2018 has remained a strong Seller's Market where many listings have received multiple offers and have sold in days, not weeks.
While this bodes well for a majority of "hot spots/markets", there's a trend that's been developing and moving toward those hot spots - and that trend is aging listings; listings that are sitting on the market for weeks/months and, ultimately, expiring from the market - unsold.
Historically, the market usually favors the Buyers, but over the last 5 years the real estate market has been favoring the Sellers.
Seattle is the #1 market in the United States, but I'm seeing more homes expiring, unsold, in Seattle too - on a daily basis.
More and more Buyers are refusing to pay over-market, or higher market, prices now.
Aside from rates showing signs of climbing, there's concern over escalating values that can't be sustained and more inventory is coming on the market.
Appraisals are another issue - where many are coming in under contracted prices and Buyers are reluctant to pay the difference, forcing the Sellers to reduce to the appraised price, or the Buyers walk.
Another contributing factor are Builders - they've been responding to the inventory shortage over the last few years and have become major contributors to growing inventories.
These are real indices that are indisputable and are expected to continue.
April - June 2017/Inventory April - June 2018/Inventory
Other contributors to the market shift are more price reductions and longer market to sale times - more specific to higher market list prices.
Inventories have nearly doubled, comparing 2017 to 2018/same time of year.
If rates start to effect the ability of Buyers, as most Buyers require a loan, that would become another contributor to this growing trend that's shifting to favor the Buyers.
Is 2018 the final year of a favorable Sellers Market ?
My opinion is yes -
Want specific data ?
My phone is on/answered 7 to 11 X 7.
This AM I received a call from a Seller whose home I was interested in listing/selling a few months ago.
Ultimately, they chose another Broker because they told her that they could sell the home for more than my recommended list price AND more than what they were, previously, on the market for.
Ultimately, they sat on the market, unsold, for another 4 months and their Broker, then, wanted to reduce their list price to the range I recommended 4 months previous.
Many Brokers "win" listings by telling the Seller what they want to hear - I won't subscribe to that theory because it's a waste of everyone's time.
My responsibility is to be upfront and recommend everything from how to present the home through the list price the Seller comes on the market at.
I understand that, as a Seller, you want to sell your home at the highest price possible, but be an educated Seller by paying attention to what's selling, that's most comparable to your home, in the closest radius to your home - as well as what's on the market in that radius.
Bottom line: The market sets the price, NOT me and not the Seller.
My expertise IS the market ; )
I'll be listing AND selling her home in February, 2018.
People who own their home with hopes of selling always wish for the ideal market to sell in, but realistically, the ideal market is never realized unless the Seller is in the minority - meaning they can sell, but they don't need to buy in the same market they sold in.
Over the last few years we've been in the midst of a strong Seller's Market.
However, Buyers are frustrated due to the lack of inventories and question why more Sellers aren't jumping in/selling.
Sellers know that if they sell in this market, they have to buy in this market.
So, while the idea of selling for top dollar in a short period of time is appealing, the realization is that they'll, also, have to buy for top dollar - quite possibly negating most, if not all, of those gains they made on the sale of their home.
A classic catch 22.
While this might not be the case for all Sellers, I suspect it is for the majority based upon numerous conversations I've had with potential Sellers.
So, as the Fed raises rates - understand that it's for the purpose of stabilizing the market and leveling out real estate values so we can avoid the scenario where home values escalate out of the reach of the majority of Buyers - all who need home loans.
In short, a Seller can assign any price they want for their home, but if no Buyer can afford it.....
I think you know what I'm saying.
So - to all my Buyer friends, hang in there and know that it's going to work out.
Every day there's homes that expire, unsold, off of the market - and a majority of those Sellers still want to sell.
Looks like more room for compromise.
As always - please contact me if I can be of service.
Here in Western WA - it's the new craze !
Like a wave, the Offer Review Date has spread from Seattle to every city in Western WA.
For those not familiar, an offer review date is used by a listing agent who markets the property with the intention of building urgency, from Buyers, by including a future date where the Seller will review offers and choose the lucky Buyer.
In a hot market, it has it's advantages - primarily by driving interest and influencing Buyers to buy - NOW !
How the listing agent prices the property is the key to success.
They use a list price that's lower than market value to create the interest.
Yes, they must discuss this with the Seller(s) and include the disclaimer that, should there be only a single offer, at list price, you'll be obligated to perform/sell.
Again, in a hot market - the risk is minimal, but nonetheless present.
I've seen more than a few agents play with the offer review date field - changing the dates or eliminating it, after it becomes obvious it's not working out, altogether.
I've, also, experienced agents doing the opposite - where the listing states "Seller Intends to Review Offers Upon Receipt" - then they receive an offer, believe more offers will be coming and change the listing to an offer review date listing....again, AFTER they've received an offer.
Finally, I've experienced having a Buyer whose offer was not, initially, the winning offer - but we got a call back, days later, asking if we were still interested.
If you're in the luxury market, offer review dates aren't an issue, overall.
Bottom line - it's a hot market that enables these scenarios to play out, day after day.
So, if you're a Buyer or a Broker representing a Buyer - fasten your psychological seatbelts because it's going to be a crazy ride !
