Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 13, 2022

Multiple Offer Situation

Hi everyone, it's Tracy Erickson from the Collective Group here at Compass. And today we're gonna talk about multiple offer situations. It's no secret the Seattle market is hot. What does that mean for you as a buyer? Well, the first thing you're going to encounter when you find a home that you love is that that home has an offer review date. When the home comes on the market, generally it'll be on the market for about five days before the seller sits down to review offers. Everyone will submit their offer on the offer review date, and the seller will sit down on that day and look at each offer side by side. Generally, they will make a decision by end of day 9:00 PM that day.

So for you as a buyer, you really need to have all of your ducks in a row from the minute you see that property until the time that you're submitting your offer. What should your agent be doing for you during that timeframe? Well, first off, they should be communicating with the listing agent right off the bat. I always call that listing agent and say, hey, so-and-so, I have a buyer that's interested in your new listing. If for some reason someone doesn't play by the rules and submits an early offer, will you please call me and let me know, because we are very interested. From there, the other questions that I ask that agent, are, what is the activity level then? How many people have requested the seller procured inspection report? Has anyone indicated to you that they're going to be writing an offer? Oh, they have indicated they're writing an offer? Did anyone say they're writing a cash offer? So I try to gather as much information as I can from that listing agent during that time.

For you as the buyer, during that timeframe, you know, the four or five days that it's sitting on the market, it's up to you to really research the home, the neighborhood, go in, make sure your furniture is going to fit. Bring your parents over if you need to. But it's your time as a buyer to do your due diligence during the time that it's on the market before the seller reviews offers. Right before the time that the seller is going to review offers, what we, at the Collective Group, do is we send out an offer strategy email. That offer strategy email is going to outline what we suggest you do to get that home in this multiple offer situation. After you receive that email, we'll get on a Zoom and talk through each point in the email and decide what terms you wanna keep in to write a competitive offer. These are all things that a good agent should be doing for their buyers. And if they're not, I think you know who to call.

Posted in Home Buying
Jan. 10, 2022

When Should you be Uncompromising When it Comes to Buying a Home?

General home searching wisdom is that the more homes you see the better, because you'll be more accustomed to the market. But there is a time when it's okay to be uncompromising about what you're looking for. And I'm gonna tell you all about what that time is this week. Stay tuned.

Hey there, if you like videos like this, be sure to hit the subscribe button right now, so you can be notified of all of our newest videos and market updates about the Seattle real estate market. So general wisdom says that looking at more houses is often better for buyers, because you're going to see more inventory, and be able to explore more of what the market has to offer you. Now, that is generally true, and we always encourage buyers to go out into the marketplace and make sure that they're seeing as much as they can before they end up making an offer on a home. Typically on average, we see buyers look at 15 to about 25 homes at any given time. And that really puts them in a place where they can then make an informed decision about what they like and dislike, and if the home is really right for that.

Now there is one time where it's okay to be uncompromising about what you're looking for in a home. And that one time is when you're looking for a specific type of home. So in the Seattle market, we have three different types of homes. We have condos, we have townhomes, and then we have single family homes, the homes that don't share any walls with a yard. Now, when you're a buyer, it's really important before you go out to think about what it is you want in a home and why that's important to you, because once you go out in the market, you'll be inundated with so many different choices that you may have more trouble deciding what's important to you. So it's important that you think about before you go out, what's most important to you.

Now if you are a buyer, and you're looking for only one of those three types, condo, single family home, or a townhome, it's important that you're uncompromising about what that type is. When you start searching, for example, for a single family home, and then you see a really pretty condo come onto the market and you decide that you wanna go see that, you're going to have so many more choices to make, because you're gonna have a lot of different variables to compare when you look at single family homes versus condos, for example. So I do think as a buyer, it's really important to be uncompromising about the type of home you want.

