So Many Statistics-What does it all mean?
All the headlines tell us that Seattle's real estate market is red hot; everything sells in hours to a few days and for prices not seen ever before. Really? While this might be true in the more urban core and for certain property types and price ranges, it's not universal. If you look at Capitol Hill, certainly a high-demand area, the average of the median sale prices so far this year is only 3% higher than 2013 but almost 5% below 2014's median price; $624,975 so far this year compared to $658,129 in 2014. Every buyer and agent knows that it's a difficult and competitve market but to believe the headlines, this year's prices should be 10-20% above last year, yet the reality is they are lower. You'll also see that the average sales price is only 3.5% above the asking price, not the 20-50% you hear or see headlines touting.
My point is, don't believe that you can't get into a home in a neighborhood you want; that prices have skyrocketed past you and nothing is available. Patience and diligence need to be your friends and a good agent who is truly looking out for you is essential. There is no doubt you need to be prepared to act but don't be despondent. Good homes, values and options are out there. Not many at any one time but they are out there. If this year performs like 2013 & '14 we'll hopefully see an increasing inventory over the summer and into the fall which should help calm some of the bidding wars and help buyers succeed in getting their new home. Historically August is a month that leans towards buyer's favor. More of us are on vacation or completing summer vacations, back to school preparations or other social distractions. A small decline in demand coupled with a hopeful increase in available choices can help you win.
Home sellers shouldn't despair. Well prepared homes still sell well, even in August. Prices don't typically decline in August or the fall in general; only the frantic pace and craze mellows. If you're ready to put your home on the market, be realistic and recognize that the market isn't the headlines, there are nuances that need to be considered. Consult with an informed agent to see how your specific home's market is performing and craft a strategy to make your home shine and sell on your terms.