As your dedicated real estate consultant, it is my goal to provide you with timely updates on the local market and valuable insights into investment opportunities. The Snohomish County real estate market is already off to a mighty start for the year!
In addition, I would like to introduce you to my YouTube Channel
Since I’ve started creating content, I’ve put together several hundred videos to help Buyers and Sellers navigate our local real estate market. Here are a couple of the more popular Playlists:
Snohomish County Real Estate Market Update:
22 January 2024
The month's supply of inventory (MSI) in Snohomish County is 0.7 months. Sixty-three percent of “New Listings” went under contract within the first 7 days on the market if they listed between January 7th & January 13th. And 66% of sellers got under contract within the first 14 days on the market if they listed December 24th through Jan 6th. As of last week, there continue to be more homes that went under contract than new listings coming on the market. This is shrinking our available inventory and shifting our real estate dynamic back to a fairly strong sellers’ market. In Snohomish County, buyers can anticipate competing for the more desirable listings and should plan on escalating 5-10% over asking price and waiving most contingencies (my advice: Do NOT waive inspections if one is not provided by the seller and NEVER waive financing if a loan is necessary).
Challenges: One of the things to keep in mind this time of year, appraisals could come in low with little data to support the suddenly higher negotiated prices. If the appraisal does not come in “at value or higher”, the buyer would need to bring the difference (between the agreed upon price and the appraised value) to closing in addition to their downpayment & closing costs.
Looking Forward: If interest rates do come down further, we will likely see the demand for housing skyrocket in our area. We may also start to see local moves again, families looking for larger homes to accommodate growing families and the downsizing of empty nesters potentially creating a bit more inventory to choose from. But these local sellers may also become buyers netting little to no relief on rising home prices. Simultaneously, a mini-refinancing boom could be on the horizon.
Even if interest rates stay fairly level, the winter market is off to the races with more than half of “new listings” being snapped up within the first week and many with multiple offers.
Kat's Successful Formula for Listing a Home
in the Western WA Real Estate Market:
For sellers, I've developed a proven formula for listing homes in the competitive Western Washington real estate market. Here's a checklist of items that may need to be addressed when preparing to list your home, along with the recommended order of completion. I can provide contact information for Service Providers for each of these tasks.
Also, the Windermere Ready Program is designed to help you utilize your home equity in the form a “very quick turnaround loan” to facilitate home preparations for Listing. If you or someone you know would like more info, please contact me (Kat Howard 206.465.2622).
Once these steps are complete, your home will be ready for high-quality professional photography, videography, cinematography and drone shots/videos to showcase it in the best possible light.
Thank you for considering these insights, and remember, I'm here to provide you with contacts for Service Providers to make this process as smooth as possible. Whether you're a buyer or seller, knowledge and preparation are your allies in this dynamic Western Washington real estate market.
Taking a 2nd Look at Investment Opportunity:
18941 Viking Avenue NW, Poulsbo, WA
Following is a summary of the property in Poulsbo with 4 small homes (each with 2 bedrooms/1 bath & laundry) cashflow/investment analyses and the associated assumptions.
Background: It was purchased as a flip in March 2022 at $579,000. It is currently listed at $1,085,000 and has been under contract several times (and consequently come back on the market). The Listing Agent says the VA Appraisal came in over the current List Price. I’m running the Cash Flow Analyses at a purchase price of $1,000,000, since paying any higher does not make sense if you utilize a property management company to hande your investment properties.
#1 - $1,875/month
#2 - $1,875/month
#3 - $1,950/month
#4 - $2,150/month
$7,850/month Gross Income ($94,200/yr)
Purchase Price of $1,000,000
25% Down: $250,000
Term: 30 years at 8%
Monthly Payment: $5,503
Total annual gross income: $94,200
Total Expenses: $22,285
Property Taxes: $5,431
Property Insurance: $4,142
Property Management: $9,420
Repairs & Maintenance: $2,400
Annual Debt Service: $66,039
Pre-Tax Cash Flow: $1,976/year
After Tax Cash Flow (assuming a modest 12% Tax Bracket): $4,295/year
After Tax Cash Flow (assuming a 20% Tax Bracket): $5,840/year
This property is a flip and IF they did a good job and addressed any potential structural issues as well as electrical, plumbing, roof and insulation issues, this could be a good investment. They have included an Inspection Report in the Listing (let me know if you would like to see a copy).
I like this property because it has 4 small homes, so each unit has more privacy than most multi-family units. And each cabin has their own washer/dryers which I believe encourages tenants to stay longer. This particular listing also includes an additional building lot.
Call me if you have questions regarding purchasing or selling real estate or investing in multi-family. I look forward to hearing from you! Have a great week!
