Seattle’s real estate market shows signs of cooling

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Homes are sticking around a bit longer + prices are dropping. | Photo by @trueonegroup

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Earlier this week, Northwest Multiple Listing Service released some data that shows there were fewer deals made last month between home buyers and sellers than there were during the same time frame last year.

So — nope, that’s not someone’s refrigerator that got left open — that’s a sign the real estate frenzy the Puget Sound area has been subjected to for the past few years may be headed for a cool off. 🌬

🔥 We were almost out of deodorant

In case you weren’t as familiar with the lingo, a market cool off happens when, for whatever reason, people aren’t as ready to buy up homes than they were before.

For example, you remember those crazy stories about the homes selling for $1 million over asking price? Or all that bidding war mayhem? That’s a hot market — something Seattle has been experiencing for the past couple of years.

After some time, for whatever other reason, folks stop jumping on sales and homes begin to linger on the market for longer. This increases supply, and now homebuyers who are ready to move out of their old homes are more willing to lower prices or at least negotiate with potential buyers.

So yeah — good news for buyers.

💰 Dipping your toes in

Don’t be shy — the water’s not totally scalding. We’re not quite at a buyer’s market yet — and prices are still… uhpretty high — but it’s a sign that it may be the best time we’ve seen in a couple years to purchase a new home. Here’s a couple of things you can do to take advantage of Seattle’s cooling market.

“Think of it as a stepped process,” Windermere Real Estate Broker Heather Maddox said. “Your first house should be a vehicle to your second home.”

The idea is to get your foot in the door when you can and let the price of your home appreciate over time, so that when you go to find a new home in a couple of years, you have a bigger nest egg to start with.

“I think when people go to buy a house, they jump to what their life might look like in five or 10 years and they start looking for something that fits that instead of what fits today,” Heather said. “It’s just about getting in and building equity — homes in King County have appreciated by 30 percent.”

🏡 More tips from Heather

  • Get your pre approval submitted sooner rather than later so you can jump on a deal when the iron is hot.
  • Have a really good realtor. It’s a free service since the seller pays the realtor, so find the very best one you can.
  • Townhomes and condos can be great buys, because if you find yourself in a position where you don’t need to sell the space, they can be transformed into a rental space pretty easily.
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