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  • Writer's pictureDoron Weisbarth

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 Weisbarth.com/Newsletter, that’s Weisbarth.com/Newsletter.


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 weisbarth.com/refer. 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!

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