You can view my market commentary at http://harringtonteam.com/blog/?p=185
Get help, avoid foreclosure at http://www.EasySeattleShortSale.com
Laura, speaking directly with an agent/broker vs online is a really good idea. Depending on the base of their business, their experience and references is a good place to start. Not always is "local" the key. Many brokers do business in many different areas. In fact, we are licensed to sell real estate in the entire state. I grew up in Freemont/Greenlake so as I am licensed out of Lake Stevens I practice in lots of different areas since my family is in a lot of different locations throughout the state.
Ardel is a great choice if you want an agent directly in this area-she is detailed, knowledgable and very up to date on the current market
You have a lot of wonderful answers form a lot of good agents below, so, no need to repeat what they already said. I agree with most of it. the main thing is to pick an agent to work with you. That will be less work for you & you will get to know the market better, and be able to save a lot of money buying just the right house at the right price.
I would suggest that as a buyer, you Google every agent that responds to your question here on Trulia, learn as much as you can about who they are online, read their client testimonials, so you know what their clients are saying about them, and then give us each a call and just ask us why we think you should work with us instead of another agent. Then, pick the best fit for you and let them go to work for you with the skill and knowledge that they have. I hope to hear from you soon.
Columbia Real Estate Group
I am not answering for Trulia and their data...I just calculated those. It's a little early to do August stats as most agents haven't posted the month end closings. Right now the median is up to $450,000, but theory for that is that most people buying the least expensive homes bought before the tax credit expired, and that is pushing up the median, but is not necessarily reflecting that home prices are up...even though the median is up.
Not sure if this link will post here (below) but it shows you that King County median prices has not been consistently down since early 2009. It's actually been flat to up. Again, I expect that to change unless they bring back a tax credit...and I am hearing some whispers that they may do that.
Let me know if your interested in my services.
Columbia Real Estate Group
I susggest you find a buyers agent you would enjoy working with. Interview a few, then make a choice. A good agent will provide you with up to date informaiton in the area and your price range. Go to my web site and search for you home by usng your zip code and price range.
Then contact me at 206-356-1282 or email at email@example.com
As someone who specializes in selling in Ballard to Blue Ridge (all the zipcodes you mentioned), I actually break down the data myself monthly. My stats compare this year to last year and this month to last month. Let me know if you want more info and I can get it to you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
One problem with median and average sales prices is that they are buyer-dependent: they reflect how much people are spending for homes. The Case-Shiller Index is designed to measure how home values fluctuate.
For example, it is possible for the average and median sales prices to stay constant, and the value of homes change - people spending the same amount of money, but getting more or less house due to market conditions.
In the same way, "prices" can go down, but "values" could go up - people spending less money and getting 'way less house; or "prices" could go up, and "values" could go down - people spending more money and getting 'way more house!
Point being, most of us in the real estate profession have abandoned average and median sales prices as tools for measuring the marketplace. We've moved on to something that is actually more useful to both home buyer and home seller, and I hope you'll join us, too!
Good luck house hunting.
If you want a real time up to date information on local area pricing any one of us realtors/brokers can assist you. These sites are great for a lot of things, however, nothing online comes close to what an active real estate proffessional can provide you. Feel free to email, call/contact me if you would you would like specific information on this area. I'm happy to help, take care.