Snohomish County Real Estate Market Snapshot December 14, 2023
The current state of the market shows a decrease in the month's supply of inventory to less than 1 month in Snohomish County. This suggests a scenario where demand from buyers surpasses the number of new listings entering the market. Notably, average and median home sales prices experienced a slight increase (less than 1%) in November compared to October.
Seller's Market Trends for "New Listings":
As we move forward, I anticipate ongoing opportunities for securing new homes at favorable values this month. However, it's essential to note that with the easing of interest rates, more buyers have entered the market. While we may see fewer homes listed in the coming weeks due to the holiday season, this could potentially lead to additional multiple offer situations. If you are considering a home purchase before the year-end, obtaining Full Under-Written approval from a lender before submitting an offer can provide a strategic advantage, enhancing your competitiveness in the market.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if there's anything specific you'd like to discuss regarding your real estate goals.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season!
Snohomish County Real Estate Market
Update: November 6th, 2023
Hope this message finds you in great spirits! As your go-to Certified Real Estate Analyst in Western Washington, I'm thrilled to keep you in the loop about what's cooking in Snohomish County's real estate scene. Whether we've worked together before or you're looking at future ventures, knowledge is power, and I've got the scoop for you.
So, in Snohomish County, the real estate market is still buzzing. Our Months Supply of Inventory is holding steady at a cool 1.4 months. Now, here's a fun fact for you – the fall vibes aren't really slowing down the trend of setting "Offer review dates." About 28% of savvy sellers are still rocking this strategy. It can be a smart move, especially if you're spruced up and priced just right!
For those with a potential sale on the horizon, the speed at which homes are getting snatched up is still quite impressive for this time of year. Picture this: 29% of sellers locked in contracts within the first week, and a whopping 42% made it happen within the first 14 days. It's a testament to the ongoing demand for homes in our area, even with interest rates doing their little dance.
New listings are still having a blast in the Snohomish County market! But, if your property doesn't snag a buyer within the first two weeks, things can get interesting. Price reductions are becoming the norm, and hitting that dream sale price might need a little extra finesse up front (hint… Staging .. Staging.. Staging..LOL). Buyers, being buyers, are eyeing those 2/1 buydowns and expecting sellers to pay for them, so keep that in mind.
Market vibes can change, so staying in the know is key. If a real estate move is on your mind, I'm here to dish out personalized Hope this message finds you in great spirits! As your go-to Real Estate Broker in Western Washington, I'm thrilled to keep you in the loop about what's cooking in Snohomish County's real estate scene. Whether we've worked together before or you're looking at future ventures, knowledge is power, and I've got the scoop for you.
Importance of Final Walk-Throughs
The final walk-through is a very important step in purchasing a home. You are looking for things that may have gotten damaged or maybe missing (like a refrigerator that was supposed to stay with the home). If the home has been sitting empty for a period of time, even just a few weeks, you want to look carefully for any water leaks under dishwashers, sinks, refrigerators, behind toilets. It’s also a good idea to look for new water stains on the ceilings if it’s a 2-story home.
Water Leak Prevention Tips:
After You Move Into Your New Home!
After you get the keys and start moving in, that’s when you will want to continue to be diligent about water issues for at least the first week or so. Run the dishwasher empty several times to make sure the front seal is not leaking. Use the water and ice cube dispenser on the refrigerator several times. Run the washing machine for several cycles, looking for water at the base and behind at the faucets. Also, o-rings can dry out on faucets, so run showers for a few minutes to see how they look. If the water comes out inappropriately, then let them run a few minutes more and then again the next day – many times this will resolve the issue. The same goes for the jetted tub. Fill it up and let it run while carefully watching for leaks underneath. Also, on the first day you start running water, check the connections at the hot water tank and I would continue to check those connections every few months.
As a precaution, I have invested in MOEN White Flo Smart Water Water Leak Dectors (sold on Amazon, 3-pack for $102)) and they have proven to be worth their weight in gold. They have already saved me from a potential huge water repair bill at my rental. I would suggest placing the detectors or leads in the following locations: under the hot water tank, under the dishwasher, under the refrigerator, under the kitchen sink, under each sink in the bathrooms, under the jacuzzi tub and under the washing machine. They can be connected to your wifi and send an alert on the phone if one of them sounds the alarm. I love mine! The only downside is they need the batteries replaced about every 6 months. All of mine were dead in 12 months the first year. I purchased mine at Lowes last year. Good luck and prevent future water damage in your home!
Timing the Market in Snohomish County
This chart shows the amount of home appreciation annually from the month of January through June each year 2012 - 2023. The average home appreciates 9.7% in Snohomish County from January to June. If you have the luxury of timing the market, NOW is a good time to buy historically and Spring is the best time to sell. This 9.7% equates to $79,512 more for the Average Home Sales Price in Snohomish County of $819,710. These are averages, but 8 out of the past 12 years saw increases of greater than 9% in appreciation from January to June. Worth considering if you have the LUXURY to do so! Fun Real Estate Fact!
