By Erin Flemming
Special to the Reporter
The month of December reliably marks a low point in unsold inventory in the residential real estate market. When looking at the local market this year, there are fewer unsold listings in the more affordable and mid-price ranges on the Eastside than the year prior.
John L. Scott Redmond broker Grace Li said the market in Bothell picked up in November, compared to the past couple of months.
“In the $800,000 to $1.5 million price range, I’ve seen multiple offers on certain properties,” said Li. “The current winter market isn’t the same as some of the hot spring markets we’ve seen in the past, but desirable homes certainly drew interest. As part of their offers, I saw some buyers start to waive part or even all contingencies, in an effort to secure the home.”
Now that we’re in the midst of the holiday season, Li said many sellers don’t want to get their holidays interrupted by the selling process.
“Although there are buyers out in the market ready to buy, our current market is tight on inventory in many areas,” added Li. “This makes it a bit trickier for buyers to secure the home of their choice in December.”
Mona Spencer, branch manager for John L. Scott’s Redmond office, agreed, noting that while the winter market is a far cry from the pace of the spring and summer, decreased unsold inventory will have some buyers feeling the squeeze. She added that in a market with constrained inventory, many buyers will choose to work with a real estate broker so they can boost their chance of getting their offer accepted for the home of their choice.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its 2019 profile of home buyers and sellers, which found that a record 89 percent of buyers say they used a real estate agent to purchase a home. NAR noted that “while the home search process has shifted toward digital technology, the need for a trusted real estate agent to help sell a home is still paramount.”
Li said in today’s technology-heavy world, it’s easy for buyers to search and set up alerts for homes that meet their desired criteria through tools like John L. Scott’s property tracker. This is a great first step, she said, but it is just one part of the home buying process.
“I love using all the technology tools out there to streamline the process of buying or selling a home for my clients,” said Li. “However, there are quite a few areas where technology can’t replace the expertise and experience an agent can bring to the process. Some of the important little details like how the floor plan will work with a family’s lifestyle, how safe a neighborhood is for kids, or nearby traffic flow issues won’t be found in the listing details.”