How to Become a Home Buyer this Fall

If you are interested in buying a home this fall, Vera Gibbons published an article on Zillow earlier this month that has some insight to keep in mind as you search:

  1. Know your market
  2. Selection is Limited
  3. There's room to negotiate
  4. Check Maintainence Areas


Read the full article here to get the full scoop:

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in National Real Estate News, Seattle Real Estate |

2/3 of Seattle Real Estate Offers Have Competition

Seattle was named the 6th Most Competitive Housing Market for Buyers in a report by Realtor Magazine. The report indicates that 67.4% of all offers submitted in May faced competition and that 60.6% of offers were over asking price. Read the story here.

If you are thinking about selling, now is a great time! Call me at 206-595-5443 or email for a consultation and competitive market analysis. 




Posted on June 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in Seattle Real Estate |

The Importance of Pricing Your Home Correctly

There is some interesting data for sellers to considerwhen listing their home for sell in this blog post from the Seattle PI. Here is an excerpt:

"…in the Ballard/Green Lake area there have been 288 single family homes (not including condos) that have sold in the last 90 days.  Of those an astounding 122 homes have sold within a week at an average of 12% above asking price and none of those sellers had to reduce their price to get an offer.   71 homes sold in more than 7 days but less than a month at an average of 98% of asking price and 21% of those sellers had to reduce their list price before someone made an offer on their home." 

This definitely emphasizes the importance of pricing your home correctly from the beginning if you want to get top dollar from your sale!

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in Seattle Real Estate |

Tight inventory, record-low mortgage rates fueling Western Washington home sales

NWMLSKIRKLAND, Wash. (June 4, 2012) – Low listing inventory and plunging mortgage rates are fueling buyer competition for homes close to job centers, according to brokers who commented on the latest market report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The figures for the 21 counties in the MLS market area show inventory is down sharply from a year ago (declining almost 28 percent), while pending sales (mutually accepted offers) rose almost 22 percent. The volume of closed sales increased more than 20 percent, topping the 6,000 mark for the first time since September 2007.

The median price on last month’s completed transactions of single family homes and condominiums edged up slightly more than a percentage point compared to a year ago, rising from $239,999 to $242,500. For single family homes (excluding condos) prices area-wide increased 2.34 percent, while condo prices slipped more than 5 percent.

Since January, median prices are up 12.8 percent system-wide, with nine counties reporting gains of 15 percent or higher (Clallam, Grays Harbor, Island, King, Kittitas, Kitsap, San Juan, Skagit, and Snohomish counties). Grays Harbor topped the list, reporting a 34.8 percent spike in prices since the first of the year.

“The six month trend of low listing inventory continues to cause strong buyer competition for homes close to job centers,” noted Northwest MLS director Joe Spencer, area director for Keller Williams Northwest Region. He said he does not expect this trend to change direction “for quite some time due to what appears to be long-term economic and demographic influences.”

MLS data suggest competition is strong in many areas. Pending sales surged more than 30 percent in nine counties last month compared to a year ago. Those areas included Clallam, Island, Jefferson, Kittitas, Kitsap, Okanogan, Pacific, San Juan, and Skagit counties.

Spencer said low inventory levels, combined with “unbelievably low interest rates” will continue to lead to home values stabilizing in most areas, while in other areas “we are already experiencing modest appreciation.”

Northwest MLS figures show 10 counties in its service area experienced year-over-year price gains on closed sales of single family homes. Several areas scattered around King County reported double-digit gains in both the volume of closed sales of single family homes and the corresponding median selling prices. Those areas included:


J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, described activity as a “double quick action market.” He noted local home buyers are back purchasing homes, “igniting strong sales activity up the price points.” This, combined with the low supply, and in some areas, shortages of homes for sale, is creating what Scott said is “instant market activity from a backlog of home buyers” when market-ready homes are listed.