Of course, if you're not sure when you start your search, start out with a wide net and narrow in, but once you've narrowed in on what it is you truly want, stick to that, because when you open up your search even further, you're actually gonna have so many different variables, and so many different choices, and to be honest, not many people can handle all of those choices that they have. So it's super important that in this regard, you're uncompromising about your search. I highly recommend, again, think about what's most important to you, before you go out in the marketplace, and start looking, and then narrow in, if you're not sure what you're looking for, narrow in on what it is, as you start your search, and then stick to it, don't compromise on what it is that you truly want in terms of the type of home.

So there you have it. The one time you can be uncompromising as a buyer, because as we know when you're buying, you do have to compromise on your choices that you make and what you get in a home, it won't be perfect when you buy it. If you have any questions about the real estate process, how to buy or sell, or if you wanna get started on your home buying journey, and wanna strategize, we're available to help you. And of course, if you or anyone you know, is thinking about selling, we're more than happy to sit down and talk about how to net the highest price for your home. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you again next week.

Posted in Home Buying
Jan. 6, 2022

The Collective Group is Hiring!

Hi everyone, it's Tracy Erickson with The Collective Group. Are you in real estate and maybe not producing as much as you want to produce, or are you in real estate and not learning enough? Well, we are hiring a buyer's specialist for The Collective Group here at Compass. So if this is a position that might interest you, please reach out. This position is someone that must have a Washington State real estate license and their own car, and someone who would be working with our buyers. Think of it as a personal shopper role. You're looking to find the perfect house for our buyers. We will teach you all the rest. So if this position sounds interesting to you or you want to learn more, please reach out, DM me. I would love to have a conversation with you.

Posted in Misc
Jan. 3, 2022

Why do Listings Expire?

So if you have an apple too long, it's going to expire. What happens if you have a listing too long? It also expires. And why might that happen? Well first, logistically, when you list your home with a real estate broker, you sign a listing agreement that has a certain timeline for how long your home will be on the market and how long that realtor has to really expose your home to the market to try to get a buyer in for you. Frankly, that timeline could last any amount of time. It could last two weeks or it could be 12 months. For more expensive listings, it's going to take longer to sell, typically, so you might have a 12-month agreement. But for a really nice house in Ballard, you might only have a listing agreement for three months because it may only take about 30 days to sell it. It really just depends on the type of house you have and what amount of time you wanna work with your realtor for to see if they can get it sold.

Now if they can't get it sold in that amount of time it's been listed and active, then that listing will expire, meaning that it comes off of the market, or that timeline expires, and so it's no longer actively listed, at least it's not listed with that real estate agent that you were using before. Now some reasons that a listing might expire are, well first and foremost, you can't find the right buyer for the listing. But the reason you might not be able to find that right buyer is because you may have overpriced the listing, so it may be way too high. And buyers are savvy. They know when a listing is priced too high. You may not have the right marketing for the property. So are you targeting the right people for that property and are you doing everything you can, or is your realtor doing everything they can, to really expose that property to the market and to those correct people who will be your buyers?

And the other reason your listing might expire is because you might not have the right photography. So what people see online is super important. It is the advertisement of your home. And if that is not compelling, they are not going to be coming into your home and it's not going to be selling. So you really have to have that photography dialed in and make it look perfect. That includes things, not only just photography. But what color are the walls painted? Is the home staged? Is it landscaped out front? All of these things that we talk about are included in this photography aspect. So you have to have the right price, you have to have the right marketing and you have to have the right photography and presentation overall so that your home does not expire off the market.

Now, if your home is expired off of the market and your realtor didn't do a great job for you, that's when you call us and we come in and help you get your home sold for the right price and with the right presentation and the right marketing. So that's how a listing will expire. A little bit like your old food, it can expire if it sits on the shelf too long and that's definitely not what you want with a listing, where you're trying to get your equity out of that property by selling it. If you have other questions about how listings can expire, please comment below and let us know or reach out to us. We would love to help you if your listing has expired or maybe you put it on a while ago and you wanna retry it this year because it is a hot market and you can get it sold if you have the right team on your side to help you. So we hope you enjoyed this video and can't wait to see you again next week.

