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February 2024 Market Update Report

February 2024 Market Update Report

Hi, I’m Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. Welcome to my February 2024 Market Update! Today, I want to delve into a crucial topic for anyone thinking about selling their home: how to avoid losing money when listing your property. With the real estate market heating up in King County and surrounding areas, it's essential to ensure that you're not leaving money on the table. Now, you might legitimately wonder “Doron, if the market is heating up, how can a seller lose money?”  Let me explain…  First, let's start by taking a look at the current market trends. In the graph, you'll notice a significant increase in activity in January of this year, following the typical annual pattern. We’re seeing more homes being listed and more homes that go pending, meaning that the sellers have accepted an offer. This surge in activity indicates a promising market for both buyers and sellers alike. By the way, if you want to look at this graph and read my report at your pace and leisure, you’ll find all this information in my February newsletter, available online and for download, for free, at , that’s . So where is the problem for the sellers? Well, despite this optimistic outlook, there's one critical factor you need to be mindful of: the competence of your listing broker. We've recently witnessed several instances where homes were listed far below their true market value, resulting in a potential substantial losses for sellers. This trend happens very frequently, particularly at the beginning of each year. You see, if the home is listed too far below its correct market value, there is a strong chance that, even after an aggressive bidding war and price escalations, the home will not reach its full price potential.  This has to do with the buyers’ psychology. I find that, while buyers are willing to escalate their price in a competitive situation, there is still a certain psychological barrier that they have, to bidding too far above the original listing price. Yes, even if they think that the home is worth more.  For instance, consider a home in the Central District that found itself in an 11-way bidding war, ultimately selling for more than 16% higher than the listing price. Similarly, a property in Shoreline attracted a staggering 80 offers, highlighting the demand among buyers. No that’s not 80 showings, that’s 80 offers! And then there was a home in Crown Hill, initially listed at $1.1 million, that ended up selling for $1.5 million—a significant disparity that could have been avoided. How much more would these homes fetch if the initial listing price was closer to their true market value? Of course, there’s no way to know for sure. I can tell you from my very direct experience that buyers have a relatively easy time escalating 5% or even 10% above the asking price. But once you get above that, the risk for the sellers is much greater. The buyers just may not be willing to go that far. Again, that’s even if they think that the home is worth it.   Now, what is the source of this problem? I find that most real estate agents, as well as all of the online valuation systems, you know, the ones that supposedly give you an instant value of your home, use the same kind of analysis, called the Comparative Market Analysis, also known as a CMA. And this use as their sole means for pricing a home. This is where you look at recent sales of similar homes in your area, and from that data infer the value of your home. The problem with this method is that it only looks backwards in time, always looking at past sales. But you’re not considering what’s going on in the market right now!  For that you need to use a more nuanced analysis, that is more strategic in nature, and requires a deep familiarity with the market dynamics, and being able to correctly read the market conditions in real time. I call this method, the Strategic Marketing Analysis, or SMA. The resulting price that takes both the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and the Strategic Marketing Analysis (SMA), is called the effective market price. And that’s the price that will put the most amount of money in your pocket.  To illustrate the importance of this combined approach, let me share a recent example.  A few weeks ago, I evaluated a property that I initially believed could sell for $1.25 million. This was early on, when we were still weeks away from actually listing the home.  As we got closer to the listing date, and upon further analysis using my Strategic Marketing Analysis (SMA) system, it became evident that my original estimate was too conservative. Adjusting the listing price to $1.35 million seemed more appropriate.   But as market conditions evolved further in our fast-paced market, the sellers and I debated whether to list the home closer to $1.5 million. In the end, after some debate, we settled on a listing price of $1.45 million. And within 4 days the property sold for $1.52 million. That is a far cry from that original $1.25 million price that the market seemed to suggest at the beginning. By reading the market correctly, I was able to net my clients more than $250,000. Not too bad! The key takeaway here is the danger of relying solely on the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) when determining your listing price. While CMAs provide valuable insights based on past sales data, they often fail to account for current market dynamics and potential future trends. This backward-looking approach can lead to underpricing your home, resulting in missed opportunities for higher returns. So now you see why, when listing your home, it's crucial to partner with a listing broker who employs a forward-thinking, marketing strategy, such as my SMA approach. And, by the way, pricing is just one of several aspects of a strategic marketing approach. So you really want someone who has a strong grasp of all of these aspects. By accurately assessing the true value of your property and adapting to evolving market conditions, you can maximize your profits and avoid the pitfalls of underpricing.  So, if you or someone you know is considering selling your home this year, don't hesitate to reach out to me and my team for expert guidance. We will help you come up with your most effective market price, and the most effective market strategy, so that you can get the most from the sale of your home. As it should be. We offer a no-obligation consultation, where we go over our strategic plan called Sell Your Home in 5: The 5-step system to selling your home fast, for top dollar and the least amount of hassle. We’ll explain not just the strategies, but the thinking behind them, and then, we’ll show you data the proves that our system actually works! Now, It's easy to refer your friends, family and colleagues to us by email, or on my website at . The best way to refer is to just connect us by phone. My phone number is 206-779-9808, and I’m always happy to speak with new people, and offer my help. And don’t forget that your business and referrals help the kids at Childhaven!  Well, that wraps up today's vlog! Remember, in the fast-paced world of real estate, strategic pricing is key to success. If you find this information helpful, be sure to like, subscribe, and share with anyone you know who's thinking about selling their home. I'm Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. See you next month!
January 2024 Market Update Vlog

