Perhaps this information will be of use to you.
In each and every case we are "wiggling" out in black marker #9 on page one of the Purchase And Sale agreement and #Y on page five. It is our position that these items regarding buyers remedy are fraught with undue liablility. At five years and 364 days after closing, sellers and buying/selling agencies do not wish to still be attached to a property's condition via loopholes. So these have to be taken out of the contract to begin with.
We are attaching a document for our clients to sign indicating how we advised them to take these points out of page one and five. If client chooses not to "wiggle" out these AND has not spoken with our agency attorney, we require a signature on this document stating all of this occurred.
Arms length is the approach we are taking. These MLS changes in my opinion are insidious, dangerous, etc. and I am pleased my broker and attorney have found a solution.
I will also be placing our position about #9 and #Y in advance, under agent remarks, with each listing.
We have been so fortunate, even blessed perhaps, to be in a market that continues to defy the downward trend seen by at least five other major states, and many more cities. Seattle is not only a great place to live, it's been a residential real estate bonanza. However, I personally believe many sellers, especially from the FSBO market, are way off the mark with asking prices right now. My analysis of most metro Seattle neighborhoods show prices are too frothy. The warning signals are becoming clear. This is a time to be reasonable with profit taking and not to gloat or lord over buyers. It could backfire. Yes, Microsoft and Boeing continue to hire. Yes, we saw a 9% fiscal year price gain in Seattle. No, sellers should not bop buyers over their heads right now with average asking prices 0f $30,000 - $50,000 above verified (sold) comparables. Let's be careful, my friends.
You'll read it here first. The next big real estate play for 2007? Mason County. Contact Gene for waterfront, waterview, rental, flip or owner occupied property. Just 20 minutes from Olympia and One hour + from Seattle, it's the last county in Western Washington for "buy low" investment. At 71% increase with asking prices from 2005-2006, there isn't much time though. Contact Gene soon!
As you know the media has been dancing on the supposed graveyard of the real estate market for about two years now. In my professional opinion, it missed the boat from eight years ago when the upswing began, and has been trying to make up for it ever since. True, some markets are absolutely slowing with existing home sales, and to be honest, it needed to. But that added push from daily Blow By Blow accounts via media outlets is also taking its toll on on the general public, as all mass media does anyway.
My statement to you is this....last time I checked, human beings need a place to live. Period. I am not getting inquiries about trunk sizes in cars that can house families. I am not receiving word from anyone about downsizing to a camper/sedan mix. For that, my friend @ Toyota can help. I also want you to know that an owner occupied home is the finest position to be in, no matter what anyone is telling you. Where else do you have utility and enjoyment, tax benefit and equity appreciation fro the long term? A home. An american tradition. And for my investors, you know that as your agent I seek equity, not insane growth for the short term.
If a real estate agent hasn't spoken to you like this, you need to develop a client relationship with me. My name is Gene Dexter, Realtor.
Happy summer! Did you know the biggest real estate play of summer 2005 - summer 2006 was the Lower Kennydale neighborhood, in Renton? With an average one year equity increase of $125,000 for any home along this strip of Lake Washington / I-405, you might agree that having Gene as your real estate agent would have been a good idea. Because Gene told everyone he knew about this.....well before it happened!
Have you heard downtown neighborhood names such as Terry, Cascade, Lake Front, Gateway and 8th Ave District? You will. These are part of Paul Allen's fifteen year plan to transform South Lake Union into a livable, even brilliant, place. Seattle's come a long way since Denny Regrade opened up this area! And lest we forget, the transformation of Aurora Avenue above the lake continues. Contact us at anytime to tour this highly sought after community. GeneDexter@ReMax.net or 206.860.4052
Happy holidays! This season brings with it amazing new projects around the puget sound. We really like some of the new construction reviewed at NoMa, Site 17, The Sage (conversion), Lincoln Square Bellevue, Bokara, Olive 8 and 2200. Some of these are value priced.
In single family homes, watch for increased interest in Highline / White Center / West Seattle in 2006. Hot!
It snuck up on the market in Seattle and many still don't know it's happening. The condominium craze is in full swing! Split between new construction and conversions, we are finding competitive bidding situations and a dip in available inventory. Especially hot are Ballard area conversions. Contact us for more information @ 206.860.4052 or GeneDexter@ReMax.net.