Q3 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q3 Market Snapshot for Seattle and the Eastside

 

As Q3 comes to a close, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at their highest levels since April 2011—now averaging just above 4.7%. Even so, they are still far lower than their 30-year trendline. A 1% increase in mortgage interest rates decreases buying power by 10%. Or said differently, a 1% rate increase has the same net effect on monthly payment as a 10% increase in the sale price. That also means if prices fell 10% but rates went up 1% your payment would remain the same. This is a far bigger factor than most people consider.

 

Both first-time and move-up home buyers, with (finally!) more homes for sale to choose from and motivated by anticipated further rate hikes nipping at their heels, will feel the urgency to get moved and settled while they can still afford to do so.

 

Our market is likely to increasingly favor buyers as interest rates cause mortgage payments to increase uncomfortably beyond the affordability ceiling governed by personal income and wages. Properly-priced turn-key homes, and those in the most desirable settings, are still commanding very attractive prices and occasionally multiple offers. Everything else is seeing slowing appreciation and market softening. Strategic positioning, savvy marketing, and expert negotiation have never been so important as they are now.

 

Q3 Market Averages for Seattle

 

Click or scroll down to find your area report:

Seattle | Eastside | Mercer Island | Condos | Waterfront

 


SEATTLE

Seattle neighborhoods that were strongly bolstered by new construction and renovation saw the strongest sales activity, and not surprisingly, the greatest correlated price growth. Up 16.4% Q3 over Q3, the Queen Anne/Magnolia area led the charge, followed closely by Madison Park/Capitol Hill at 15.9%. Lake Forest Park/Kenmore at 13.2% and West Seattle at 12.5% also fared very well. Richmond Beach/Shoreline (6.2%), Ballard/Green Lake (4%), North Seattle (3.4%), and South Seattle (0.7%) saw notable price easing and contributed to rounding Seattle out to a modest 6.3% overall Q3 2017 to Q3 2018 median price increase.

Seattle Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Seattle Report

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EASTSIDE

Sharp increases in the number of homes for sale coupled with fewer international buyer transactions has caused a few ripples in the Eastside real estate market.

Mercer Island shows the strongest Q3 over Q3 increase in median sale price (see explanation below) at 19.7%, followed by Woodinville at 12.3% and Redmond at 12.2%. Bringing up the mid-section was West Bellevue at 8.0%, East of Lake Sammamish at 7.8%. Lagging the Eastside median increase of 7.3% were Kirkland (6.9%), South Eastside (2.0%), and East Bellevue (1.8%).

Eastside Chart

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

Eastside Review

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MERCER ISLAND

The Q3 median sale price was 19.7% higher than that of Q3 2017. However, its crucial to note that Q3 of 2017 was an anomaly with many land-value sales transacting at the low end of the price spectrum. The effect was that the median sale price was 10.2% lower than Q1 of that same year. Far fewer moderately priced homes transacted in Q3 of this year.

There were 89 sales in Q3 2017 and of those sales 45 were of homes priced below $1.5 million. Compare that to Q3 of 2018 with 74 sales, of which only 28 were priced below $1.5 million. The differential of sales between the two years was almost entirely composed of entry-level and land value home sales.

To further prove this, we looked at comparable homes sold this year and last (an approach like that of the Case-Schiller index). All things being roughly equal, the median sale price of that subset of homes increased only 9.0% from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018. This number is far more in alignment with what we have truly experienced in our market.

Mercer Island Chart

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

Mercer Island Report

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CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Significant new construction projects underway or announced have dampened sales of existing condos somewhat, especially where they will directly compete with the new buildings. Neighborhood safety is being weighted more carefully against urban hip now more than ever. In Seattle, median sale prices of existing condos in Downtown Seattle/Belltown (-0.4%), Queen Anne/Magnolia (-4.8%), and North Seattle (-8.0%) have all decreased while surrounding areas have seen very strong to moderate Q3-Q3 increases. This quarter’s top contenders were Richmond Beach-Shoreline (30.3%), Ballard-Green Lake (26%), and West Seattle (25%).