Posted in Home Selling
Dec. 30, 2021

All About Seattle's Spring Housing Market

So, many people say, "Oh, Tracy, we're waiting for the spring market to hit. All of the good inventory comes in the spring market." Well, when does the spring market actually hit? Here in Seattle, we start experiencing our spring market really the second week of January. And what that means is that we are going to see an influx of inventory really start happening during that second week of January. When the market becomes more competitive, the buyers are going to act more competitive. You're going to see more offers placed per home. So the same home in Q4 that maybe got three offers, in our spring market could get five to 10. The same home in Q4 that got bid up 10%, in the spring market could get bid up 20 to 25%. The buyers are much more aggressive. They're ready to go. And really, this is all because there's new, fresh, good-looking inventory coming on the market. So if you want to participate in the spring market and you're finding homes that really fit your needs, reach out, we would love to take you through a buyer consult to talk you through what the process is. We want you to be ready to go when you're out looking at homes in our spring market.

Dec. 27, 2021

Brennen's Top Predictions for Seattle Real Estate in 2022!

So you wanna predict the future? Well, none of us can really do that. And if we did have a crystal ball, we would be a lot better at our jobs and a lot wealthier probably. But today, we're gonna talk about three things that I am predicting will happen in the Seattle real estate market in 2022.

So the first prediction is probably no surprise to anyone. The Seattle market is going to remain very, very competitive. So with the shortage of homes that we have to sell and the high, high buyer demand, I believe that that is going to carry our market into a competitive state throughout the rest of 2022. It is going to remain very competitive, especially for single family homes, a little bit for townhomes and less so for condos, but stay tuned on that third one because we're gonna talk about that as well later.

So if you are a buyer going into 2022, be aware that you are going to have to compete, and you're gonna have to be ready and have a strategy in place so that you can win that home of your dreams. There's not going to be an easing of the market in my opinion in the next year, and that's for a couple of different reasons. There's no homes to sell currently. There are low interest rates currently, and there's still a lot of people in Seattle who are looking for housing because it's more affordable than other major cities in the US, and we have great industry here, a lot of tech. So there are a lot of people looking to be here. We still see a ton of people coming up from places like California and moving into Seattle for that exact reason. It's more affordable than where they used to live. That's the number one prediction.

Number two prediction is I believe that steadily over 2022 interest rates are going to start going back up. Now that is highly dependent upon coronavirus and what happens, because in order to stimulate the economy during 2020 and 2021, interest rates were low so that people had higher purchasing power and could stimulate the economy. Now, if coronavirus slowly goes away, which we hope it does, that will change a little bit, and interest rates will continue to rise little by little, and people will be able to afford less of a home with higher interest rates. So for every time the interest rate increases, it means typically that people can afford less in their actual mortgage payment because they're paying higher interest that's replacing what they used to be able to pay in that mortgage payment for the home. So when the interest rates go up, it can soften the market a little bit.

Now, I don't believe this will have a major impact on our market and soften it very much, but it will mean that possibly price points could come down and people may be less competitive with their bids if they are paying more in interest. So it's something to watch out for. Typically, in our market, we don't see that happen until around the summertime. So we're talking about months like July and August when the market might slow down a little bit, and if you're a buyer, that's one of the best times to get into our market because you're still seeing a lot of great homes, but there's a little less competition. So I don't think that will impact the first half of the year but definitely be aware of the interest rate and how that's impacting the second half of the year. The other thing about interest rates is that the loan limits are going up next year in 2022. So you have to be aware that those loan limits will allow people to buy higher priced homes because they'll have to have a lower down payment, which is the limit, because they'll have to have a lower down payment and the limit of the size of the loan that they can get is going up. So they'll be able to afford more expensive homes. So just be aware that the interest rate may go up. That's number two.