*Obviously the best time to buy or sell is when it is the right time for you and your family!!*
|*The statistics were calculated by Kat Howard, Certified Real Estate Analyst CREA, utilizing data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
Timing the Market in Snohomish County
Following is a summary of the cashflow/investment analysis and the associated assumptions for Bremerton Triplex 1303 Elisabeth Avenue (Listed for $675K, which I think is too high).
3 Units, 1 bed for $1,850/month and 2 bed for $1,850/month and the 3 bedroom unit at $2,100/month.
Purchase Price of $650,000 (25K less than List Price)
25% Down: $162,500
Term: 30 years at 8%
Total annual gross income: $69,600
Total Expenses: $17,254
Property Taxes: $4,095
Property Insurance: $709
Property Managment: $6,960
Repairs & Maintenance: $1,200
Vacancy: 5% - $3,480/year
NOI (Net Operating Income): $48,866
Annual Debt Service (total loan payments for the year): $42,925
Pre-Tax Cash Flow: $5,941
After Tax Cash Flow: $7,581 (assuming effective tax rate of 20%)
Depending upon the physical condition of this property, this property looks fairly appealing at the Purchase Price of $650K. Call me if you would like to take a peek at it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this Stat’s By Kat. I hope you have a great weekend! Let me know if you have a real estate questions. I’m happy to help!
Snohomish County's real estate market continues to operate at an incredibly brisk pace. The Months Supply of Inventory is at 1.2 months. This indicates a high demand for homes and a relatively limited supply, which can significantly impact pricing and competition for available properties.
One notable trend is the practice of setting offer review dates, which 31% of home sellers are currently doing. However, it's important to note that this percentage is gradually decreasing.
For those looking to sell their homes, the speed at which properties are going under contract is quite remarkable. 37% of sellers saw their homes under contract within the first 7 days on the market, while an even more impressive 49% of sellers secured contracts within the first 14 days. This data reflects the high level of competition and interest among buyers, which could potentially work to your advantage if you're contemplating a selling your home.
Please keep in mind that these statistics are subject to change as the real estate market can be quite dynamic. If you're thinking of making a move, I'd be delighted to provide you with personalized guidance based on your unique situation.
Home Buying Steps
Step 1: Get Your Finances in Order
Before you start house hunting, it's crucial to get your finances in order. This includes:
Step 2: Determine Your Budget and Priorities
Consider your budget and what you're looking for in a home. This includes:
Step 3: Find a Knowledgeable REALTOR (hint ME)
Choose an experienced REALTOR who specializes in Western Washington. A skilled REALTOR will:
Step 4: Start House Hunting
With your REALTOR by your side, begin your search:
Step 5: Make an Offer
Once you've found the right home:
Step 6: Home Inspection and Appraisal
After your offer is accepted:
Step 7: Finalize Financing
Work closely with your lender to:
Step 8: 1-5 days prior to closing
On closing day:
Step 9: Day of Closing
Step 10: Move In
Congratulations, you're a homeowner! Now:
Remember, having an experienced REALTOR by your side throughout these steps can make the process smoother and less stressful. They'll be there to guide you and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Feel free to reach out to me anytime for more detailed information and expert advice. Your real estate goals are my priority, and I'm here to help you make informed decisions in this ever-evolving market.
Snohomish County Real Estate Market Update
For Potential Buyers:
If you're considering purchasing a home in Snohomish County, here's what you need to know:
Inventory Levels: The Months Supply of Inventory in Snohomish County is currently at 1.1 months. This indicates a market that still favors sellers, although the inventory has been gradually increasing.
Pricing Trends: Average sales prices have risen by a notable 12% since the beginning of the year, although it's worth noting that this increase has moderated from the peak of 21% a few months ago. Compared to April 2022 highs, there has been a 13% decrease in average sales prices.
Days on Market: The average and median days on market have seen a slight increase over the past two months. This suggests that homes may be taking a bit longer to sell, giving buyers potentially more time for consideration.
Offer Review Dates: Around 32% of home sellers are currently setting Offer Review Dates. However, it's important to note that this number is trending downwards.
Quick Sales: Nearly half (48%) of sellers are getting their homes under contract within the first 7 days on the market, and a majority (56%) are achieving this within the first 14 days. This indicates a competitive market where well-priced and appealing properties are moving swiftly.
For Potential Sellers:
If you're thinking about selling your home in Snohomish County, here's what's relevant:
Pricing Strategy: While average sales prices have moderated, they are still showing healthy gains. Proper pricing and market analysis are crucial to maximize your return.
Timing: Homes are selling quickly, with a significant percentage going under contract within the first two weeks. This highlights the importance of preparing your home properly before you go on the market..
