Navigating a Seller’s Market in the Stanwood-Camano Island Area

It’s no great secret that right now, in mid-2018, we’re experiencing a seller’s market. Home prices across the country (and especially in Seattle) have skyrocketed. Homes in the King County area gained value at double the national average between 1995 and this year. So what should you do with this information, and how has this trend affected the market in the Stanwood-Camano area?

First, it’s important to understand why it’s such a good time to list right now. Due to a combination of factors, including low home-availability and decent mortgage rates, the homes that are on the market often sell for above asking price. As CNN puts it: “The problem is simple: there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available for sale.”

J.P. DeBoer, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker

J.P. DeBoer, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker

“It’s a 180 degree shift from five years ago” said JP DeBoer, a Windermere Stanwood-Camano Broker, “Sellers are definitely coming from a position of strength… When a buyer makes an offer, the agents have been asking me if there’s other things they can offer, like rent-backs or shorter contingencies to sweeten the transaction.”

For a seller, this is great news. Home values are good, and you are likely to get several competitive offers on a listing. For the buyer, this means that the transaction might be a little more tricky. The best thing to do is to  find an experienced agent to work with can help you find creative ways to make your offer more appealing, without necessarily having to spend more money.

“Having your ducks in a row is huge” said DeBoer, “I’ve closed several transactions this month where the seller listed below asking price, and because the buyer was ready, we were able to get that price.” It’s good to weight the pros and cons of a property or house, but in this market it’s also important to be ready to move ahead with a deal, should the right one present itself.

On the buyer’s side, patience is key. While these national trends may seem intimidating, sometimes the right place comes up at the right time. Perhaps a seller is looking to move because of a new job offer, and they’re willing to negotiate on price for the sake of a quick transaction. Again, working with an experienced broker is key, so you can keep track of new offers near your area of interest. Expect to make at least one or two offers before finding the right deal, and you should also be prepared to throw in a few little incentives to move the transaction along.

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Will Smart Homes be the New Normal ?

Lennar, the nations largest home builder, will make home automation standard in their new home construction. With built in Wi-Fi, smart locks, video door bells, thermostats and lights, devices will be controlled by Alexa – Amazon’s voice activated digital assistant. Lennar and Amazon will open 8 model Smart homes  in California, hoping to show perspective buyers how this new technology works in a real house and how it could simplify their lives.

ring doorbellAccording to Steve Youngren of Windermere Stanwood-Camano, buyers in our area are more concerned with security than convenience. In Seattle, Jeff Reynolds of Windermere says his buyers appreciate seeing Ring video doorbells in the homes they view.

With video doorbells, homeowners are notified as soon as motion is detected at their home. Homeowners receive live video of the activity on their doorstep via smartphone or tablet. The smart doorbell also provides two-way audio so homeowners can speak to visitors – even when they’re not at home. It’s this combination of security and convenience that buyers are ready to get on board with.

For more information about the trend toward smart homes, read the USA Today article.