Attention home buyers! Especially those of you who are discouraged, exhausted and just plain frustrated.
Now is the time to regroup and call on your second wind, because there is less competition this time of year, so you may even be able to avoid the bidding wars.
Why? Because many of the buyers who were active in the spring have either run out of steam or have become discouraged beyond their limits. Combine that with nice weather (who can think of anything but play when the sun shines in Seattle?) and vacations, and the pool of buyers shrinks substantially. That’s good news for those with the stamina to hang in there.
Although still undeniably hot, and generally favoring sellers, the real estate market in West Seattle (and some other parts of Seattle) has slowed down a bit in the past few weeks. More homes have come on the market recently, and many are seeing their “offer review” dates come and go with no offers. Some sellers are even having to do price reductions.
Again, this is good news for buyers, especially since interest rates are expected to start rising, and every increase — even one as small as one-eighth of a percent — effectively decreases a buyer’s buying power.
A similar situation happens every December due to bad weather and holidays.
So, if you or someone you know, wants to buy property this year, DON’TWAIT!
Contact me today for more details and a FREE CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of your home if you are already a home owner.
If you are a homeowner who would like to sell — if only you could find someplace to go — help is here! I just published a step-by-step workbook that shows you the way. You can download it here for just $1.99.
How and Where to Get Financing for Home Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Ever heard of an EEM (energy efficiency mortgage) loan? Making your home more energy efficient may reduce your utility bills for the long term, but paying for the upgrades upfront can be a challenge. EEM’s can be one source.
Another potential source of funds is a traditional HELOC (home equity line of credit). Check with your bank, credit union or mortgage servicer for details and rates.
There are a number of financial institutions with programs specifically designed for financing energy efficiency upgrades. These are often called EEM loans (Energy Efficiency Mortgages).
Homeowners can take advantage of EEM’s to either finance energy efficient improvements to existing homes, including renewable energy technologies, or to increase their home-buying power when purchasing a new energy efficient home.
If you’d like ideas and information about the variety of energy efficiency projects you might want to take on, consider attending The Northwest Green Home Tour on Sunday, April 28th and 29th. This is a multi-location event and free tickets are available (though a $10 donation is suggested). For a location map and more detailed information, go to: www.nwgreenhometour.org.
It’s a seller’s market. If you haven’t sold your home recently, you might be interested to hear a bit about what that experience is like in the Seattle market these days.
Once a home has been prepped for sale — which takes very little work in such a strong seller’s market — the agent and homeowner agree on a list price based on sales of comparable properties. This is easier said than done when homes are selling so quickly at ever-escalating prices. If the agent and seller anticipate multiple offers, they also set an offer review date. That date is usually 5-7 days after the home goes on the market. This strategy typically nets a higher sale price for the seller than if they accept the first offer that comes in. Appropriately priced homes in West Seattle usually receive anywhere from 3 to 15 offers that meet or exceed the list price and are not contingent on inspection; buyers have either pre-inspected the property or waived inspection. This essentially results in “As Is” sales. It is not unusual to receive all-cash offers and/or offers with down payments of 30-50%. The agent then prepares an analysis of all the offers to determine which are the strongest. You may be surprised to hear that the highest offer price doesn’t always constitute the strongest offer. A “strong” offer is one that has the best chance of closing quickly and without incident. I.e. if there is a loan involved, the lender has a good track record for closing on time, and the contract includes few, if any, “outs” for the buyer. Once buyers and sellers have reached Mutual Acceptance — and disappointed 2 to 14 buyers — the sale will usually close in about 30-45 days.
After that, the seller often gets to experience the process in reverse!