Offer Review: Setting Offer Review Dates can be a strategy, but it's essential to consider market dynamics. The “shiny objects” (homes appropriately prepared for Market and Priced Right) should still be setting Offer Review Dates for now. But going forward this practice should be carefully re-considered. Buyers tend to not want to compete as Fall approaches and may choose to not look at properties which set Offer Review Dates. Consult with your real estate broker to determine the best approach.
Competitive Edge: The market is still favoring sellers, but it's crucial to ensure your property stands out through presentation, marketing, and pricing.
In conclusion, the Snohomish County real estate market remains active and dynamic. Buyers should be prepared to act swiftly on appealing properties, while sellers should carefully consider pricing and marketing strategies to achieve the best results in the current market conditions. Consulting with an experienced local real estate broker (Kat Howard) is invaluable in navigating this evolving landscape.
Sewer Scope Inspections Explained
As part of your inspection process, it is a good idea to have both a Home Inspection as well as a Sewer Scope Inspection. A sewer scope inspection typically costs between $250 to $500. This inspection is of paramount importance as it can uncover potential hidden issues that could lead to costly repairs down the road.
During a sewer scope inspection, inspectors carefully assess several key factors:
It's essential to be aware that solutions to sewer line issues can be expensive. For instance, if root intrusion is detected, the line may need to be cleaned using high-pressure water and then relined to prevent future intrusions. This process can be quite costly.
It's worth noting that these sewer-related issues are generally not covered by standard Homeowners Insurance policies.
In light of these considerations, I strongly recommend scheduling a sewer scope inspection, especially for homes older than 25 years and those located in heavily treed areas. Aaron Brandstetter with Seattle Sewer Inspections is a reputable resource for conducting these inspections. Many home inspectors in the area also offer sewer scope services as part of their overall inspection process.
Taking this proactive step can save you from unexpected and costly sewer-related repairs in the future, ensuring a smoother and more secure homeownership experience.
Following are the latest market statistics I have crunched from Snohomish County data, along with valuable strategies to help you sell your HOME in this competitive landscape.
Snohomish County Market Insights:
The Months Supply of Inventory has started creeping up and stands at 0.95 months. In the past seven days, just a couple more homes have gone under contract than new listings coming on the market. Additionally, 44% of sellers have opted to set Offer Review Dates, while just 41% of sellers have successfully secured contracts within the first week of going on the market (this is down from 47% the previous week). Furthermore, 59% of sellers have successfully gotten under contract within the first 14 days of listing. These figures suggest that Snohomish County continues to boast a fairly strong sellers' market that might just be starting to wane!
Sellers – Have an Inspection Prior to Going on the Market
Over the past few years, I have been advising my Sellers to have an Inspection done 2-4 weeks prior to their listing date. The benefits far outweigh the downsides. It allows the Seller to maintain control of the Process! If deficiencies do show up during an inspection, the Seller has the opportunity to determine how those get addressed, ie. licensed/bonded contractor, handyman or they could do the repairs themselves. Additionally, having an Inspection Report, allows the Seller to provide a copy of that Report to the potential Buyers. If Buyers are satisfied with the items that have not been addressed, they can move forward with making an Offer on the Sellers’ Property omitting an Inspection Contingency. Sellers and Listing Brokers prefer Offers to be submitted without an Inspection Contingency, because that contingency gives the Buyer a literal “Get Out of Jail Free” card to get out of the transaction for any reason during that contingency period. And the bonus is, if the property is prepared well for market and priced right, the Seller could wind up with more than one Offer, a situation that is worth it’s weight in gold!
Woodinville’s Real Estate Market Thrives
Here is an article I wrote for the Woodinville Weekly Magazine August 2023 Edition.
“The real estate landscape in Woodinville has evolved dramatically over the last decade, creating opportunities and economic growth. The average home sales prices have soared 64% over the last 5 years, signifying the town's attractiveness to potential homeowners and investors.
Currently, we have an interesting dynamic in our real estate market, eerily similar to last spring when interest rates were low and a highly competitive market for buyers ensued. The catalyst behind the tempo of our market now, is the severe shortage of housing. When comparing July 2023 to July 2022, the number of available homes for sale is down 49% in Woodinville, leaving buyers with fewer choices.
Utilizing data specifically for Woodinville (provided by the NWMLS), the Months Supply of Inventory is 1.6 months (the # of homes for sale divided by the number of homes that are Pending status). It has been a strong sellers’ market since early January 2023.
In July, 37% of home sellers strategically set offer review dates, indicating their confidence in potentially receiving more than one offer. It has been statistically proven in a sellers’ market that listing a home on a Thursday & setting an Offer Review Date the following Tuesday, yields the seller the highest return. Offer review dates had all but disappeared in the last half of 2022, but quickly came back into vogue just after the first of this year! And 44% of Woodinville sellers went under contract within the first 7 days on the market, and a total of 59% went under contract within 14 days. The competition for swiftly selling properties remains fairly intense, with an impressive 42% of July sales prices exceeding their listing prices. The homes that are properly prepared for the market and priced right are being scooped up very quickly!
