Tag Archives: home inventory

3 Tips for Homebuying Success in Today’s Real Estate Market

3 Tips for Homebuying Success in Today's Real Estate Market

In today’s highly competitive real estate market, where home inventory levels are not keeping up with the constant stream of buyer demand, there are steps you can take to ensure you are most prepared for success when buying a home.

The 3 tips we are going to expand on today come from a recent blog by Trulia entitled, The Skinny on Skinny Inventory. 

1. Be Prepared

“Homebuyers should talk with a lender, real estate agent, and a home inspector BEFORE finding a home to make an offer on.”

Being intentional, pre-approved, and prepared will set you up for the accelerated time tables that come with a highly competitive market. If you are the most prepared buyer interested in a home, if you have already secured financial approval, and if you are ready to move fast, your bid will be that much more attractive to a seller.

2. Think Strategically

“Starter homebuyers don’t have a home to sell and can be flexible on closing dates compared to homebuyers who are also trying to sell at the same time.”

If you are one of the many first-time buyers looking for your dream home, know that being strategic and flexible about closing dates can also help your offer stand out from the rest. But don’t fret if you are a homeowner who will also have to sell your own house first – be upfront about your timeline with your agent and with any offers you make.

3. Seek Out the Ugly Ducklings

“Buyers might consider looking for homes that have been on the market for a while and investigate why. The reasons may be a deal-killer but all it takes is one ugly duckling to turn into a swan.”

Finding a fixer-upper or a home that needs a little love might be your best way to guarantee that you are able to find a home in the neighborhood that you want. The worst house on the best block will go for a steal and offer instant equity once you fix it up!

Bottom Line

In today’s market, full of bidding wars and tough competition, finding ways to stand out from the rest by getting creative will improve your chances of having a home to call your own.

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Yourself

5 Reasons Not to Sell Your Own HomeIn today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons we discourage homeowners from selling their own homes:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers 

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 16% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Many individual home sellers do not.

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did recent buyers find the homes they actually purchased?

  • 51% on the internet
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 8% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With 

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. 

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent 

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, contact us discuss the options available in the South King County real estate market today. Team Marti would love to see how we can help.

Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers’ Market

Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers' Market


With home inventory so low, homes are selling quickly and above the asking price, in many cases. Here is some sound advice to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home in this sellers’ market:

  1. Get pre-approved from a mortgage lender. Whether you go through a traditional bank or a mortgage broker, first-time homebuyers should get pre-approved before shopping for a home. This will show sellers that their lenders have run a credit check, verified income and have tentatively agreed to lend the buyers money to buy a home. Pre-approval also typically means that the homebuyers know how much home they can afford. Learn more about pre-qualification and pre-approval here.
  2. Buy a home with a conventional mortgage. This will make homebuyers more attractive to sellers than someone who is getting financed through a VA or FHA loan, for example, because those home loan programs sometimes have greater restrictions.
  3. Put down a large down payment. While low down payment programs like VA and FHA home loans exist so buyers can buy a home with less money down, you will be more attractive to a mortgage lender and home seller with a larger down payment. This will also save you in mortgage interest over the life of your mortgage loan.
  4. Come to the table prepared to cover closing costs. When sellers have multiple buyers to choose from, they are more likely to select a homebuyer that is not going to ask the seller to share in closing costs.
  5. Require fewer contingencies when making an offer. When a seller has to wait for you to sell your home, or when other contingencies exist, a homebuyer becomes less attractive. Sellers want to sell their homes for as much money as possible, and as quickly as is possible. When contingencies exist, they could potentially hold up the selling process.
  6. Make an offer above asking price. Homes on the market now are selling within days. To buy one of those homes, homebuyers often have to offer more than the asking price to get their offer seriously considered. Of course, how much a buyer can offer is going to be based on their budget and down payment, but in this market, they should be prepared to go above the asking price.

This market is particularly challenging for first-time homebuyers. If you are in the market to buy a home now, consult with an experienced Realtor – like me – who can help you improve your chances of finding a home and getting your offer accepted. We can help you understand your options and improve your chances of having your offer accepted.



