Saturday, March 15, 2008

Congrats to Jen & Stephen!

Congratulations to my clients, Stephen & Jennifer (and their dog, Hugo), shown here unlocking the front door of their terrific new home in the Ravenna district of North Seattle!
I find it especially gratifying to help first-time home buyers. Handing the keys to my clients once the sale of their new home has closed is my favorite part of the job! (I guess that explains my logo, doesn't it?)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Priced Right = Sold!

It’s true that home sales in the Seattle market have slowed substantially since last summer, but homes that are priced at market value from the outset, still sell quickly.

What exactly is Market Value and who determines it?
Market value is the price that a buyer will pay for a particular property at a given point in time. It may or may not be the same as the listing price. Market value is controlled by the consumer, and the consumer alone. Although the seller and the agent set the listing price, neither can control the actual market value.

The single most important decision you will make regarding the marketing of your home is setting the listing price. It is so common for homes to come on the market well-above market value that when agents and buyers see one that is priced well, they give it their full and immediate attention. This usually produces a full-price offer within the first three weeks — often, much sooner. After all, there is not much reason to rush out to see an over-priced listing. And once the current crop of buyers has pegged your home as being over-priced, it can be difficult to convince them to give it another look, even if you do reduce the price. Worse still, once you reduce the price, any subsequent offers are likely to be even lower than your new price, because the buyer’s conclude that they have little competition and you are therefore likely to accept whatever they offer.

How do you decide the correct listing price for your home?
Your agent should provide all the necessary research to help you make that determination by means of a CMA (Comprehensive Market Analysis). An agent who agrees to list your home at a price higher than they know the market will pay is doing you no favor.

Call me today for a free, no-hassle consultation and ask me about my proven strategies for selling your home quickly & for top dollar, even in this buyer’s market. 206-708-9800

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watch out for this one

Just when you thought lenders had come up with every possible gimmick to convince folks to use their homes as ATM's . . .

"The REX Agreement" is a loan program (though they don't call it that) offered by a firm called REX & Company, which promises to GIVE homeowners money that they don't have to pay back -- ever! That's right, no payments, no interest, no debt -- just cash.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it is. The catch is that when homeowners accept the cash, they basically sign away their rights to much of their home's future appreciation. In other words, it's as if your home no longer gains any/much value over time. So when you go to sell, you may not see any profit. That's a lot to trade away for a little vacation cash or a new big screen TV.

You can check out the details for yourself at http://www.rexagreement.com/. I provide the website address with full faith that you will not be fooled into thinking this is a good deal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Looking for a Green Mother-in-Law?

Here is a rare opportunity to buy a green-built, green-belt home complete with a separate, legal ADU (additional dwelling unit, also known as a "Mother-in-Law" apartment). In fact, here are THREE opportunities! Three brand-new construction homes built by Powell Homes (a quality, local builder with 98 years of experience) nestled against the green belt in the quiet Highland Park neighborhood. EACH ONE has its own legal ADU to provide extra income you can use to offset the mortgage payments. Two of the homes also have 3-car garages!

Priced at $477,950, $524,950, and $529,950, you owe it to yourself to tour these homes. If you've never considered the High Point area, you should really give it a look. It's a very pleasant, though often overlooked neighborhood of West Seattle that is appreciating well. The nearby green belt and Duwamish River give the area a quiet, semi-rural feel even though freeway access is just minutes away.

I will be holding these homes open this Saturday, March 15th and Sunday, March 16th from 1-4. The address of the home from which I'll be hosting is 4840 18th Ave SW. The other two are neighbors, and will be open for touring as well.

Come by and visit me there or call me for a private tour at a time that is convenient for you. 206-708-9800. Alice@AliceKuder.com

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is a "free" CMA worth the price?

One way to estimate the current value of your home is to have a real estate agent prepare a CMA, which stands for “Comprehensive (or Comparable) Market Analysis”. It is similar to an appraisal in that it helps you determine the market value of your home by comparing it to others currently on the market or recently sold. These homes are commonly referred to as “comps.”

Once upon a time, agents charged a hefty fee for preparing a CMA for potential clients. Eventually, it became common practice for agents to provide this service free of charge as a way of winning clients. However, the amount of time and effort an agent invests in this research can vary widely, and can significantly affect the validity of the results.

Following are some questions to ask when reviewing a CMA:
· What criterion did you use for your comps? Are you comparing apples to apples?
· Did you personally visit any/all of the active listings, or merely view them online?
· How similar to mine is the condition of the homes you used as comps?
· Does your research include active, pending and sold homes (i.e. all three categories)?
· Are current market conditions comparable to the time frame you researched?
· Which home(s) do you believe to be my biggest competition?
· How long do you think it will take to sell my home at the price you are recommending?

So, to answer the question I posed in the title of this article, a "free" CMA can be worth several hundred dollars if it is done diligently, or it can be worth what you paid for it -- nothing. If you ask the questions I posed above, you will know which you are getting.

Call me today to schedule a thoroughly-researched and accurate CMA of your home. 206-708-9800

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Local home sales statistics

Home Sale Statistics for January (most recent available)

# of Homes & Condos Available for Sale
West Seattle 2007: 356 2008: 602 Change: +69%
King County 2007: 7,596 2008: 12,370 Change: +63%

Average Days on Market for Properties Sold
West Seattle 2007: 58 2008: 60 Change: +2 days
King County 2007: 80 2008: 93 Change: +13 days

Average Sales Price of Properties Sold
West Seattle 2007: $393,630 2008: $407,277 Change: +3%
King County 2007: $464,283 2008: $479,993 Change: +3%

# of Sales Year to Date
West Seattle 2007: 145 2008: 101 Change: -30%
King County 2007: 2,193 2008: 1,403 Change: -36%