I thought the Seattle market was not as bad off as most of the nation. I have a nice home off avondale rd in

Asked by K. Shaughnessy, Woodinville, WA Mon Aug 4, 2008

Woodinville, Wa. We have been on the market for six months this week. Our home is freshly painted, new trim, new carpet in a lovely desirable neighborhood, great schools. Bathrooms are a little dated though. We no longer live in the house in order to keep it spotless for showing. Our price range is in the mid 600.000. Are sellers in my area experiencing the same lengthy wait for an offer? Are buyers waiting for sellers to tank? What can I do to move my nice home? Feedback from showing agents is that we are priced right. Thank you!

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Daniel Jeung, , Woodinville, WA
Wed Aug 6, 2008

You stated that your home is vacant. Is it staged? I look at about 5 homes each day in Woodinville, most are vacant and look desperate. In addition to being priced "right", you also need to set the stage for buyers to feel comfortable in your home. Some agents may feel that price is everything, but in my opinion, it is only 90%. Staging and condition are the other 10%. If you're priced at the top of your range in terms of $/sqft, then your home better be the nicest (not only on the block, but in the neighborhood too!).

For some sellers, getting the home to that pristine condition and perfect price might not be realistically feasible, and so the price becomes the great equalizer. The activity in our area has been slow but should pick up as we approach the new school year. Buyers have choices, and most of the comments below are right on the money. Buyers are looking for "value", not necessarily the lowest price.

Best of luck in your move!

1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Aug 5, 2008
Some great posts I read.
My two cents whenever anyone complains about their home not selling it this:
1. Since your home hit the market, how many homes have sold?
Since homes are selling, it is not as if all the REaltors are on vacation. They are selling homes that buyers perceive to have the most value.
2. Since your home was listed, how many homes have come onto the market, how many homes are your competition right now?
Go look at these homes, objectively compare them with yours. The easiest way to add value is to lower the price, but there are other things you can do...buy down program for buyer financing, include extras.

3. Market time will kill your profitability. In most markets homes that sell closest to asking sell in the first 30 days. The longer a home sits, people ask "What's wrong with it?" At 120 Days on Market in my MLS, homes are selling at 93.6% of asking. Within 30 days they are selling for 98.5% of asking.

You need to sit down with your Realtor and come up with a plan that works. Between your monthly carrying costs and loss of value due to market time, you need to completely re-think unless you've got time and money to burn.

BTW, feedback from showing agents is worthless if you don't have an offer. UNless the showing agents are buying it! In the first 2 weeks I expect 10-12 showings, out of that should be one offer, on average. No showings, lower the price, no offers, lower the price.

Run the numbers, this sale is costing you and it should not.
1 vote
I agree!!
Flag Thu Dec 5, 2013
Mark, , Seattle, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
The short answer is "Yes". We are belatedly feeling the sting that the rest of nation has been feeling for the past 3 years.

There are plenty of people out there who want to buy but have either been priced out of the market the past few years and/or are waiting to see how low prices will go.

In the real estate market, perception is reality, and if those buyers believe it will go lower, it will go lower because sellers will have to drop their price (if they can) in order to sell their home.

If a property has not sold in 6 months then, I am sorry to say, it is not priced right, no matter how many wishful agents tell you so.

The market will eventually turn around as it always does, and the Seattle area has a phenomenal job market which means that we shouldn't feel the pain quite as badly as other areas around the country.

But anyone who will tell you when it will turn is surely selling you snake oil. The financial crisis is still to be sorted out and there is much uncertainty in the air.

I wish you the best of luck in selling your property and I hope that you can get as close to your price as possible.
1 vote
Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
1) it depends on which side of Avondale you are on.
2) It's difficult to get in the mid $600,000s there without a remodeled kitchen. $599,950 is the general asking price for those homes without a kitchen remodel. Assuming it's your standard 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath with dark wood trims.

Floor plan makes a difference as well. Woodinville has too much of a good thing. The home styles tend to be quite similar, making price the primary differentiator. Prices are down a bit, so find your closest comps on the same side of Avondale as you are, and you might need to be a bit lower than that. Certainly not more.