January 2024 Market Update Vlog

Hi, I’m Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. Happy New Year, and welcome to my January 2024 Market Update! Today, we're taking a glimpse into the future—specifically, Seattle real estate market in 2024. I’m about to share my ironclad predictions for the Seattle real estate market for this coming year.  Now, before you roll your eyes and think, "Not another prediction, Doron," I promise you, I'm not relying on a crystal ball or a wizard wand. Instead, I'm drawing on my deep understanding of our local market, on historical data that create a definite pattern, and on recent observations of buyer and seller behavior. So… Let's dive right in!  First off, let's dispel the myth that all real estate is the same. It’s not! I hear all these pundits who make predictions for the national real estate trends in 2024, and I really have to scratch my head sometime. The truth is that all real estate is local! In our beloved Seattle, we often dance to our own beat, thumbing our noses at national trends. Why? Blame it on the unique topography – we have the sound in the west, mountains on the east, a large lake in the middle, and very few open lots left anymore. And, of course, we have our unique circumstances, with a large number of people who are still moving to our area for high-paying jobs. All these make our real estate market as distinct as our iconic skyline. So don’t fall into the trap of projecting national news onto our local real estate market.  Now, onto the pillars of this real estate saga: supply and demand. Yes, I've said it countless times before, but these forces are the maestros dictating pricing, market dynamics, and the overall real estate narrative. And who is the protagonist in this story? You—the discerning consumer. Interestingly, as we bid adieu to the holiday season, a surge in buyer activity has caught my and my teammate’s attention. We believe this surge mirrors the drop in mortgage interest rates below the 7% mark. I mentioned this in last month’s vlog, that the 7% mark, seemingly a psychological threshold has energized buyers, especially when housing inventory is traditionally low. Rising rent costs in the region and companies urging employees to return to the office are further fueling this increasing demand. Now, on the supply side, sellers remain relatively scarce. Last year, many sellers who needed to sell in order to adjust to life events, such as a growing family, empty nesters, job relocation, etc., these sellers held off from putting their homes on the market because of the high interest rates. On the one hand, they were worried that the high rate would scare buyers away, which would leave them selling their homes for less. On the other hand, if you’re selling a home, many times you have to buy another one, and they were not willing to trade their low interest rates for much higher ones.  But, as you know, life goes on, and these life events still drive a good amount of the decisions people make regarding selling their homes.  And so, even sellers cautious about trading their historically low mortgage rates are likely to find encouragement in the ongoing decline in interest rates. To be clear, while we're not expecting a flood of new listings, a more substantial inventory compared to 2023 is very likely on the horizon for 2024. So, what can we anticipate in terms of market movements?  The multi-year trend observed in the first quarter of each year suggests a familiar pattern: robust demand and limited supply, resulting in a more pronounced increase in home prices. I highlighted the first quarter of each year to help you see how these trends repeat every year. And while I’m only showing you data that goes back five year, I could have gone back twelve years or more, and you would have easily seen the same pattern playing out every year. Then, as spring ushers in more inventory, we anticipate a moderation in price appreciation. Barring significant economic shifts, or inflation spikes, the ongoing decline in interest rates should create favorable conditions for both buyers and sellers. By the way, if you want to look at this graph and read my report at your pace and leisure, you’ll find all this information in my January newsletter, available online and for download, for free, at , that’s . So, in conclusion, 2024 promises to be a more favorable year compared to 2023. While we may not experience the same level of activity seen in recent years, there's every indication that the market will follow its familiar rhythm.  Now, if you or someone you know has made a New Year’s resolution to sell and or buy a home this year, consider this your invitation to reach out for education about the process, the market, and the specifics of your situation. My team and I are here to provide education and guidance, ensuring informed decisions to maximize your results. And let’s face it – you have to educate yourself if you want to get the most from this big move. We offer a no-obligation consultation. It would be improper and immoral to ask anyone to make a decision about such a big move before  they had the appropriate education, don’t you think? And the good news is that it's easy to refer your friends, family and colleagues to us by email, or on my website at . The best way to refer is to just connect us by phone. My number is 206-779-9808, and I’m always happy to speak with new people, truly.  And don’t forget that your business and referrals help the kids at Childhaven!
December 2023 Market Update Vlog