On the Eastside, all areas except South Bellevue (-9.3%) saw considerable increases in the Q3 median sale price. East Bellevue (37.1%), Redmond (19.1%), and Kirkland (17.6%) topped the charts.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

Condo Report

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WATERFRONT

The Eastside has been a hotbed of waterfront closed sale activity with as many Q3 sales as Seattle, Mercer Island, and Lake Sammamish combined. The number of active private waterfront listings for sale on the Eastside is down compared to Q3 of both 2015 and 2016, while the listing levels of Seattle, Mercer Island and Lake Sammamish waterfront properties remain about the same.

With only two closed sales in Q3, Months of Inventory—the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes that sold—climbed dramatically on Mercer Island. Seattle, with four closed waterfront sales, saw a similar but more moderate increase. The Eastside and Lake Sammamish both experienced improvement in the Months of Inventory indicator.

The highest private waterfront Q3 sale was of a newer 6,570 square foot Hunts Point modern estate designed by Baylis Architects with 80 feet of no-bank waterfront on just over an acre of lush, private grounds for $18 million. The lowest sale was a 1,010 square feet westside Lake Sammamish 1958 beach house with 60 feet of waterfront on a shy ¼ acre lot with permitted approval for a new 5000 square foot home.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

Waterfront Report

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ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Q2 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q2 Market Snapshot

 

Signs of transition to a more balanced market are becoming abundantly clear as we move further into 2018. Price growth, while still climbing in most areas, has tapered off and average market times are inching up. Brokers are beginning to dust off forms that have seen little use of late—finance and inspection contingencies—as buyers gain a stronger foothold at the negotiating table.

 

Some homes are still garnering multiple offers and commanding incredible prices and terms, but many more are seeing negotiations more equalized with fewer buyers at the table. Seattle has needed this return to balance for a very long time. It is likely that buyers who were beaten down and bruised over the past couple of years will return to the house hunt, but it will likely be on their own terms. Waiving all contingencies, releasing a substantial earnest money to the seller up front, and giving the seller a period of free possession after closing will be reserved for only the most coveted homes.

 

On the other hand, being able to conduct thorough due diligence on a prospective home over a comfortable period after offer acceptance is a buyer right that is returning to the picture. It has been a long time since that was even possible in the hottest neighborhoods. So long, it seems almost foreign. Yet that equalization of power is long overdue and needed to stabilize our market.

 

Overall median Q2 ‘17 to Q2 ‘18 prices in Seattle rose 11.3% to $801,000, while the Eastside rose 9.1% to $960,000. The average cost per home square foot was $459 in Seattle and $426 on the Eastside (which tends to have larger homes—2,752 square feet vs Seattle’s 2015 square feet—and thus a lower cost per square foot to construct).

 

Home mortgage interest rates have continued to rise, averaging 4.54% in Q2 putting continued pressure on buyers to purchase before they are simply priced out of the Seattle-Eastside market. Our region is entering a sweet spot where home prices are stabilizing and have likely peaked but interest rates are still affordable. Because rising interest rates have a much larger impact on the monthly mortgage than home price, values would have to fall pretty sharply to offset the impact of a 1-2% increase in mortgage interest rates.

 

Q2 Market Snapshot

SEATTLE

Seattle Report

Up 20.7%, affordable Richmond Beach and Shoreline saw the strongest price growth in Q2 followed closely by Lake Forest Park and Kenmore at 19.4%. West Seattle, South Seattle, Madison Park/Capitol Hill, and Queen Anne/Magnolia all saw increases in the mid-teens. Surprisingly, Ballard-Greenlake and North Seattle—strong contenders in the past couple of years—slowed to 11.8% and 6.3% respectively.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

EASTSIDE

Eastside Review

Kirkland was the height of the storm on the Eastside drawing a median price gain of 30.6% over Q2 of last year. This was very loosely followed by Juanita/Woodinville at 14.4%, West Bellevue at 14.0%, and Redmond at 11.2%. South Eastside 7.5%, East Bellevue 7.4%, East of Lake Sammamish 6.9%, and Mercer Island 4.5%, all below the Eastside median, represented the fringe of Q2 appreciation.

