Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When a "slow" market isn't really slow: the reality behind the Redmond real estate data

By KC Brants
Redmond’s real estate market kicked off with a bang this year.  In January, home prices were up 18 percent and sales were up 6 percent compared with the same time in 2013. But homes were selling more slowly, spending an average of 32 days on the market. So if sales and prices were up, why were homes taking longer to sell? The answer has more to do with competition than anything else.  Read More >>

Redmond’s lack of inventory (down 30 percent from last year) is continuing to fuel bidding wars for the most coveted homes. When sellers’ agents receive a lot of interest in a property, they may create an offer review period with a specified deadline. They do this to give buyers an opportunity to put together the strongest offer possible.  The agent typically chooses a date that is five to seven days after the home went on the market. For example: "Offers, if any, will be reviewed on May 4 at 5 p.m. This allows prospective buyers to conduct pre-inspections, in which they pay to have someone inspect the home before they make an offer. Pre-inspections can cost anywhere from $400 to $600, which means buyers can spend a good deal of money paying for inspections on homes that they may never own.
I recently visited a home on Education Hill that had three different inspectors combing through the property at the same time. (It received 13 offers.) But sellers sometimes won’t allow multiple inspections at once, which means buyers will vie for pre-inspection times.
Another remodeled, two-story home in Redmond was on the market for more than 40 days before it closed in late February. That home had a weeklong offer review period to allow time for seven pre-inspections. The property was originally listed for $685,000 and sold for $732,000, a whopping 7 percent over the list price.
Redmond has plenty of qualified buyers all vying for the same homes. With that type of competition, sellers are taking their time to sort through the wave of prospective buyers.
For more information, including helpful tips, visit our Home Buying Guide.

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