As to Seattle doing better...that was from 2005 through 7/2007. Now there are many fewer buyers nationally, including Seattle, due to the Mortgage Meltdown. You don't want to run past October 15th at the wrong price, so making sure the price is right now is imperative due to time of year.

Good luck! I put my house on market yesterday. It's a crap shoot out there, that's for sure. Just not enough buyers to go around, and those that are ready to buy are not acting quickly. Plus they are tough at inspection time after beating up on price.

Also, many more homes falling apart at home inspection this year than in the last few years. So when you do get a buyer, be nice and reasonable even though you don't like the sale price, or you may be looking back at the sale that WAS in escrow.
1 vote
Mark Despain, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
Great responses and advice below. It is all about price and condition. If your home is honestly as impeccable as the competition and priced at or below the competition, a buyer should make an offer. Do the other homes in the neighborhood priced in the mid $600,000 range have updated bathrooms? One thing can turn off a buyer and send them to a competitor. It is that competetive right now because their is so much on the market.

Only you can decide how long you can afford to wait. If you must sell you will probably need to either spend more money (update those bathrooms?) or aggressively lower your price.

Best of luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.homehounds.com
1 vote
Sean Goddard, Agent, Beaux Arts Village, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
Short answer. If you have been on the market for that long, you need to reduce your price. Be a price leader not a follower. If you make the cuts now, see how you compare to other homes offering similar site & home features as yours, then you should be ok. Agent feedback is generally polite and what you want to hear. What you don't weant to hear is that something is keeping your home from selling; price you can control. Good properties that are priced well still sometimes take a while and some patience. But be aggressive in your marketing, keep having open houses and the right buyer will find you.
Best of luck.

1 vote
Don Dutton, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
I'm from out of area but I keep close watch on NWMLS statistics for the entire Puget Sound. You're correct that the Seattle/Bellevue metro markets have not suffered as much as some other areas. Woodinville is a bedroom community though so it's a little different. Prices are extremely competitive. The agents that have given you feedback about your price aren't telling the whole truth. There is a great difference between being priced "right" and having a good price. A good price gets showings. A right price brings offers. Where are their offers?? They're taking their buyers somewhere else, where the price is right. My advise is to ask you agent to give you a list of every competing similar home to yours in similar neighborhoods. You must be in the top 10% for the best price. If there's 20 of them that means only one can be priced better than yours. This will give you a sale. If that's just impossible, I understand, but the buyers are winning the waiting game. Prices are coming down about 1% per month right now. From what I'm hearing, the market should fully recover next summer but prices won't return to their highs until 2010. That may be optimistic. Best wishes.
1 vote
Janelle Wilt…, Agent, Marysville, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
Have your agent pull statistics from a site like trendgraphix.com. Find out how many similar homes you are competing against, how many homes on average are going pending and how many are selling each month. Determine how many buyers are out there to the of homes listed that you are competing against. This will show you when you can expect a buyer and how you want to position yourself (by price) within the market. One thing is for sure... the longer your home sits on the market the lower price you will end up being offered. Buyers have LOTS to choose from. Price, right now, is the determining factor on most buyers making a decision. Not only is the expectation that the home is impeccable... they want a good value as well. Have your agent guide you with stats... and WEEKLY. Become an expert on YOUR market. Know your numbers and you will know what to expect. Good luck to you!
1 vote
Michelle Blue…, Agent, Woodinville, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
Unfortunately other sellers in your area are experiencing the same lengthy wait for an offer. While our market isn't as bad off as other areas - you wouldn't know it from a lot of the media reports so buyers are hesitant to take the plunge and buy a home because they want to time the market just right. It is also a fair amount harder to get loans right now and buyers are often surprised by that which adds more delays.

In order to "move" your nice home you need to price aggressively - you should be priced below the competition (remember they are sitting at their prices also), your home has to be better than the competition - pre-inspected & move-in ready (yes it is worth it to pay for new interior paint and new carpets if they are needed), and your home has to be better marketed than the competition - home is staged inside & out, great photos, and have maximum internet exposure. It sounds like you done many of the key things - so you really need to evaluate whether you are priced correctly. Also - make sure when you think about competition you are comparing homes that have the same style - a split level just doesn't compare the same as a 2-story in the current market.