4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Spring

For me, spring is a time for hope and renewal — with the flowers blooming, trees budding and birds chirping. This includes buying a home. After all, what better way to look at the year ahead than with a new (or new-to-you) home!

Here are four more reasons to buy a home this spring.

  1. Prices will keep going up. According to CoreLogic, home prices went up 7.2 percent between December 2015 and December 2016. They predict that home prices will increase another 4.7 percent by December 2017. If you buy your dream home now, you can prevent that price increase while watching your new home appreciate in value.
  2. Mortgage rates will also continue to increase. Over the last few months, mortgage rates have slowly crept up, hovering around 4 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors anticipate that, over the next year, interest rates will climb another 0.05 percent. While that may not seem like much, even a slight increase in interest rate will affect how much your monthly mortgage payment will be.
  3. Whether you buy or rent, you are paying a mortgage payment. Yes, you read that right. If you are a renter, you are making your landlord’s mortgage payment. If you are buying your own home, you are also paying a mortgage. The big difference is that one will increase your assets and appreciate in value over time.
  4. There is more inventory available. In the spring, homeowners are more likely to list their homes, meaning that there may be more inventory available to choose from. Right now homes for sale are at an all-time low, but an increase in springtime inventory can make this an attractive time to buy.

5 Tips for Making a Successful Offer

Realtor Marti Reeder celebrates 10 years in the business and other accolades.in theRight now real estate inventory in King County is low. That means that there are fewer homes on the market than there are buyers, making it a seller’s market. It also means homes for sale will sell more quickly, at higher prices, and some will receive multiple offers.

That’s a good thing for sellers, but it creates a bit more work for homebuyers. You’ll want to have a good Realtor (like me!) to consult with and to handle the negotiations, but here are 4 tips to follow to improve your offer’s chances of getting accepted!

  1. Understand how much you can afford to spend. Before you start your home search, you want to get pre-approved for a mortgage to know that you can get financing and to identify that sweet spot in terms of your budget. You want to know that figure going into negotiations.
  2. Act quickly. Because it is a seller’s market, competition for the few homes on the market is stiff. The national average inventory of homes is currently 4.7 months; it is 6 months in a normal market. In other words, buyer demand has outpaced the supply, so when you find a home you want and can afford, make your offer quickly.
  3. Make an attractive offer. Your Realtor will help you come up with a price that’s fair and that will increase your chances of having your offer selected. Factors that will go into determining that dollar amount will include the sale of similar homes in the area, the condition of the home and what you can afford.
  4. Make your offer stand out. In addition to making a solid offer, consider writing a letter to the seller to let them know why their home is a perfect fit for you and your family. We know of a recent Kent sale where a family did just that, and it swayed the home seller into choosing their offer over others because she felt that particularly family deserved to have a home like hers.
  5. Be ready to negotiate. Often times, the seller will issue a counteroffer in terms of price or perhaps the timing of the closing date. Be prepared in advance so you know what your best offer is and what contract terms you are willing to negotiate.

Working with an experienced Realtor is your best chance for selecting the right home and for making an offer that has a good chance of success. Have questions? Please contact us. Team Marti is standing by to help.


King & Surrounding Counties – it is a seller’s market right now!

According to NWREporter, home inventory in King County is very tight right now. Coupled with record-low mortgage rates, competition to buy the few homes on the market is fierce. Buyers want “move in ready” homes. If you are a seller, this is great news.

In the south end, homes priced between $300,000-350,000 and under are going quickly. In Seattle, homes priced at or below $500,000 are selling like hot cakes, and in the north end, homes between $300,000 and $350,000 are popular – with many receiving multiple offers. This competition for homes is particularly high in areas near job centers. Right now five counties in the state – King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston Counties – have less than four months of inventory for sale. In a balanced market, the standard measure is five to six months. In other words, there are not enough homes to go around.

If you are even thinking about selling your home, or know someone who is, contact me right away. The sooner I can offer advice on getting your home “market ready,” the better chance you’ll have of taking advantage of this great opportunity!