In summary, it’s apparent that 2023 has ushered in a fairly robust Sellers' Market in Woodinville. Notably, median home sales prices have gone up by an impressive 17% since the first of the year. This upward trajectory reflects the allure of Woodinville. As the market continues to evolve, Woodinville's real estate sector remains a fascinating narrative within a community on the move.”
Thanks for reading my Stats and Helpful Real Estate Tips! Remember, I am here to guide and support you throughout this exciting journey. Feel free to reach out to me for any questions or assistance; together, we will achieve your real estate goals.
Wishing you success and prosperity in your home buying endeavors.
Kat Howard, Broker | Realtor
Let's Discuss the Significance of Staging: Enhancing Your Home's Appeal
Today, I would like to highlight the importance of staging when preparing your home for the real estate market. As a seasoned real estate broker, I always encourage sellers to consider staging their homes, as it can make a significant difference in attracting potential buyers. While there is a cost involved, typically ranging between $1,500 and $4,000 for a month of staging (with double the amount if an additional month is required), the benefits can be substantial.
The advantages of staging your home for market:
Decreases Time on the Market: Staging helps expedite the sale of your property by creating an inviting atmosphere that captures buyers' attention. It allows them to envision themselves living in the space, ultimately reducing the time your home spends on the market.
Increases Sales Price: By showcasing your home's best features and highlighting its potential, staging has been proven to positively impact the sales price. It can elevate the perceived value of your property and, in turn, generate higher offers from interested buyers.
Shifts Focus from Less Desirable Features: Staging can divert buyers' attention from any drawbacks your home may have, such as awkward room layouts or outdated finishes. It enables them to see past these imperfections and focus on the overall potential and appeal of the property.
Facilitates Buyer Visualization: A staged home allows buyers to visualize themselves living in the space more easily. It helps them mentally arrange furniture, plan decor, and create a personal connection with the property, increasing the likelihood of them making an offer.
Boosts Offers in a Competitive Market: In a sellers' market, like the one we've experienced since January of this year, staging your home can lead to an increase in the number of offers. Even 1 additional offer can be Huge for a Seller, ultimately giving them better terms (potentially getting over asking price, waived inspection and other contingencies).
Storytime – The Debate Over Staging Their Home
Recently, I worked with a client in the Bothell area who had diligently followed most of my recommendations to prepare their home for sale. However, they expressed reservations about staging due to cost concerns. To provide them with concrete evidence, I pulled my own statistics for homes within a 4-mile radius of their home. I selected homes of similar style, vintage, and setting, which had sold between February 15th and April 15th. After analyzing the photos of each property, I categorized them into two groups: professionally staged and either vacant or not staged. The results were not surprising—the staged homes sold, on average, 3% higher. This translated to an additional $21,000 on a $700,000 home. Convinced by these findings, my clients decided to stage their home, and it paid off tremendously. We listed their property in the low $700ks, and within 24 hours, we received a compelling offer $120,000 over asking price—cash, no inspection, $40,000 non-refundable earnest money, and no contingencies. It was an offer too good to refuse!
Snohomish County Market Update
Let's now shift our focus to the Snohomish market update. Currently, we have a 0.9 Months Supply of Inventory, which is calculated by dividing the number of Active listings by the number of Pending listings. The percentage of sellers getting under contract within 7 days has slightly decreased to 47% (from 53% one week ago), while 64% are securing contracts within 14 days. Although it remains a fairly robust sellers' market, I have started noticing signs of a gradual shift toward a more buyer-friendly market.
In terms of sales prices in Snohomish County, we have observed an average increase of 21% since January 2023. However, it's worth noting that prices are still 8.5% lower compared to last year's peak. This upward trend can be attributed to a significant decrease in inventory, which is currently down by 58% compared to the previous year (June 2023 vs June 2022).
In conclusion, staging your home is a vital step in maximizing its potential, attracting buyers, and increasing its value. As the market shows signs of change, preparing your home to stand out is more important than ever. If you're considering selling, I encourage you to explore staging options and consult with a professional to determine the best approach for your property. Remember, a well-staged home has the power to captivate buyers and expedite the sale process, ultimately resulting in a more successful and profitable transaction.
Feel free to reach out to me with any real estate-related inquiries. I am committed to helping you navigate the market with confidence and achieve your selling goals.
A Lucrative Opportunity for Flippers in Lynnwood
I have a client that Flips homes. We found a 2800 sq ft home that just came on the market in Lynnwood area for under $550k that looked interesting to my client. This was a 2800 sq ft home in the desirable Lynnwood area, recently listed for under $550,000. This property presented a unique opportunity for your home flipperss.