Contact me if I can be of service.
Over the last month, on my facebook page, I've posted daily/24 hour Western WA real estate market
I've made reference to the fact that inventory is growing, significantly, comparing Q1/2016 to Q1 2017.
Significant, also, is the fact that the benchmark 30 year (fixed) mortgage rate now exceeds 4%.
For Buyers that require loans (Which still comprises the majority of Buyers), rate increases equate to reductions in the dollar amount of home they're shopping for.
While Seattle will continue to see spikes in value increases, outlying areas will attract the majority of Buyers who are up and coming/seeking to buy in areas that are central to Seattle and knowing that those "outlying" areas are sure to grow in value as our economy continues to flourish.
THAT said, also take note that the fastest growing counties, in the USA, are Pierce County (#1) and Snohomish County (#2)........did I mention the country-wide interest in these 2 counties ?? ; )
Ok, so getting back to the Buyers - as long as rates continue to increase, the real estate market is sure to level out as Buyer's ability to buy depends upon loans and, as stated above, a majority of Buyers depend upon mortgages/lenders.
2017 is going to be a pillar year in real estate, guaranteed !!
Real estate related questions ??
Ring/text me up.
360 204 6447
Another day where more houses came up on the market, for sale, than those that went Pending in the same timeframe - see today's NWMLS daily dashboard/Market Watch:
91 more houses came on than those going pending - and I've been seeing more days like this as compared to the last couple of years.
Mortgage Rates are climbing:
2017 is shaping up to be the year where Sellers capture their increased values as Buyer's mortgage rates promise to increase by .75%.
As rates increase, lender-dependent Buyers have to look at homes that are less costly.
Currently, there's more demand than inventory - but in looking at the stats over the last couple of years, the amount of inventory coming on sure looks to be significant and suggests this might be the year where inventory satisfies demand and the market levels, NOT drops, off.
Seattle prices going to level out too ?
Not likely this year - as inventories aren't increasing as sharply as outlying areas.
Pierce and Snohomish Counties - WA is Growing:
These are the 2 fastest growing counties in the entire country and Pierce is #1.
On a local level, it looks like many Sellers - in King County, are re-locating to Pierce and Snohomish....probably because the tax rates are more appealing and they can buy more house for the $$.
However, due to the robust economy in WA, many people from other states are moving to WA in droves.
Get on the market now, while competition isn't as strong as it's sure to get as the weather warms and more homes continue to come on the market.
Please - feel free to contact me: 360 204 6447
My cell is on/answered 7AM to 11PM X 7.
There are many factors that can delay the closing of escrow. Below are some common delays that can hold up a closing and can be avoided if they are recognized in the early stages of the transaction.
STATEMENT OF IDENTITY
When a client, buyer or seller, has a common name a Statement of Identity may be required. It is important to have the completed form returned to Escrow within 7 days of opening the order; the title unit requires this in order to verify if there are any undisclosed liens or judgements against the parties.
BUYERS OPENING NEW CREDIT
If a new account has been opened by the buyer, the Lender will have to document the debt and count the payment against your client. The new credit card or new loan could affect their FICO score as well as debt-to-income ratio, which could affect their ability to obtain the home loan. Encourage your clients to hold off on any large purchases until the escrow is closed.
If the buyer or seller is leaving town it can cause significant delays in closing without the right coordination. Have your clients work with escrow to determine if a Power of Attorney is an option. Any Power of Attorney must be reviewed and approved for use by the insuring title company and if the buyer is obtaining financing the lender must also approve the document in advance as well.
COMMON WAYS OF HOLDING TITLE
The title company can provide your clients with information on the different ways of holding title. If your buyers are unsure on how they wish to take title you should encourage your clients to consult legal counsel on the different vesting options and decide on the one that fits best for their situation. Remember that if the clients change the way they wish to hold title from how the original Purchase and Sale Agreement was written an addendum to reflect the amended vesting will be necessary. Should they choose to take title in the name of an entity such as a Trust, LLC or Corporation, supporting documentation to show signing authority will be required by the title unit for review.
Most Lenders do verify the borrower’s employment before funding. Please ensure all information your clients have provided to their Loan Officer is correct, including the phone number and the name of the Human Resources representative of their employer.
HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION (HOA) QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire is required for all Condominiums and Planned Unit Developments. The escrow office will have to request this questionnaire from the Association or Management Company, which in most cases, requires an upfront fee to process the request. It can take two weeks or more to receive the questionnaire, so prepare your sellers to provide the contact information and upfront fee early to avoid possible delays.
PURCHASE CONTRACT CHANGES
If changes are made during the course of the escrow, please be sure to provide all contract changes to both your Loan Officer and Escrow Officer as soon as they happen. For instance, credits or price changes, unknown and unexpected changes can delay closing.
BUYER’S CERTIFIED FUNDS
At Chicago Title, the Escrow Officer can only authorize recording of the closing documents when all funds on deposit have been collected or cleared. The only acceptable funds to close escrows are the following types of deposits:
• Wire Transfer – this form of deposit is by far the most efficient for all parties involved in the transaction.
o Wires can be received as late as the morning of closing, it is however, best to have all funds on deposit the day prior to closing to prevent any potential delays.