And last but not least, number three is that I believe that the landscape of real estate will be changing a little bit in terms of what is happening with condos. So during the pandemic, condos really slowed down. They took a turn. No one wanted to live in communal spaces. They didn't wanna share the elevator. They didn't want to be stuck inside in a condo that didn't have an outdoor space. And when they did go outdoors, they didn't wanna share that space with their neighbors.

As coronavirus slowly goes away, again, hopefully, we will see condos come back, and we already see people doing activities in higher density areas around the city. So we see people going back out, going to restaurants and shops and grocery stores more often. And so that will lead to a different type of lifestyle than what you might have if you are staying at home with a yard and space away from everyone. So I do believe that condos will continue to come back. We've already seen that trend start now in 2021, but I think as we get into 2022, you will see condos increase in value again, and you will see some bidding wars for really great condos. I believe this to be true. Also, if we do see some cleanup of the city, we will see that impact the condo sales even more, not to mention that our transit is changing almost daily here in Seattle. We're adding the light rail. It's helping a lot to open up parts of the city that weren't opened up before. So living in a condo and getting on the light rail, you have a lot more access to different neighborhoods than you might have before. So that will also impact the ability for people to live in a condo space and still get around and go see other parts of the city that they wouldn't have been able to see without that public transit. So that is my third prediction.

So there you have it. Those are my three predictions for what's going to happen in the Seattle real estate market in 2022. Now, who knows if I'll be right. These are just predictions, but it's something that I'm watching carefully and thinking about as we see the market evolve through the next year. I'd love to know what your predictions are, so comment below with things that you think might happen in the real estate market, and I'd love to hear about them and talk to you about them. If you have thoughts about buying or selling in 2022, let's talk. It's super important in our market to be prepared, whether you're a buyer or a seller, to have a great experience in your real estate transaction. So don't hesitate to reach out. You can always call text, email, or direct message us, and we're here to help you. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you again next week.

Dec. 16, 2021

To Sell or to Remodel?

People ask me all the time, "Tracy, should I remodel or should I sell my house? What should I do?" Well, we're a city made up of all older homes, so this is a common question, but there are things to consider with either scenario.

If you're going to remodel, how much is it gonna cost? That's the number one question because the cost of remodeling is going up every single year. Number two, are you okay with being displaced out of your home while you remodel? Don't think that you can live through a remodel and stay in the house. You need to move out. And where are you going to go? Rentals are hard to find in our market as well. And lastly, can you stomach the design process and the remodeling process? I know so many couples that have gone through this that, you know, the house turns out amazing, but really it's a trying process, trying to make decisions on design and the flow of the house. So, can you stomach the remodel?

On the flip side of that, do you wanna sell your house? Well, it's not as easy as just putting a for sale sign out in the yard. When we get ready to sell your house, there's probably going to be work that needs to be done. Number one is always paint. Do we need to paint the interior or the exterior of the home? Number two is carpet. Do we need to replace or clean the carpet? Number three, what other fixes that you maybe have just ignored for the last year or two need to be done before we put it on the market? So, you know, selling your home does take work too.

So with either one of these scenarios, I think there's a lot to consider, and I'm happy to talk more about it with you. So reach out. I'd be honored and happy to help.

Posted in Home Selling
Dec. 13, 2021

The #1 Up and Coming Neighborhood in Seattle!

So you're thinking about moving to Seattle in 2022? Well, listen up, because one of my favorite neighborhoods that you need to consider moving to is Beacon Hill. Now, Beacon Hill has not always been the most famed neighborhood of Seattle to move into or live in, but it offers so many different things that I think are so important for a new buyer who's moving to the city. The first thing that it offers is a lot of public transit. So Beacon Hill sits just south of the International District and Capitol Hill. Right up on the hill that overlooks downtown Seattle, there's a beautiful park that you can sit in and see all of the city as well as the water. So you do get some views from Beacon Hill.