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

MERCER ISLAND

Mercer Island Report

Mercer Island, with only two homes priced below $1 million, struggles with the lack of affordability at mainstream price points. While the number of $1-2 million homes for sale is up sharply (46%), finally giving buyers more options to choose from, the pace of sales in that price point has cooled off as buyers wait for the perfect home. A glut of homes for sale in the $3-5 million range—up 67% over this time last year—has caused that segment of the market to stagnate. Homes in the $2-3 million and $5 million plus ranges have fared slightly better than their middle sibling. Mercer Island condos, the only affordable option on the Island, have soared in value with recent sale prices creating shock waves within the industry.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Condo Report

The number of Seattle metro condos for sale has steadily climbed in Q2 while those available in downtown Bellevue have diminished. Condo prices have continued to outpace their residential counterparts as demand to affordably own vs rent at astronomical prices drives buyer interest. Seattle condos appreciated 20.4-34.6% in all but two markets, North Seattle up 5.6% and SODO/Beacon Hill down 4.5%. On the Eastside, condos were up 13.3-35.2% except for Kirkland up 8.2% and West Bellevue down 3.5%. Not included in these numbers are the newly underway Bosa 188 condos which have a significant number of pending sales that will not close until 2020.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

WATERFRONT

Waterfront Report

Seattle and Mercer Island have fewer waterfront homes for sale in Q2 this year than in either of the past two years. The Eastside is up very slightly while Lake Sammamish has more than three-fold the number of homes for sale over the same time. The highest closed sale in Q2 was a NW-facing 1937 Yarrow Point estate on 100 feet of waterfront and just over an acre of land for $10 million. The most affordable waterfront sale was a Ripley Lane 2003-built home with 140 feet of waterfront for just shy of $1.7 million.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Free Recycling & Shredding Event May 19th

Free Recycling Event Saturday, May 19th from 9am to 2pm

 

Hosted in our Parking Lot:

2737 77TH AVE SE
MERCER ISLAND

 


Bring your recyclable items (working or not) to the event. All recycling services are free!

We’re also sponsoring a Confidential Data Disposal truck for free, secure shredding of sensitive documents.

Saturday, May 19th
9 am – 2 pm


What we can recycle:

  • Most electronics, working or not, whole or in part
  • Scrap metal of any kind ferrous and non-ferrous
  • Appliances
  • Washers and dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Water coolers
  • Dishwashers
  • Small appliances, blenders, toasters, coffee makers, bread makers, kitchen wear, metal pots
  • Computers and computer Accessories
  • Flat Screen Computer monitors (no CRTs please)
  • Desktop PC Computers, Servers, Server racks
  • Laptop and Notebook Computers
  • Scanners and Copiers
  • Laser and Inkjet Printers
  • Fax Machines and All-In-One devices
  • Printer cartridges, toner cartridges
  • Computer speakers
  • Circuit Boards/Motherboards
  • Radios
  • Receivers
  • Speakers
  • CD Discs, DVD Discs, Media
  • Computer Parts
  • Desktop Computers
  • Keyboards
  • Laptops
  • Floppy Disks
  • Mixed Components
  • Modems
  • Multi Line Phones
  • Networking Hardware
  • PBX Systems
  • Phone Systems
  • PDA/Handheld Systems
  • Phone Answering Machines
  • Photo Copy Machines
  • Printer Parts
  • Printers
  • External Connectors
  • Fax Machines
  • Disk Drives
  • Batteries (not household alkaline batteries)
  • Larger Batteries/ Car Batteries
  • Dry Cell NiCad Batteries
  • Used Computer Items
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Backup UPS systems and UPS batteries
  • Cell Phone Batteries/ Laptop Batteries
  • Home Phones
  • Home Entertainment
  • Small Answering Machines
  • Stereo Equipment
  • DVD Players
  • VCR Players
  • Cellular Phones and Accessories
  • Used Paging Equipment
  • Cable TV Converter Equipment
  • CB’s
  • Chargers (cell phones)
  • Radio Equipment
  • Remote Control Handsets
  • Satellite TV Equipment
  • Scanners
  • Single Line Phones
  • Typewriters
  • Two Way Radios
  • VCR (Video Cassette Recorders)
  • Voicemail Systems
  • Video Cameras
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Wires and Connectors
  • Cables
  • Medical equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Motorbikes
  • Bicycles
  • Scooters
  • Tractors
  • Metal furniture, metal file cabinets, metal desks, metal shelving, metal window frame (please no glass)
  • Lawnmowers (please no gasoline)
  • Edgers
  • Generators
  • Metal patio furniture
  • Garden tools
  • Weed eaters
  • Metal containers
  • Books
  • Refrigerators