• Cashier’s Check – Payment may be made in the form of a Cashier’s Check, payable to Chicago Title Company.
o Cashier’s checks must be on deposit for 24 hours prior to closing.
The Escrow Officer cannot authorize recording of the documents until all funds have been received. If funds are not received in either of these formats, your closing could be delayed at least one day and as many as ten days while escrow confirms that the funds are cleared.
AT SIGNING (DATE OF CONSUMMATION)
Your clients should expect to sign one or two business days before the closing date. If funds are required to close, be prepared to have your clients wire transfer or bring a cashier’s check 24 hours before recording. When your clients come to sign, make sure they have a valid photo ID available. Acceptable ID includes:
• Current driver’s license
• Current passport
• State-issued ID
There are many factors that can affect the timely closing of your real estate transaction. When in doubt, always contact your Chicago Title team with any questions. We are here to ensure your transaction closes smoothly!
At your service,
2017 IS going to be REAL -
Real opportunity, Real interest and gone REAL fast !
Buyers get it and feel the pinch - rates, absolutely, WILL rise and that means Buyers can buy less house for the same $$.
Sellers - take note here.
Sellers have dominated the market over the last 3 years, overall.
Supply has NOT met the demand and appraisers have enabled property values to inflate due to the demand and, subsequent, shortage of inventory.
Essentially, appraisers have no choice when the pickings are slim and competition, on the Buy Side, is high.
Well - things often change and it's going to.
A healthy economy, real estate wise, ensures mortgage rates keep pace with demand to cap values with a Buyers, documented, ability to pay.
This minimizes the risk of default by hedging values in line with rates that eliminate the risk of a Buyer's ability to purchase more house than they can afford, overall.
Fed has confirmed rates, absolutely, WILL INCREASE in 2017.
THAT action is going to create a counter-balance in the real estate markets across the board.
In simple terms, it means that higher rates equate to Buyers having to "downsize" their pricepoint in home shopping.
Think about the sweet spot of home values/prices.
Most affected, here in Western WA/Seattle Metro, will be the homes priced from 350K to 600K, my estimate/opinion.
In November, 2016 - 30 year MRs were at 3.73%.
As of 1/25, 30 year MRs are at 4.32%, which is more than a half a point (percentage) higher AND likely to rise as, Spring, 2017 approaches.
Once Buyers become, more, restricted - so, too, will be Sellers whose homes sell to Buyers dependent upon bank loans.
In simple terms, a Seller can ask for whatever price they feel represents the value of their real estate, but if Buyers can't afford to buy them .......yup, values cap and the market shifts to favor the Buyer.
REAL Enough ?
Have questions/concerns ?
Contact me if I can be of service.
Mega-Celebrity deaths, American corporations building overseas jobs to avoid US Taxes and the list goes on.
2016 was a year of subversion AND elation - record breaking stock market AND real estate returned to pre-2008 values.
So it begins - 2017 - the year of change.
Bring manufacturing and jobs back to US soil.
Real estate values ?
House flippers are returning with a tenacity - this time they're financed by mega-institutions who understand the opportunity better than they, ever, have.
Looks like 2017 is set to be the year of hope and change - the year where America gets back to being the United States....with emphasis on UNITED.
We're a privilaged country because of the FREEDOMs we've fought for, and secured.
Our cost has been at the, ultimate, sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of fallen warriors, over centuries - to ensure we stand united AND free.
Yes, I'm on a tirade of truth - and I honor and appreciate the fabric of what my country, the United States of America, stands for.
I understand that we've, always, been under attack from countries who resent us, at the same time they admire us and respect us, because our freedoms are representative of a united people who terrify countries who wish to hold their populace in terror and enslavement - who deprive their populations of education and, simple, freedoms.
So, on this night/dawn of a new year - we stand united as one - proudly AND strong.
May ALL Americans take hold of 2017, make it theirs, hold it high and appreciate the oneness that makes us the world's leader because we're free and united !
A, VERY, great 2017 to you !
"We have plenty of time - no rush."
"Lets wait until next year - burn some time."
"Timing is everything ! "
"Just in time !! "
"Time is money. "
What's time's value to you ?
To me, it's everything - because we can't buy more.
It's precious and limited - no guarantees.
Time is relative to anything and everything - regardless of how significant, or insignificant, you relate to it.
Everything is relative to time .
What differentiates your successes and/or failures is your perception, or value, of time and how you react to it.
Time IS relative - to EVERYTHING.
Treat it as such and value it, because it's all we have, overall - so spend it wisely.
My feeling is that a majority of people don't care about time - they take it for granted or get so wrapped up in "things" that they lose sight of time - and so it flies away.
We question: "Where did the time go ?"
Out the window - so it seems.
My advice for the upcoming year is to be more cognisent of time.
Treat it as the most valuable thing in your life, because it is !
Regardless of your pursuits and passions - be aware of how fast time flies.
Capitalize on it, value it, hold it close and live in reverance of it, because - at the root of everything we do, love, care about, strive for and want......time is of the essence.
Enjoy your journey -
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