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May Sales Report

Hot. Sizzling. Stupendous. Pick your adjective to describe the month of May (as well as months before). In Seattle and King County, like many parts of the country now, it is a sellers’ market, with limited inventory and endless numbers of buyers driving prices up.

For example – average sales price in Seattle for May 2013 was $555,000, up nearly 8% from April and 21% from May 2012.

The best news from May, for both buyers and sellers, is that inventory is slowing creeping up. However, inventory continues to hover at just over a one month supply of homes. We’d like to see closer to five to six months for a more stable market.

Check out my May Seattle report here. Let me know if you’d like me to run a report for your neighborhood or city.

Charitable Giving, Real Estate Style

This is an update to a post I originally wrote last November.

 As you may know, before entering the real estate business, I worked in the non-profit arena for more than 25 years, as a clinical social worker, fundraiser, executive director, and most recently as a volunteer and board member. Most of my charitable work has been on behalf of children and families, with a more recent addition of a focus on healthcare, specifically cancer prevention and treatment. Since I made the career switch to real estate, I’ve continued to volunteer extensively, primarily with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – Puget Sound Affiliate, FamilyWorks Food Bank & Family Resource Center, and my son’s school, Ingraham High School. I truly believe in the work of the non-profit sector. In addition, charitable giving is ingrained in me. I give donations to many organizations that I care deeply about.

Now, the connection to real estate. 

Coldwell Banker Bain established its Community Partnership program as a way for the company and its brokers to give back to the organizations that are committed to the welfare of our communities. Since the program was founded, Coldwell Banker Bain brokers have donated more than $1.36 million to organizations in the Puget Sound area. The average Community Partnership check is $1,175.Through the Community partnership program, Coldwell Banker Bain donates an amount equal to 10% of my commission to an organization with whom I have partnered. 

I have two partnerships, with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Wallingford Boys & Girls Club. All you have to do is let me know before we write up any agreements that you’d like me to contribute to one of these organizations.This costs you nothing, but the average donation to charity is $1,175.

And I’d love to support more non-profits through Coldwell Banker Bain’s Community Partnership program. I’d LOVE for every transaction to involve a charitable contribution. If you’re involved with a non-profit that would like to benefit from these donations, please contact me to discuss.

Spring Home Buying and Selling

It’s spring, traditionally the busiest time for residential real estate transactions. This year has been sort of an anomaly, as the year started off with tons of buyers but very few sellers. Inventory is definitely improving, and buyers are everywhere. However, buyers still seriously outnumber sellers, creating a seller’s market.

I spent yesterday afternoon helping out a colleague by taking clients of hers to see some homes. This family has been looking for a North Seattle home in the $500,000 range for sometime. They have submitted several offers, in multiple offer situations, but have not come out successful. Both husband and wife grew up in Bellevue, but much prefer to purchase a Seattle home. He works downtown.

Due to their frustration and the need to buy before their lease runs out on their rental, yesterday we moved to homes on the Eastside. We toured 4 homes in Issaquah and Bellevue. Not quite the area they’re looking for, but they realize they need to expand their search. Of the 4 homes we saw – 2 had others checking them out too and one had a pre-inspection going on.

In touring these homes, they realized they really want to be in Seattle, but they’re willing to go east if necessary. They recently submitted an offer on a For Sale by Owner in Bryant (Seattle), and are waiting anxiously with their fingers crossed. If they don’t get the Bryant home, there’s a Loyal Heights (Seattle) one they plan to submit an offer on.

In addition to considering the Eastside, they’re reconsidering their needs. They have 2 daughters, so they want a 3 bedroom; they’re realizing they may have to settle for a 2 bedroom where the girls share a room. Financially they’re pre-approved to the point they can go up to a higher price but they really don’t want to take out that much of a mortgage; well, if they have to, maybe they will.

Moral of the Story – There are a few lessons to be learned from this story. 1) There are more buyers than sellers and it’s very possible you won’t get the home you want. 2) Be willing to expand your list of needs. This includes geographically, requirements of the home, and price. 3) Use a Realtor who understands your market, is experienced in multiple offers, and who is available to you most any time. The right home may show up on a Sunday at 8pm.

I’d love to have your thoughts on the current market. Comment here are feel free to email or call me.