We cannot accept the following:

  • Wood furniture
  • CRT televisions (flat screens OK)
  • CRT monitors (flat screens OK)
  • Chemicals
  • Paint
  • Tires
  • Lightbulbs
  • Glass
  • Gasoline
  • Oil

Q1 2018 Seattle-Eastside Real Estate Report

Q1 Market Snapshot

 

Q1 prices in the Seattle-Eastside region have escalated yet again with no sign of slowing in the immediate future. An unprecedented lack of inventory for sale coupled with rising interest rates has prompted buyers to compete with reckless abandon to win the prize of their very own home, albeit with a steep price tag.

Overall median prices in Seattle rose 16.1% to $770,000, while the Eastside rose 13.0% to $944,000. Those regional numbers certainly don’t tell the whole story, especially when you consider the highest change in median sale price was nearly 46% and the lowest was a -4%. New construction sales, or lack thereof, made the biggest impact on home sale prices. Existing homes, offering good walkability or commute options, and those that were on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum saw the strongest appreciation overall.

Rising mortgage interest rates, now up a full percentage point from their lows, are adding fuel to the fire. While not dampening buyer demand yet, further increases will likely begin to price home buyers out of the core Seattle-Eastside region. Homebuyer fear of being priced out of the market is at least partly to blame for the crazed demand at more modest price points.

As predicted, many who don’t have a need to be close in to the metro region are choosing to sell at a high and buy more affordably outside of the Seattle-Eastside area. The rate of tear-down new construction infill has escalated at staggering numbers as builders capitalize on the market’s appetite for fresh and new.

Buyers today should consider their purchase thoughtfully as buying at or near the peak of the market can limit their resale options when the market corrects. Planning to stay put for five to seven years is a good strategy at this time.

Q1 Market Snapshot

SEATTLE

West Seattle leads the pack in median home price growth on the Seattle side of the lake. With its vibrant, hip vibe and convenient access to the city, West Seattle has benefited from Seattle’s commute gridlock—maintaining status quo while other Seattle neighborhoods have come to a halt (literally).

Seattle Report

Queen Anne saw a nice rebound in Q1 after lagging the Seattle averages for some time. South Seattle, with its light rail access, affordable prices, and new vitality, continues to see its real estate market thrive.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

EASTSIDE

Significant new home development at higher price points has led the market in West Bellevue and Kirkland and brought up everything else along with it.

Eastside Review

With land values alone higher than average home sale prices in surrounding communities, this growth will have long-lasting impacts that will forever change the flavor of these communities–for better (fresh new housing stock) and worse (the lack of affordable options). Kirkland led this charge with a median sale price 45.9% higher than Q1 last year, followed by West Bellevue at 23.1%.

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

 

MERCER ISLAND

Overall, a much higher percentage of mid-range homes sold in the first quarter than in quarters past, giving the appearance of falling prices. In reality, however, it was actually a downward shift of the segment of the market that is selling.

Mercer Island Report

Don’t let the negative number for Q1 fool you. The market below the two-million-dollar mark is vastly different than the market above it. With the most severe shortage of available homes in mid-range price points Mercer Island has seen, especially early in Q1 this year, the sub $2 million market has been brisk and competitive with strong price escalation. The $2 million and above market has been a different story altogether. While highly desirable homes in that bracket have transacted quickly, many other less notable homes have languished on the market.

Click here to view the complete report for a neighborhood by neighborhood breakdown of Average Sale Price, size, and number of homes sold.

 

CONDOS – SEATTLE & EASTSIDE

Still the only affordable option for many home buyers today, condos have continued to escalate in value with appreciation rates above those of residential homes in many areas.

Condo Report

On the Eastside, new condo and townhome developments in Crossroads and Rose Hill drove prices up to new highs in those communities. Richmond Beach and Shoreline benefited from an infusion of new construction standalone condominium ‘homes’ on very small lots.

Check out all of these factoids and more in the full condo report.

 

WATERFRONT

Waterfront Report

Several significant sales accented an otherwise unremarkable quarter. A $26.8 million iconic Medina estate on 2.5 acres with 150 feet of waterfront set a new benchmark on the Eastside. Two $8+ million homes on the north end of Mercer Island–both newer construction with over 7,000 square feet–set the tone for the Island in 2018. Lake Sammamish, with a $4.2 million sale in Q1, is still in hot demand, while Seattle saw only three modest waterfront sales.