Market Data for your reference:
* Woodinville (98072 zip code) $600-700K, all styles of home
* As of today, there are 32 homes active on the market, 5 pending, and 3 have sold in the last 6 months.
1 vote
Ken Jacobs, , Redmond, WA
Mon Aug 4, 2008
The idea that the Seattle market was not as bad off as some of the rest of the nation was correct, but a little misleading. The downturn has been late arriving here, but with rising interest rates, more difficult lending standards, and a faltering economy, we are now seeing what much of the country saw last year. It appears we've just been a bit behind. When you dig deeper into the market analysis, and look at properties that are selling in the area, almost all of them either have come on the market within the last 60 days, or had a substantial price reduction in that time period. There are currently 105 properties on the market in Woodinville between $500K-$750K, and only 10 have sold in that price range in the last 30 days. That equates to a 10 month supply of homes on the market, a definite buyer's advantage. The showing agents that are telling you you're priced right may believe that, but the reality is that to attract buyers with that much time on the market, it's likely you're going to need to consider a reasonable reduction to get someone motivated to purchase in today's environment. Good luck!
1 vote
Karen Mcknig…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Sun Aug 31, 2008
K. Shaughnessy, It sounds as if you have a lovely home on the market. Unfortunately, when we have a house on the market, we agents can't depend, verbatim, on the words of the Realtors who showed it. You, as a Seller can only depend on your Listing agent's interpretation of the activity. For example, a guideline I use, is, if I have had 12 showings on my listing and no offers, that means I am close enough in price for what the property has to offer, to get showings, but not competitive enough to generate a purchase and sale agreement. Real Estate is subject to supply and demand, just like any other product. Right now there is a large supply of inventory and the game you're playing now is to stay ahead of the curve by getting your agent's advise based on the activity. The quicker you move to stay ahead of the market, the more money you'll put in your pocket.

If you want, I can send you a chart showing depreciation and appreciation in the different towns in King County. On my web site, http://www.mcknightrealty.com, if you click on Market Statistics, you can see some great graphs that will give you a clear picture of the Eastside market, which includes Woodinville.
0 votes
Shannon Wood…, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sun Aug 10, 2008

As usual great, sage advice from the previous folks who have answered! I would echo the others who have said get out there and look at the competition. Have your agent show you the direct competition and go through those houses (possibly with a good friend who will give you an honest opinion) and really put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Daniel also makes a great point about staging. A completely vacant house can look cold and desperate as opposed to spectatularly uncluttered! I find when I show vacant homes, many of my clients are busy trying ot figure out "what happened?" they want to know what unfortunate turn of events caused the house to be 'abandoned'. And then the talk may turn to how desperate the sellers may be for a low ball offer.

None of this may apply to you, but just be certain that you have your lights on, some nice staging, and if after looking at the comparables with your agent, you truly see that the others have new kitchens/baths or other more meaningful updating than yours....it's time for a price drop.

P.S. The rule of thumb is that after 10-12 showings you should have an offer even in a down market . Ask your agent where you fall in that spectrum? He/ she should know how many true showings vs. just previewing agents have been through. Good Luck!!
0 votes
NonRealtor, , 23456
Fri Aug 8, 2008
According to trulia
There are 25 foreclosures in your zip
There are 211 homes for sale

This is your competition. See how you compare. The other issue may be with the fianancial system. Someone may like your house but they are not able to get the financing.
0 votes
Tom Berg, Agent, woodinville, WA
Fri Aug 8, 2008
I've been in the woods for a week so now I get to read all the answers and they give alot of very good information and ideas. I would like to remind you though that there may be some negatives about your home that you can't change such as your neighbors, style of house or road noise that will not allow you to compete with other similar listings. Also, most of the competition will have updated kitchens and bathrooms and I assume you don't want to take several more months and $10-30,000 to remedy that situation. Unfortunately, the only way left to compete is with a severe price reduction. The only good news is that since home sales are down 30% there are still 70% of the homes selling!!! You can sell if you are able to remedy your problems or find the true market value of your home and go for it. Good Luck---Tom Berg, Windermere, Woodinville.
0 votes
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