December 2023 Market Update Vlog

Hi, I’m Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. Welcome to my December 2023 Market Update! Today, I want to share some unexpected advice, especially coming from a real estate professional. You might expect me to encourage you to sell your home right away, right? Well, bear with me. If you've been following my newsletters, you've seen variations of the graph I'm about to present. I've extended the data back to 2018 to enhance the visual impact, but the patterns I'm about to discuss have been unfolding for well over a decade. The graph illustrates the market activity cycle for single-family homes in King County. The orange line represents Closed Sale data. Focus on the areas highlighted in yellow, which is the first quarter of each year. The annual pattern is unmistakable – you see a surge in activity at the beginning of each year, peaking around spring or early summer, followed by a decline in market activity towards the end of the year. Some years, we've observed a smaller second surge in the fall, but not always.  By the way, these patterns in King County are reflective of trends in other counties in our area and extend to the cities, towns, and the broader Greater Seattle region. So, if you want to look at this graph and read my report at your pace and leisure, you’ll find all this information in my December newsletter, available online and for download, for free, at , that’s . Now, pay attention to the blue line representing Median Sale Prices, and again, focus on the area highlighted in yellow, which is the first quarter of the year. What you’ll notice is the consistent pattern of price increases at the start of each year, with some years experiencing almost astonishing appreciation, like this year and the two years prioir. Notably, this trend persisted even in the aftermath of years marked by declines in both market activity and prices, such as in the downward trend that we saw just last year, 2022, or in 2018. It almost seems like the market resets itself at the beginning of each year.  As for whether this pattern will repeat in the first part of 2024, well, I’m sure you understand, that's something I can't predict with certainty. All I can tell you is that, as I mentioned above, this exact same pattern has been repeating itself, without fail, well over a decade now.  It would be helpful to understand the driving forces behind these robust price appreciation. The main force is the significant influx of new buyers precisely when the number of listings is at its lowest. This creates the widest gap between the supply of homes for sale in the market, and demand for those homes.  Now, considering the downward trend in mortgage interest rates over the past few weeks, once they dip below the 7% mark, I anticipate the return of previous buyers who may have stepped back from the home search earlier this year, thereby further boosting demand. The point of all of this is that, as in many other aspects of life, timing plays a crucial role in determining outcomes. As you can see, when it comes to selling your home, strategic timing could make a substantial difference in how much money ends up in your pocket when the deal is done.  So, If you, or someone you know, is seriously considering selling a home in the coming year, please share this information with them, as it can make the difference in their decision process and their timing. The path to a lucrative home sale begins with informed decisions that are based on facts! And that’s what my team and I love to do – educate and inform, so that our clients can make the best decisions that will maximize their results. We offer a no-obligation consultation, so there’s no pressure – we want you to decide to work with us because you think that we are the best people to represent you on your home sale.  And remember that as we contribute a substantial portion of our income to the amazing Childhaven, your business and referrals go to help the kids in need. It's easy to refer your friends, family and colleagues to us by email, or on my website at . The best way to refer is to just connect us by phone. My number is 206-779-9808, and I’m always happy to speak with new people.  Please remember to like, subscribe and follow for more great insights, charts and tips on my monthly vlog, and read our monthly newsletter at .  Thanks for tuning in to my December market update. Have a wonderful Holiday and a very Happy New Year! I'm Doron Weisbarth with Weisbarth & Associates. See you next month!

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Doron and his team don't just promise to sell your home or help you buy a great home - they GUARANTEE it in writing! Doron and his team are in the top 1% of all real estate brokers in the state of Washington. They received the prestigious "Best in Client Satisfaction Award" from Seattle Magazine every year since 2012 backed by hundreds of glowing reviews on Zillow.

Doron and his team measure their success not just by the numbers of homes sold, but also by how much they are able to give back to the community. By giving away a substantial portion of their income from every sale Weisbarth & Associates have donated over $300,000 to, a local organization that takes care of kids from families that need extra support and love, as well as to the Phinney Neighborhood Associates(PNA).

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