For BuyersFor SellersReal EstateSeattle real estate March 14, 2011

There are Two Different Real Estate Markets on Seattle's Eastside

There are two different real estate markets on Seattle’s eastside. I didn’t make this up.  I heard this from several buyers at an open house this past weekend.

I held an open house at a home which I knew would attract buyers.  It’s new on the market, shows fabulously, has little competition, and is in a great Kirkland location.  I had this conversation with several different buyers, which prompted me to write this post.   They told me there were a lot of homes sitting on the market and then there were the other homes. These are the great ones.  The great ones sold quickly.  Hence, there are two real estate markets out there on Seattle’ eastside.

Real Estate Market #1- This market is filled with the best homes. They’re priced well, show beautifully with minimal work needing to be done, and sell in less than a week. These are the homes where it makes sense to hold a public open house.  Because the home shows so well, when the buyers find it online, they come specifically to see the home.  They’re already excited before they come through the door.  You get “real” buyers who are checking the house out as a potential buy, not just neighbors and “lookie loos.”

Real Estate Market #2 This market is filled with homes that are the good, and the not so good. They aren’t priced well or don’t show well.  Most of these homes eventually sell, although some do not. When they do sell, it’s often after one or two price reductions.  Distressed home sales, the homes that are short sales or bank owned properties, are part of this group of homes.  But this market isn’t filled with just distressed sellers.  It includes those homes which may not have been maintained well, are not updated, are overpriced or fit all of these labels.  If a home doesn’t show well, have professional photos, and isn’t priced well,  it will be part of real estate market #2.

If you want your home to be part of real estate market #1,  prepare your home properly for sale. This means doing the updating you’ve wanted to do but never had time to get around to doing.  Take out the blue flowered vinyl in your bath.  Change your carpet so it’s no longer green. It means having your maintenance items done.  Get your furnace serviced, the drainage issues resolved, your water heater checked, and your roof in good shape.  Don’t go on the market until these items are done.  Then make sure your home has professional photos, staging, a video, and a great price tag.  There’s a very good chance your home will sell quickly, if it meets all these criteria.

Otherwise, your home will be in real estate market #2 and you’re going to have the “for sale” sign in your yard for a long time.

Despite what’s broadcast by the media, there are homes selling in a flash.  Buyers are seeing this in the eastside real estate market. These homes fit real estate market #1.  Buyers are in a great position to know what’s really happening with homes for sale because they’re out there on the eastside.  They’re living it everyday as I’m doing.  These buyers are in the real estate market trenches with me.

It’s too bad the media only reports on real estate market #2 and hasn’t gotten in the trenches with us to see the full picture.