But more important than that, you actually have a ton of transit options. There's a ton of buses in Beacon Hill that run directly into Capitol Hill and downtown, as well as the light rail. And with the new light rail expansion, it's a really great place to start your journey. If you wanna go north or south fromBeacon Hill, you can get easily anywhere in the city, and pretty soon there's going to be a light rail that goes through the Beacon Hill area onto the east side. So it's a really great hub for transportation.

It also has views, but beyond that, Beacon Hill still has more affordable housing. So there is some housing that isn't quiet as expensive as other houses in Seattle, so you can still find a single family home if that's what you're looking for. There are a lot of new construction townhomes that are being built in Beacon Hill. So there are a lot of affordable options at the lower end of the price range but there are also a lot of options at the highest end of the price range in terms of new construction and town homes. Again, you can buy a single-family home. There are some condos in Beacon Hill, not big high rises, but there are some complexes, and a lot of those on the north end of Beacon Hill actually offer great views of the water and downtown. So it could be a really great place to live if you want to be in a condo as well.

So all three types of housing are in Beacon Hill, great transportation, great access to the city, and great views. But even more than that, Beacon Hill is getting a ton of hype with all of the new restaurants going in on Beacon Ave. So Beacon Ave is the strip of the neighborhood that is really popular for a bunch of different restaurants and shops, and they're getting new and new restaurants every single day. There's a ton of options where you can go out to eat. There's a brewery. There are a lot of things you can do, and it's super accessible from other parts of the city because of that transportation. So I think Beacon Hill is a really great place to be. There's a lot of new development coming into Beacon Hill in the transition between Beacon Hill and Central District. There's also stuff coming in on South Beacon Hill, where you get closer to Seward Park.

There's a ton of things to explore in Beacon Hill, and I think it's one of the best places to move in the city in 2022. So if you're thinking about buying or you're thinking about exploring a new neighborhood, be sure to put Beacon Hill on your list and go check it out. If you have questions about where else to buy in Seattle or how to sell your home in Seattle, be sure to reach out to us because we are here to help and we'd love to help you strategize. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you again next week.

Posted in Home Buying
Dec. 9, 2021

4 Steps to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent!

Hey there, today I'm gonna tell you four steps to becoming a successful real estate agent. So you think you wanna sell real estate, and you wanna get into it, and make a lot of money, and help a bunch of people. Well, there are four steps that I believe are most important to get you started in that process of becoming a successful real estate agent.

Step one is two things. You need to get your license and join a team. This is super important. It's really important to get your license, because that is how you're going to sell real estate. You have to be licensed in whatever state you live in or want to sell in, and so you have to go through the coursework. You can ask someone who's already done it, how they did it, or you could ask their mentor how they got their real estate license, or you could interview the team that you wanna join and figure out how people on that team actually got their.

The second part of that is joining a team. I think it's really important to join a team because they're going to have all of the resources and the process behind them, already established for you to learn to become a great real estate agent. It's really important to learn in this process and make sure that you are understanding exactly what you need to do, and a team is definitely going to help you do that. They're going to help you understand exactly what you need to do every single day and how to get new clients and really build your database up so that you have a lot of people who wanna buy and sell with you. Teams also sometimes provide customers to people on their team, which can be really important as a new agent, because you may not know enough people right off the bat who wanna buy and sell with you. So the best and fastest way to start making income for yourself is really to join that team and be able to get leads from them and be able to learn and grow from them. It's super important. That's exactly how I started. I joined a team, was on that team and learned a ton from the team before I actually went out on my own.

