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Rebecca Carlson's Advice

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  • 53 Contributions
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  • 11 Helpful

Rebecca Carlson wrote:

Where's the Shadow Inventory? Seattle Area Real Estate Inventory Down 13%

Response
I agree.  Someone asked me this question about shadown inventory on my blog last month.  I might also add that homes in desirable neighborhoods such as Queen Anne, North Capitol Hill and Ballard that are short sales typically get snatched up before they get taken over by the bank.  While it's true many homes are not listed for sale before the foreclosure process, the Seattle market isn't as depressed as other areas of the country and we just don't have the huge glut of foreclosures bringing the market down.  For example, a foreclosed house in Madison Park recently sold for over $225K its list price!  It was not on the market before the bank took it over.  However, the location was so desirable, buyers bid the price up significantly!
June 08 2011
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Seattle Home Prices Tick Up, Inventory Down, Multiple-Offer Sales Increase

Response
Yes, I totally agree and posted a similar story last month.  The national news continues to talk about the huge impact foreclosures have on the real estate market, but it's not as big of an issue for most of the neighborhoods in Seattle.  I agree that multiple offers are more common now, and many homes are selling in just a day or two. 
May 31 2011
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I plan to make on offer on the house below. The Zillow estimate is very low? Why? 16331 Inglewoo

Answer
Hi, Mikesgood --If you are using a buyer's agent, they should pull together a detailed market anlaysis prior to making an offer so you can feel confident in your purhcase price.  If you don't have a buyer's agent or they aren't providing this level of service to you, find someone else!  Based on the quick research I did of the area, there are currently few comparable homes that have sold.  In this case, Zillow can be significantly off!  Looking at recent sales, very few have the upgrades and view that this home offers.  But, as Dave mentioned, if an appraiser doesn't appraise it at the value of your offer, then you can either walk away, or get the seller to drop their price.  So, have some options.Good Luck!-Rebecca Carlson
March 23 2011
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What's going on with Ballard? It's hot!!
I've noticed lately that desirable, well-priced homes in the Ballard area (including Crown Hill, Sunset Hill, Loyal Heights & Whittier) are selling like hotcakes!  In the past 10 days, 8 homes came on the market and had offers in less than a week. (some in just a day!)  Out of the pending homes who are past the inspection process, 11 had offers in 7 days or less.  This accounts for 1/3 of the pending homes in this area right now.  The price point that seems to be the hottest is $550K and under.  The average price of the pending inspection homes in this area is $476,842; the average price of pending homes is $428,919.  There are 83 pending homes and 51 pending inspection homes right now.  (as of 2/24/11)   This activity has left only 68 homes currently 'active' in this neighborhood.  Given the number of pending sales right now, there is low inventory given the demand.  For those of you considering selling your home this year, it's definitely a great time to sell in this 'hot' neighborhood!  For you buyers out there, make sure you've got a Realtor who is on top of this market and keeping you updated every day on what's new.
February 23 2011
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When are the prices going to stop declining?

Response
In some neighborhoods of Seattle, they have already started to go up compared to the same time last year.  (North Capitol Hill went up 6% in January)  As one of the previous posters stated, real estate is very neighborhood specific.  Some neighborhoods will take longer than others to recover.  But, I don't believe we'll see large dips in 2011 in Seattle.  I think market is stabilizing already.  (with the exception of condos: The condo market is still a tough market right now, but inventory is down and most of the new construction buildings are at 50-75% sold, which is good news.)  I've been tracking Ballard and Greenlake over the past month, and move-in ready, well-priced homes are selling very quickly right now.  There is also very little inventory in West Seattle, and I home I sent to a client came on the market and had multiple offers within a day.  The problem with some of the national reporting on Seattle is that it includes the outlining suburbs, as well as Tacoma and Everett.  That kind of data lumping does not provide an accurate picture of Seattle, nor the other cities lumped together.  If a seller is really interested in whether or not now is a good time for them to sell their home, they really need to partner with a competent Realtor who will be truthful about the specific market conditions relevant to their neighborhood. 
February 20 2011
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Low inventory of family-friendly homes in Seattle
It seems like there are very few homes available right now for families looking in popular neighborhoods in Seattle like West Seattle, Greenlake, Wallingford, Queen Anne, and Ballard priced between $500K-$700K.  This price range is typically the most common price point for the 'move up' buyer.  When I searched today, there were only 82 homes throughout these neighborhoods that were 3+ bedroom, 1.5+ bath, 1800+ sqft in this price range.  That's not very many options for our buyers out there!  I'm working with multiple buyers that fit the profile above and feel that there just isn't much to send them right now.  I know January is generally a slower time of the year, but it also makes it the best time to sell!  There's very little competition for sellers right now.  Do you agree?
January 24 2011
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Advice from Buyers to Sellers ? What to do to get it sold!
Today's "Seattle Time's" Real Estate section has a great article with tips to sellers from a buyer's perspective on how to sell your home.  The article is called "Lift Your Home Above the Rest" by Elaine Scoggins.  These are all tips I give to my client's but I love hearing them from a buyer's perspective. You can find a great summary on my blog on the link below.[content removed by moderator]
January 16 2011
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What is a good neighborhood for someone who is about to have kids?

Answer
Hi, Cocacolalover --Congratultions on your great news!  I've lived in Seattle for over 20 years and have kids myself.  One of the best ways to find out where the good neighborhoods are is to check out the Seattle Schools website to look for the top ranked elementary schools.  (http://www.seattleschools.org)  Great schools take more than just great teachers and staff - they need strong parental support and involvement. From my own personal experience, West Seattle is a fabulous neighborhood.  There's a very strong community feel, lots of great restaurants, and plenty of parks to take the kids to play.  It also offers a wide variety of price points for all levels of buyers.  Magnolia is very similar to West Seattle in feel, although the prices tend to be slightly higher.  A few other neighborhoods to consider are Ballard, Crown Hill, Bryant, Phinney Ridge and Ravenna.  This list isn't all inclusive, but it's a great start. I also have neighborhood information and a few videos posted on my blog if you are looking for additional perspectives.  Best of luck on your search!  
December 01 2010
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My agent asked me to sign "Dual Agency" waiver. I like my agent, but I don't like the waiver.

Answer
Hi, Montanapal -You say she's practically worthless, but great at the same time. Hmmmm....  Hopefully, she is great and someone that you have built repoire and trust with.  As the others have said, it's very common to have agents in the same office represent both sides of the transaction.  The agent's principle broker probably requires all of their clients to sign the waiver.  Without seeing the waiver, it's hard to know exactly what could be a potential concern.  But, in general, if you trust your agent, then you should feel comforable moving forward with buying your dream home!Best of Luck!Rebecca Carlson, Coldlwell Banker Bain
September 01 2010
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what additional costst are there when buying?

Answer
Hi, Addamac -I agree with the previous posts, except that I do not consider an inspection an 'optional' cost.  Even if you buy a new construction home/townhome, an inspection is a must-do!  Inspection costs are based on the square footage of the home and run $300-$500 typically.  I've got two inspectors who live in West Seattle that I'd be happy to recommend to you.If you are a first time homeowner, there are many costs after you close.  Things like lawn mowers, rakes, shovels, etc. are the most common things new homeowners need to buy (unless you buy a condo or townhome).  I often find that people typically like to re-paint their new home's interior and perhaps buy furniture.  Of course, these are all things you can do as you can afford them, but just a few other expense to consider.Best of luck in your home search!!
September 01 2010
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