February 7, 2013

Bidding Wars, Love Letters, and Low Inventory

According to the latest release from the NWMLS, there was a 14.4% year-over-year increase in pending sales last month, and a 23.6% jump in closed sales. All the while the inventory dilemma has gotten even worse, if you can believe it, dropping to just 1.4 months. This is an insanely low number by any measure. At the same time, average home sale prices are up; the median in January was $239,300, which is an 11.3% increase from this time last year.

These conditions are creating a real estate climate where it is common to get into a bidding war for homes that are priced right to begin with, close to job centers, and turn-key ready. Some buyers are even appealing to a seller’s softer side by including a personalized note with their offer to try and make themselves stand out. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, some agents are calling these “love letters,” because they often include a heartfelt personal story and reasons why the home is perfect for them. Occasionally, these have been known to work, especially for sellers that may have a long-time emotional connection to their homes.

Truly, there has not been such an unbalanced ratio between active buyers and available inventory in recent history. There are still homeowners that may not have the confidence or the equity to put their home on the market, and that is creating even more pent up demand. On the buyer’s side, high rents in Seattle and relatively low interest rates, as well as increased job growth are bringing in more potential buyers.

The bottom line is that it is a good time to seriously consider selling your home. This is especially true for homes that may need a little work or may be located on a busy road. Things that may have caused a home to sit on the market a bit longer are becoming less of an issue for potential buyers. Just as a reminder – Team Troy offers a FREE home valuation, free use of our moving truck, home staging, landscaping, and initial home cleaning and other complimentary services for our listed homes. Give us a call at 206-588-8409 to schedule an initial meeting.