Check out the full Waterfront Report for a complete list of waterfront home sales by address and community.

 


ABOUT WINDERMERE MERCER ISLAND

We earn the trust and loyalty of our brokers and clients by doing real estate exceptionally well. The leader in our market, we deliver client-focused service in an authentic, collaborative and transparent manner and with the unmatched knowledge and expertise that comes from decades of experience.

 

© Copyright 2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. Information and statistics derived from Northwest Multiple Listing Service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.v

Planning ahead: how tax reform will impact your home deductions next year

2018 Tax Changes for Home Owners

 

While you may still be busy filing your 2017 taxes, it’s important to look ahead and be aware of how the new 2018 tax reform laws will affect next year’s return–especially if you’re a homeowner. Those who itemize will need to note some big changes in what they can and cannot deduct. Many will instead choose to use the new higher standard deduction ($12,000 for single individuals and $24,000 for joint returns) rather than itemizing their deductions.

What can you do now? Check in with your accountant for advice specific to your situation and filing status. Also, you’ll probably want to update your withholding amount to reflect the new deduction amounts. In the meantime, here is the skinny on 5 changes that may affect you if you own a home…

 

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

The deduction that allows homeowners to reduce their taxable income by the amount of mortgage interest they pay has been scaled back.

  • For loans taken out after 12/14/17, you can now only deduct mortgage interest paid on the first $750,000 of combined debt for primary and secondary residences (or $375,000 if married filing separately).
  • Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap if they were taken out before 12/15/17 (or if you entered into your purchase contract prior to 12/15/17 and the sale closed by 1/1/18).
  • You can continue to deduct the interest on grandfathered loans even if you refinance.

 

2. Home Equity Loan Deduction

Under the former tax law, you were able to deduct the interest on up to $100,000 of home equity debt even if the proceeds were used for something other than buying or improving the home (for example, an equity line of credit used to pay college tuition). This is now no longer the case.

  • New 2018 law eliminates the deduction for interest on home equity debt unless it’s used to buy, build, or substantially improve the home that secures the loan.
  • Loans to buy second homes do not qualify for the interest deduction if they’re taken out against the equity of your primary home.

 

3. Deduction for Property & Sales Taxes

Tax relief for homeowners who pay property taxes has also been limited.

  • Itemized deductions for property taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, and any other local taxes will now be limited to a combined total of $10,000.
  • The combined limit drops to $5,000 if married filing separately.

 

4. Deduction for Moving Expenses

While you used to be able to deduct some moving expenses when you moved for a new job, this deduction has been repealed for everyone except active-duty members of the armed forces.

 

5. Deduction for Casualty Losses

Under former law, substantial losses to your home and personal property through things like fires and robberies could be deducted from your taxable income. Under the new law, this deduction is eliminated for everything except presidential-declared natural disasters.

 

Want to know more?

 

©2018, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island.  The above article is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional tax advice from your accountant.

Sources:
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – What it Means for Homeowners and Real Estate Professionals,” by the National Association of Realtors
“5 Homeownership Changes Coming Under New Tax Law” by NerdWallet
“Tax Reform” by the Internal Revenue Service

Your Outdoor Space May Be Just The Ticket To Sell Your Home

Outdoor spaces are highly desired by homebuyers young and old. If you have been evaluating your home’s outdoor space potential and are ready to make some improvements, consider the following:

1. The flow from the inside to the outside – Glass folding door/walls are the newest rage, but if that is too costly, then look for more ways to let in more light and the view by changing walls into windows.
2. Creating rooms – Through seating, places to put down drinks and books, plants, and even rugs to define spaces, create a sense of comfort by defining different spaces to relax.
3. Getting cozy – Today’s outdoor furniture includes robust couches, coffee tables, and chairs with ample weather-resistant cushions.
4. Checking out the lighting – Lighting in the garden, around seating areas, and highlighting certain garden features can have big impact!
5. Power! – Adding outdoor power outlets allows you to do things like charge your phone and work on your computer while lounging.
6. Music – Outdoor speakers that are hooked into a central sound system can also set the mood.
7. The Fun! – Now for the extras! What kind of recreation do you want? A tree house? A fire pit? Horseshoes?

