Attention Buyers: Learn How to Compete in Seattle's Hot Market

Currently, opinions on the Seattle housing market are quite divided. Mention the market to someone who recently sold their property or who is planning to list, and they likely will gush about what a great time it is to get involved in real estate. Mention it to someone who is simply looking for an affordable and comfortable place to call home, and you may be met with a groan.

To call the market is hot is an understatement. There's a significant lack of inventory coupled with a plethora of motivated and interested buyers, and it's made for an incredibly competitive market in the city and the surrounding suburbs. In fact, a recent report dubbed Seattle as one of the most competitive markets in the entire country. 

According to Curbed Seattle, a recent report noted that Seattle was among the top five most competitive markets in the country. Neighboring Washington, the city of Tacoma is also considered to be one of the most competitive in the United States, as well. 

By the Numbers: Seattle's Competitive Housing Market

  • The report noted that 57 percent of homes in Seattle and the surrounding metropolitan area, including East King County, sold for above their asking price.
  • More than 91 percent of homes that were listed on the market in March 2017 received more than one offer from qualified buyers.
  • Homes that were listed on the market in Seattle were sold in an average of 8 days — which is a remarkably fast turnaround time considering the nationwide average is about 49 days. 
  • Inventory levels are quite low, and getting lower. The report indicates that inventory levels dropped by 31 percent in March, which only increases the competition for available homes while continuing to raise the prices.

Even those who love a competition might be intimidated by these daunting figures. Home buyers who are interested in owning real estate might feel like now is not the best time to try and get a piece of property in Seattle or the surrounding counties, but there are ways to compete in this type of market. 

Tips for Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

  • Recognize what makes a buyer attractive to a seller in a competitive market, and do what you can to promote yourself. Sellers in Seattle have come to expect things like cash offers that are above asking price. Know that if you can't offer this on a particularly desirable house, you may not beat out someone who can. Put your best foot forward when you submit an offer.
  • Work with an agent who knows how to market your offer to the sellers. Your agent should not only submit the offer for your home, but they should try to sell your story to the sellers while also creating a relationship with the listing agent. A friendly and approachable agent is far more likely to get the deal than one who goes in ready and looking for a negotiation war.
  • Know that the listing price is likely not going to be the sale price of that home. In a market such as Seattle's, you are going to need to look at a list price and add upwards of 10 percent to your offer. Sellers typically do not need to accept offers at asking price — they likely have many offers that are higher than their asking price waiting for them. Remember this as you are selecting homes to see within your price range.

Working with a qualified agent who is experienced with these exceptional conditions is the only way that you will find your dream property in the Seattle metropolitan area. Whether you are looking for a luxury town home in the city or a sprawling home in East King County, we are able to help make it happen. Contact us today.

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