Built during the 1930s-1940s and expanded over time, this charming home exhibits immense potential. Our initial walkthrough highlighted a few aspects that demand attention. Notably, the entryway, situated at the back of the home and facing away from the street, revealed sloping floors on both sides. This indicates the potential need for structural improvements.
While the property boasts a sizeable area, it's essential to note that the interior retains its 1960s vintage, calling for a complete renovation to bring it up to modern standards. Additionally, the absence of a garage is a consideration to keep in mind.
Regrettably, the seller did not provide an inspection report for the property, leaving it to buyers to assess any potential issues. However, even with a Flip it's crucial to conduct a thorough inspection to unveil any hidden challenges that may affect the property's overall condition and your investment decision.
The seller had scheduled an Offer Review Date (ORD) for this past Tuesday. There were three offers. The winning buyer submitted a compelling offer with an escalation clause that allowed them to secure the property for up to $675,000, all cash and without any contingencies. The selling price ended up at $605,000 as the second-highest offer escalated only to $600,000. It's important to stay informed about the competitive nature of this market and be prepared to craft compelling offers.
Worth noting, this home will likely be valued at over $900K after the flip is complete, making it a good value for the buyer at $605K. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, my client was not able to get his offer submitted prior to the Offer Review Date.
I want to talk a little bit about inspections and why you should have one when you purchase a home or condo. Let’s start with definitions:
Pre-Inspection – An inspection conducted at Buyer’s expense prior to making an offer
“Routine” Inspection (by Inspection Contingency as part of an Offer) – An inspection conducted at Buyer’s expense after the Offer has been accepted by the Seller (Mutual Acceptance). Buyers can get out of the contract under the Inspection Contingency for any reason whatsoever (hence Get-out-of-jail-free Card). Sellers do not like Inspection Contingencies for that reason.
Seller-Procured Inspection – An inspection was conducted at Sellers expense prior to putting the home on the market and Provided to Buyers before they submit their offers
If we are in a marketplace where multiple Offers are the norm, like we are right now, then it is particularly helpful if the sellers’ provide a Seller-procured Inspection Report to the potential Buyers prior to the Offer Review Date. It gives the Buyers a chance to see if the home is in good enough condition that they could write an offer waiving the Inspection.
If no Seller-Procured Inspection is provided, then the best option for the Buyer is to have a Pre-Inspection conducted. You can choose to have the inspector conduct the inspection and then provide you with a full written report within 24 hours (at a cost of approximately $500-600) OR.. you can ask for a Walk Through Inspection for which the Inspector will take photographs and verbally go over the items of concern (and email you all of the photos for reference at an approximate cost of $275-350).
In the scenario where the home has been on the market for greater than 7 to 10 days or you are the only buyer making an offer on a particular property, you could anticipate the seller will likely accept an offer with an Inspection Contingency.
The main reason you should have an inspection is to have an experienced Licensed Inspector look in those areas that can’t be accessed by a normal tour of a home (ie.. the crawlspace and the attic). They will determine if there is any organic growth on the sheathing or if there are any roof leaks by going through the attic. They will also make sure all of the vents for the laundry, bathrooms, and kitchen exhaust fans are vented through the roof and not just into the attic. The inspector will also go into the crawl space to check for structural integrity, plumbing leaks, organic growth from excess moisture, rodent activity, presence of a vapor barrier and to look for any standing water. Inspectors are worth their weight in gold when it comes to purchasing a home.
Snohomish Market Update
It’s a mixed bag of data this week for Snohomish County. We have 0.9 Months Supply of Inventory (# of Active Listings/# of Pending Listings). We have 53% of Sellers getting under contract within 7 days, but only 55% getting under contract within 14 days. Both of these numbers have been decreasing over the past few weeks. So… getting under contract within the first week is imperative. Both the Median and Average Days on Market for Pending Listings has been increasing over the past few weeks, indicating that it’s taking longer for sellers to get under contract. The days on market had been decreasing since early January 2023. Although still a very strong sellers’ market, I am definitely seeing signs of a shift towards a more Buyer friendly market.
A cautionary tale of real estate scams and a promising market update!
Greetings, fellow homeowners and prospective buyers! Today, I want to share an intriguing story that sheds light on the importance of vigilance when dealing with real estate transactions. As an experienced real estate broker, it is my duty to educate and protect my clients. So, let's dive into this crazy tale involving my daughter Michelle Cook, a reputable Windermere Real Estate Broker in Kingston, WA.
A few months ago, Michelle received a call from a distressed individual named Peaches. Peaches was considering selling her vacant land, a 2.5-acre property, as her husband had recently passed away. After some contemplation, she decided to take the leap and enlisted Michelle's assistance in listing the land on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS).