Of course, if you are just creating outdoor spaces to appeal to a wider range of homebuyers, you should make different choices than if you are actually planning on enjoying your space for several years to come. If you would like help with either, please give me a call or text: (425) 260-0715 or send an email to: jay@jayagoado.net.

Sources:
http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/03/16/5-ways-sell-outdoor-space
• National Association of REALTORS 2016 Home Buyer Seller Profile

Weekly Statistics Ending June 30, 2017

Whoa Betsy! What’s happening in Ballard this week? Virtually zero month’s supply of inventory on the market for sale below $1.5 million!! Other areas fare better for buyers this week…but a low supply of homes for sale is prevalent throughout the region as we head into this holiday weekend. Look for some relief in the form of new listings by next weekend as homes come to market after the holiday lull.
Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island |  (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.  Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Weekly Statistics Ending May 5, 2017

This week’s activity cooled somewhat compared to last week’s marathon. The market is still active to be sure, but more buyers are taking their time to check out their options. Our 1.75 days of gorgeous weather possibly played a role…

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island |  (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.  Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.

Get Ready to Sell!

Get Ready to Sell!

If you are thinking of selling in the next few weeks, or even months from now, there are things you should do to get your home into tip-top shape. Here is a list of the most common items that I check when getting a home ready to sell:

  • Review walls and ceilings for small cracks. Repair these throughout. If there are larger cracks in the ceiling, walls, foundation, or driveway, these might be a sign of a problem that you may want to look at or fix before coming on the market.
  • Check the paint in each room. If the rooms need to be freshened up, paint is one of the cheapest ways to have big impact.
  • Wipe down all baseboards and trim. If there are scuffs, dents, or marks, if your trim has a wood look, you can touch up the stain and if they are painted and the scuffs won’t come off, you may need to touch up the paint.
  • Make sure your ceiling is free of cobwebs and dust.
  • Clean all vents.
  • In the kitchen, cabinets (both inside and the doors) need a cleaning. I encourage sellers to declutter while they are at it. Buyers will look inside the cabinets, so I recommend boxing up the extra dishes, Tupperware, and spices while you are cleaning and making the insides nice and neat.
  • While you are in the kitchen, clean and tidy up the fridge. Again, less is more, so use up or toss all those extra salad dressing containers, mustard, and hot sauce packets.
  • Give appliances a thorough cleaning including the inside of the stove, the stovetop, grease traps, vacuum the back of the fridge, etc.
  • Remove all the papers and magnets that might be on the fridge.
  • Kitchen counters seem to attract a lot of clutter. I recommend clearing everything off and only putting back a few things that you are going to need for the next 90 days and that aren’t visually distracting. For example, you might need a toaster and a coffee maker. As long as those look neat and in working order, they can stay. But don’t leave a can of coffee on the counter. That goes in a cabinet.
  • The same type of cleaning you did in the kitchen cabinets need to be done in the bathroom. Clean out all drawers and cabinets and only replace what you need in the next 90 days. Remove everything from the bathroom counters except for soap or nicely-organized jars with Q-tips and cotton balls. Everything else should be stowed in cabinets neatly.
  • Edit your shower collection of shampoos, conditioner, body soap, etc, to only one bottle of each and remove extra razors and scrub brushes.
  • Edit your towels to a single color that enhances the bathroom décor and make sure all family members know how to hang up the towels properly after use.
  • Check tile grout and replace if necessary. Do the same with the caulk.
  • Clean the bathroom fan.
  • Clean out the shower and tub drains.
  • Check all the light fixtures in the house to make sure they are working property and to replace all burned out bulbs.
  • While you are doing that, check each light switch and clean the switchplates. You can also make sure that the plates for the outlets are in good working order.
  • Service the furnace and water heater. If you live in a rural area, it might be a good idea to have the septic inspected as well, although rules in different areas may affect when exactly you want to do this.
  • Usually I suggest that carpets get cleaned.
  • If wood floors are scuffed up, they may need to be refinished.
  • Clean all blinds and window treatments.
  • Clean out the fireplace and have the chimney inspected. Stage a log or two in the fireplace if you like. Clean glass doors and remove excess materials from the hearth and mantel.
  • Review your houseplant situation. Any that are barely hanging on should be removed or replaced.
  • Wash all windows and outside doors and make sure they slide freely. You may want to replace all windows that have a broken seal.
  • Analyze each room to make sure the function is clear. Any items that don’t support that function should be removed. For example, if in the master bedroom, there is workout equipment, a desk with piles of paperwork, and a dog crate, I would suggest removing the workout equipment, dog crate, and packaging up the paperwork. We want a nice, calm space.
  • While you are analyzing each room, declutter as much as possible. That means removing extra artwork that is cluttering up the walls, removing family tchotchkes and photography, and removing collections of things. For example, if you have collections of plates, Star Trek memorabilia, bells, etc, I suggest packing those up so the buyers can picture themselves in your home.
  • If you have kids, getting the house ready to sell can provide you with a great opportunity to go through their toys and clothes and get rid of things they have outgrown. Since toys can create a lot of clutter, give them a choice of perhaps 10 things they can keep while the home is on the market, and then make sure they know how to put those away when they are done playing.