Northwest MLS brokers added 9,861 new listings to inventory during May, down from the year-ago total of 10,293 new listings. At month end, there were 26,191 single family homes and condominiums for sale across 21 counties, a drop of almost 28 percent from the year-ago selection of 36,261 properties.

Five counties have less than a four-month supply of homes available for sale, well below the figure of 5-to-6 months that many industry analysts use as a barometer of a balanced market. Using this gauge, Snohomish County reports the lowest supply at 1.51 months, followed by King (1.73), Pierce (2.52), Thurston (3.53) and Kitsap (3.75) counties.

Three other counties have less than five months of supply: Clark (4.46 months), Whatcom (4.83) and Skagit (4.88).

Record-low mortgage rates are driving homebuyer affordability, according to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. Rates as of May 31 were reported to be 3.75 for a 30-year fixed average, an all-time record low, and “an unprecedented” 2.97 percent for a 15-year fixed average.

Nothaft said ongoing economic turmoil in Europe contributed to a decline in long-term Treasury bond yields to help bring fixed mortgage rates to new record lows. Compared to a year ago, he said rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage rate are almost 0.9 percentage points lower which translates into nearly $1,200 less in annual payments on a $200,000 loan.

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, owned by its member real estate firms, is the largest full-service MLS in the Northwest. Its membership includes more than 21,000 real estate brokers. The organization, based in Kirkland, Wash., currently serves 21 counties in Washington State.

Summary statistics follow:

Posted on June 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in NWMLS Press Release, Seattle Real Estate |

Homebuying warms up in many parts of nation

By Derek Kravitz and Alex Veiga
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Five years after the U.S. housing bust sent sales and prices plunging, the spring homebuying season is pointing to a long-awaited recovery.

Reduced prices, record-low mortgage rates, higher rents and an improving job market appear to be emboldening many would-be buyers. Open houses are drawing crowds. A wave of foreclosures is leading investors to grab bargain-priced homes.

And many people seem to have concluded that prices won’t drop much further. In some areas, including King County, house prices have begun to tick up.

“The fear factor is all but gone,” said Mark Prather, a broker at ERA Buy America Real Estate in La Palma, Calif.

Prather says the number of prospective buyers who contacted his company last month was about 35 percent more than a year ago. Read the full article here >>

Posted on April 29, 2012 at 4:53 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in National Real Estate News, Seattle Real Estate |

Act now! 10 major housing markets with the shortest supply of homes

By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate

In these cities, demand is high and buyers are pouncing on listings as soon as they hit the market. Many homes are getting multiple offers and selling above list price. How did Seattle rank? Read on to find out!

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in National Real Estate News, Seattle Real Estate | Tagged ,

Seattle house prices up again



Published 06:16 p.m., Thursday, April 5, 2012

Seattle house prices rose for the second month in a row in March, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday. One reason is an extremely low supply.

The median sales price for a Seattle house that sold in March was $397,000, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, after a 2.8 percent rise in February. March’s median was up 8.8 percent from February’s, although seasonal fluctuations can complicate monthly comparisons.

King County’s median price, $330,000, was down 4.35 percent from a year earlier but up 7.1 percent from February. Read the entire article here>

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in Seattle Real Estate |

Real Estate Record: All-Time Low Inventory of New Homes For Sale

Sam DeBord –

The total number of new homes for sale in the U.S. hit its lowest point on record in January, creating a stronger seller’s market for home builders and rising new construction prices. The lack of construction for the past few years has created a dearth of available new homes in many parts of the country, and most undeveloped and partially-developed land sits stagnant as lending for new construction remains tight.

The inventory of new homes fell to a 5.6 month supply. At the same time, new home prices increased by 0.3% and new home sales rose 3.5%, as compared to the previous year at this time. While new households have been created at a consistent rate during the past five years, there has been little construction to compensate, and the market is likely to continue tightening in terms of inventory and rising in terms of prices. Read entire article>

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Joanie Brennan | Posted in Seattle Real Estate | Tagged , ,