Being thorough and diligent, Michelle conducted her due diligence and gathered the necessary tax records. However, during her research, she stumbled upon something unexpected when she entered the property's address into the NWMLS database. Astonishingly, an expired listing for Peaches' land appeared, dated early January 2023 and expiring in mid-March. The listed seller turned out to be an out-of-state investor residing in Florida, while the agent seemed to be a local independent with no real estate sales in the past two years.
Michelle promptly shared a copy of the listing with Peaches, ensuring she was made aware of this unsettling situation. To Peaches' shock, she had no knowledge of her property being fraudulently listed by someone attempting to deceive potential buyers. Unfortunately, it seems that even the agent may have been unknowingly duped as well. Our suspicion is that the motive behind this deceptive act was to abscond with the buyer's earnest money once a contract was secured and the earnest money released.
Snohomish County Market Update
Now, let's shift our attention to the current real estate market in Snohomish County. It's worth noting that single-family homes in the county have witnessed a remarkable 20% increase in their average sales price since the beginning of this year. Despite the presence of higher interest rates, our market has demonstrated a resounding rebound, and the numbers speak for themselves.
However, there's an important factor to consider—the scarcity of available homes on the market. Compared to May 2022, we're experiencing a staggering 49% decrease in the number of homes up for sale. This scarcity is inevitably driving up prices, creating a highly competitive environment. In fact, 55% of homes listed during the week of May 14th to May 20th, were under contract within the first seven days. Moreover, 43% of home sellers are strategically setting Offer Review Dates, anticipating multiple offers and maximizing their options.
Thinking About Selling Your Home?
If you're contemplating selling your home in this thriving market, it is paramount to ensure your property is well-prepared. By doing so, you significantly increase the likelihood of attracting at least one offer within the critical first week. Missing out on this initial window can make the selling process significantly more challenging. But worry not, for I am here to guide you through every step, helping you navigate the market with confidence and addressing any questions or concerns you may have.
I hope you found this cautionary tale about real estate scams informative and eye-opening. It serves as a reminder to remain vigilant in every real estate transaction. My goal is to empower you with knowledge, keeping you informed about the ongoing negotiations and market dynamics each week. As a bonus, if you would like recommendations for trusted lenders, please feel free to reach out to me. Fascinating loan programs are available, including the innovative "Trailing Primary Residence Program." This strategy allows sellers to purchase a new home before selling their current residence, qualifying solely based on the new loan payment without considering their the loan payment on their current residence. Super interesting strategy to MOVE ONCE!!
And don't hesitate to contact me with any real estate-related inquiries!
Hey there! Let me share a story from my recent experiences in Snohomish. My clients visited an Open House last weekend, and let me tell you, it was a stunning property tucked away in a private setting. The sellers had set an Offer Review Date for Tuesday at noon, May 16th. To give buyers more confidence, they even provided a Seller-Procured Inspection Report and a Sellers Disclosure (Form 17). My clients were thrilled about the possibility of calling this place home, so they asked me to write an Offer on their behalf.
I reached out to the Listing Agent on Monday and found out there was one offer on the table, but it wasn't quite at the full asking price. After carefully reviewing the inspection report, we decided it would be wise to include an Inspection Contingency to have the sewer scoped. You see, the house was built in the late 1970s and was set back from the street with several large cedar trees in between. We had concerns that tree roots might have damaged the sewer line. To make our offer even stronger, my clients decided to escalate $12K over the asking price.
However, by the time we submitted our offer, we found ourselves in a competitive situation with four other offers in the mix. Can you believe it? Two of those offers even went above and beyond, escalating at least $75K over asking price, and one buyer was willing to waive everything, including their Financing Contingency.
Now, let me share a little side note about this particular property. Although it had recently been remodeled with fresh paint throughout, there was a significant smoke smell in the garage and upstairs living area. Based on my experience as a broker, I recommended priming the walls and ceilings with Kilz or a similar odor-sealing primer to eliminate the smoke odor. If my clients had successfully purchased the home, they would have needed to prime and repaint every room on the main floor to tackle that smoke smell.
Speaking of Kilz, I've personally used it with great success in combating pet and smoke odors. If you're replacing the flooring, it's also a good idea to prime the subfloor with Kilz, especially if there have been any pet accidents.
King County Market Update
Now, let's switch gears and talk about the real estate market in Snohomish County. The Average Sales Price for single-family homes has seen a fantastic 13% increase since the beginning of the year. However, we're still down 15% from the high point in April 2022. Despite higher interest rates, this year has shown an impressive rebound. But here's something to keep in mind: inventory coming on the market is down a whopping 52% compared to April 2022. That shortage of available homes is driving up prices. In fact, 57% of homes listed between April 16th and April 22nd were under contract within the first week. That's why 52% of home sellers are setting Offer Review Dates, expecting multiple offers.
