Inventory Dilemma Sweeps the Nation: Seattle-based Firm Notes Concerns

The Seattle market is currently defined by its record-low inventory levels and increasingly high demand for homes in the city and throughout the suburbs, including East King County. However, this isn't a challenge that is being faced by the Emerald City alone. In fact, cities and metropolitan areas across the country are staring at startling statistics that continue to show depleting inventory levels, despite the fact that buyer demand typically heats up in the summer months. 

Redfin, a real estate firm based in Seattle, shows some concern regarding this trend. Recently, CEO Glenn Kelman told CNBC that low inventory levels are impacting business, and the firm is finding that more homeowners are upgrading to new properties without listing their previous homes on the market. 

What's Causing the Low Inventory Levels in Seattle and Throughout the Country?

The sharing economy is becoming appealing to homeowners who want to upgrade to a larger home, but aren't ready to sell their previous home. Reeling from the effects of the recession several years ago, many homeowners find that they are not in a position to sell and then buy again. Instead, they are becoming landlords. Using social sharing sites like Airbnb, they can easily find someone to rent their previous property to while living in a larger, more luxurious property in another part of the city. 

In addition, home builders are not building as many new construction properties as in the past. Buyer demand for new construction is not as high, so this is also limiting the inventory that is available in Seattle and in communities throughout the United States.

Reasons for Sellers to List Now

Low inventory levels are actually a good thing for Seattle homeowners who are interested in listing their properties. There's several reasons to consider listing when there are not a lot of homes for sale on the market:

  • You are likely going to get top dollar for your home: In most cases, the offer that you receive will be higher than the asking price on the listing. Buyers recognize that they have to appeal to the sellers in order to get the keys to the home, so sellers often enjoy significant returns on their real estate investment.
  • You are probably going to have multiple offers to consider: Usually, listings in Seattle will receive several offers within the first few days on the market. Sellers will be able to choose a well-qualified buyer who is offering them a beneficial deal.
  • You are almost always going to sell your home quickly: Most homes in Seattle and throughout East King County are selling within a matter of days, if not hours. For example, places in Bellevue were selling in a median 9 days after listing in April.

Tips for Buyers who are Searching When Inventory is Low

Buyers may find the low inventory levels to be more frustrating, but it's also an exciting and competitive time to be searching for a home. Those who love the thrill of a hunt will find that these tips may help them secure a great home in Seattle:

  • Have your real estate agent provide you with updates on available listings multiple times per day: Go to see those homes as quickly as possible.
  • Always be prepared to write an offer: Sometimes you are going to have to draft an offer on the spot in order to stay competitive in this market. Your offer will likely need to be higher than asking price in order to be considered, and you should have your financing in order prior to making an offer on a home.
  • Be flexible with the sellers: It is best to accommodate their needs, such as giving them occupancy or adjusting the closing dates.

The experts can say what they want about the current market conditions, but we know that it's a great time to buy and sell in Seattle if you're ready to do so. There are going to be challenges and advantages associated with any type of market! Contact us today to learn more about buying and selling in Seattle right now.

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