The second step is that you need to build your sphere of influence. A sphere of influence is all of those people who you know. They're people that already know you, like you and trust you and would want to have you help them buy or sell real estate. These are those people like your mom, your dad, your brother, your cousin, anyone you know, your old coworkers. People who have already worked with you, they know you, they trust you, they would allow you to help them in their real estate journey. It's going to be a whole lot easier to find your first deal when you're working with people who already know you, and like you and trust you, because they're going to put their trust in you for such a huge transactional purchase. It's really important to network with these people and make sure that they know that you're now in real estate. You can send out cards. You can direct message all of them. You could start your social media, make sure they're following you, and that's a great way to get started and announce to the world, those people who already love you, that you are now a real estate broker.

Step number three to becoming a successful real estate broker is to start networking. Networking is one of the most important things, because this is how you're going to meet new clients and customers and meeting new people is the best way to get into finding people who will actually want to buy and sell with you. You have to meet a bunch of new people and be able to let them know that you're in real estate now and that you can help them with all of their real estate needs. So it's important to be part of different affinity groups, be a part of different networking events, and really put yourself out there. Make sure that everyone you meet knows you're in real estate. Now don't be obnoxious about it. It's important not to come off too obnoxious about that you're a new real estate agent, but it is important to let them know and let it naturally come up in the conversation so that they know that you're someone that might be able to help them in the future if they're thinking about buying or selling.

Step number four to becoming a successful real estate agent is to follow up. Following up is the most important thing in real estate. So many agents say they're going to do something and then don't actually follow through with doing it. You can not let this happen for any of your customers. Your customers are relying on you to drive the process of their real estate transaction forward. So it's super, super, super important that you actually follow up with them, make sure they have what they need and that you're staying in touch with them. It is not your client's job to make sure that they check in with you. You have to be the one that actually follows up with them. So when you tell someone you're going to do something or follow up with information, you must do it. Make sure you structure your day so that you're in an office and you're actually thinking about these people every single day and following up with them. This is the most sure-fire way to get you in front of more people and get more people to trust you. Because when you follow up, they'll be able to tell all of their friends how great you were during the real estate transaction because you did what you said you were going to say. Following up is so, so important. I spent so many days, the first time I got into real estate, following up with people, really feeling like I was bugging them until they actually came back around and were ready to buy or sell. It's one of the most essential parts of real estate, and it's really something that you must do as a real estate broker. It is your job after all.

There, you have it. Those are the four steps I would take to become a successful real estate agent and sell millions of dollars of real estate every single year. It's super important that you follow along on these steps to get your career started, and in no time, you'll see success. Hey, if you're looking to work in Seattle and you wanna join a successful team that where you can learn and grow and really start your business, be sure to reach out to us. We're here to help, and we are always recruiting new people to our team. So don't hesitate to call, text or direct message us, and we would love to set up a time to speak with you. Thanks for tuning in. Be sure if you like videos like this to hit that subscribe button and get notified when all of our newest videos come out. See you next time.

Posted in Investing, Misc
Dec. 9, 2021

What is the Form 17?

Hi everyone, it's Tracy Erickson with the Collective Group here at Compass. And today we're going to talk about the Form 17. The Form 17 is also known as the Seller Disclosure and every seller in the state of Washington is required to fill out this five-page questionnaire asking them a series of questions about the time that they have lived there.

Now, caveat, what if the owner is someone who's never lived in the property? For instance, a trust? Well, that would be where they are exempt from filling out the Form 17. If the seller has ever lived in the property, they must fill out the Form 17.

What questions are we going to find on the Form 17? We'll find out things like has the basement ever flooded? Has the roof ever leaked? Have you ever had pest infestation? So there's five pages of questions that every seller has to fill out. You as the buyer, you have three days to review with the Form 17 and deem that you are satisfied with all of the information that the seller has disclosed.

Now, we usually have access to the Form 17 when we are previewing properties. So you can ask your agent to pull that form for you upfront before you go to view the property so that you can cross-reference it as you're touring the home. If you have more questions about the home-buying process, please feel free to reach out. We'd be honored and happy to help.

Posted in Home Selling