If you're thinking about selling, it's crucial to ensure your home is well-prepared so that you can attract at least one offer within the first seven days. Trust me, things can get tough if you miss that first week. But don't worry, I'm here to help you navigate the market and answer any questions you may have.
I hope you find these real estate stories helpful in gaining a better understanding of our local market. It's my way of showing you how negotiations are unfolding each week. By the way, if you need any recommendations for lenders, feel free to reach out to me. There are some interesting loan programs available. And don't hesitate to contact me with any real estate-related inquiries!
Kat Howard, Real Estate Broker 206.465.2622 (Call
Hey there! Let me share an exciting story from my recent experience in Snohomish. One of my clients fell in love with a stunning and private property they visited during an Open House last weekend. The sellers had set an Offer Review Date for Tuesday at noon, May 16th. To give buyers peace of mind, they even provided a Seller-Procured Inspection Report and a Sellers Disclosure (Form 17). My clients were over the moon about the potential of calling this place home, so they asked me to write an Offer on their behalf.
I reached out to the Listing Agent on Monday and discovered that there was one offer already on the table, but it wasn't quite at the full asking price. After carefully reviewing the inspection report, we decided it would be best to include an Inspection Contingency to have the sewer scoped. You see, the home was built in the late 1970s and set far back from the street, with many large cedar trees between the house and the street. We were concerned that tree roots might have damaged the sewer line. To make our offer more appealing, my clients decided to escalate $12K over the asking price.
However, by the time we submitted our offer, we found ourselves in a competitive situation with four other offers in the mix. Can you believe it? Two of those offers went above and beyond, escalating at least $75K over the asking price, and one buyer even waived everything, including their Financing Contingency. The winning offer came in at 915K waiving everything (these buyers offer escalated to over 1 million dollars for this home). WOW! Clearly they needed a place to live!
On Thursday last week, a home came on the market for approximately $600K. My clients called me that afternoon to schedule a showing for Friday noon. Wow! The location was ideal and the home fit my buyers needs to a tee. I rushed back to my home office and drafted an Offer. The seller had provided an Inspection, Seller disclosure (Form 17) and HOA docs to review in advance, so we were able to waive those contingencies. In addition, there was no Offer Review Date set. We submitted our Offer at 4pm Friday (we offered full price and kept our financing contingency), giving the seller until noon on Saturday to respond. Woohoo, Happy Happy Buyers! The Seller signed the Offer as written. My Buyers are over the moon! And I’m sure they were quite relieved to stop having to look at homes coming on the market and scrambling to make offers..
The Average Sales Price for single family homes is UP 13% since the first of the year, however we are still down 15% from April 2022 highs. Quite the rebound so far this year, even with much higher interest rates. Also worth noting, inventory coming on the market is down 52% in Snohomish County this year as compared to April 2022. The shortage of inventory is fueling rising prices. 57% of homes listed during the week of April 16th – Apr 22nd got under contract within the first 7 days on the market. 52% of Home Sellers set Offer Review Dates in anticipation of multiple offers. With inventory at less than 1 month’s supply, competition among buyers remains fierce for the new listings coming on the market. And if you are a seller thinking about going on the market, make certain your home is well-prepared, so you can garner at least 1 offer during the first 7 days. Selling gets a lot rougher if you miss that first week!
Let Talk New Construction
New Construction in Snohomish County makes up approximately 33% of the current Active inventory but only accounted for 23% of Pending Sales over the past 14 days. So it does command a decent share of the market. New construction can be appealing to buyers especially if the Builder has a Preferred Lender and has added financial incentives (interest rate buy downs, covering closing costs, and/or including all appliances/landscaping/fencing, etc.). Another benefit is, everything is brand new, meaning theoretically there should be very little maintenance for at least the first few years. Also, there is a higher probability a buyer might be able to get a Contingent Offer accepted (allowing them time to sell their current home). Probably the biggest drawback is that new homes are often built on intolerably small lots, and usually without much privacy.
Note: I do not use New Construction in the calculation of my statistics because it skews data dramatically. Many new homes are listed months prior to completion and can be Pending for an extended length of time prior to closing. They also do not represent the Resale Market.
Snohomish County Real Estate Market Update
Even with the nervousness around a potential banking crisis, 63% of homes listed during the week of Mar 19th – Mar 25th got under contract within the first 7 days on the market (5% higher than even 2 weeks before!). More Offer Review Dates were set (37%) by Snohomish County sellers this past week. With inventory down to approximately 0.75 month’s supply, competition among buyers remains fierce for the new listings coming on the market. And if you are a seller thinking about going on the market, make certain your home is well-prepared, so you can garner at least 1 offer during the first 7 days. Selling gets a lot rougher if you miss that first week!