  • Is anything broken or in need of repair? Believe it or not, the cost to fix these items now may be less than the perceived value the buyer may put on disrepair when making an offer. If your dog has scratched up a door beyond repair, there are deck boards broken, or a kitchen door is missing a handle, get it fixed before the home goes on the market. We want the buyers to feel that your home is well-taken care of.
  • If there is a challenge with odors in your home, you can possibly use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays (but beware that some buyers are sensitive to these so don’t overuse). There are also products out there specially-designed to handle pet odors and you may want to rent an ozone system if the smell cannot be otherwise overcome or identified.
  • If the weather has done some damage to your home outside, repainting and caulking the seams is a good plan.
  • Make sure the front door looks especially, clean, freshly painted if applicable, and inviting.
  • Verify decks and railing are in good repair and are freshly stained and/or painted.
  • Get the roof cleaned of moss and dust and make sure there are no issues that should be addressed before the home goes on the market.
  • Clean the gutters.
  • Remove webs and bird droppings from eaves.
  • Pressure-wash all cement surfaces such as driveways and walkways.
  • Prune plants and trees so there is at least six inches or more of space between the plant and the house.
  • Prune or remove plants that are partially dead or don’t look great and make sure to deadhead all dead flowers.
  • If your trees need work, such as removing dead branches, go ahead and get this taken care of.
  • Determine if mulch (bark, rocks, etc) needs to be replaced and do so.
  • Make sure all container plants and pots look fresh and organized neatly.
  • Areas that are graveled may need a fresh coat of gravel.
  • Wind up the hose neatly.
  • Keep the grass trimmed neatly. If there are bare patches, cultivate some grass and keep it green.
  • Apply the same decluttering principles to the deck and outdoor living spaces. If furniture and décor is mismatched, this will distract the buyer.
  • Make sure outdoor furniture cushions are cleaned. Add a pop of color with outdoor pillows, freshly-potted plants, and hanging baskets.
  • Clean the BBQ.
  • Make sure garage door opener works.
  • Remove excess clutter from garage. Belongings should be neatly organized on racks or in cabinets wherever possible.
  • Clean the garage. Keep the floor swept. Depending on what you have in the garage, some people will use a leaf blower to clean out dust that is sitting on belongings and in corners.
  • If applicable, make sure crawl space under the house is clear of garbage, pests, etc. We may want to put down new plastic sheeting on the ground if needed.
  • And of course, give your home a thorough cleaning!

There may be additional custom items for your home that need to be added to this list. Although this may seem overwhelming, addressing each item will bring in more potential buyers. If you are ready for your custom plan, give me a call: (425) 260-0715 or email: jay@jayagoado.net.

Weekly Statistics Ending April 21, 2017

We saw an incredible uptick in homes for sale this week and some slowing in the volume of pending sales. That said, we are hearing crazy stories of hot Seattle listings being bid up 20-25%. Be careful out there! Know your limit before you get emotionally attached. Having a savvy Realtor can help you make smart decisions even when the market is bonkers.

Click here for the full report and neighborhood-by-neighborhood statistics!

© Copyright 2017, Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island |  (206) 232-0446 | mercerisland@windermere.com | 2737 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.  Statistics provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing service and deemed accurate but not guaranteed.