It’s been a while since the last anecdote post, so I thought now would be a good time for an update.
First up, let’s go way back to early June. Remember the million-dollar new construction in Redmond? It was originally listed in mid-May for $1,625,000, and the last time we checked in it had taken $130,000 in price reductions, dropping the price to $1,495,000. It has now been languishing on the market for 159 days, and taken two more price drops—$70,000 on 09/05 and $150,000 on 10/14—for a new grand total of $350,000 (21%) off the original asking price. Do you smell that? I think that’s the smell of desperation.
It’s been two or three months since my former coworker and her husband moved to California, and their rural King County house still has not sold. However, the good news is that they did finally lower their asking price (though not by much), from $490,000 down to $480,000. I’m still predicting that they won’t sell for much more than $430,000.
Remember my coworker that listed his rural Snohomish County home for $350,000, then dropped down to $305,000 and announced that as the “*FINAL PRICE REDUCTION*”? Well apparently he wasn’t kidding, because after receiving no bites for weeks at that price, the house was taken off the market, and hasn’t reappeared in the months since. I know that he has moved to Moses Lake, so I can only assume that he is now paying two mortgages and hoping that next spring will save him.
I got an email from a friend (that I don’t see often enough) a few weeks ago, enthusiastically telling me that he and his wife had just bought a condo… in Kent. From what I can tell, they paid just over $200,000. I didn’t even know they were looking. I still haven’t responded to him, because I just don’t know what to say… all I can think of is “that’s exciting.”
Lastly, lest I be accused of cherry-picking only the most dismal-sounding stories, I offer the following tale from the Fremont / Greenlake area. I mentioned this friend’s story in passing, but (by request) I was saving the full story until after the closing date. After doing some relatively inexpensive (under $5,000) sprucing up to improve “curb appeal,” the house was listed in the $450-$475k range. They collected offers for a week, receiving a total of 11 offers (five of them over $500k!), and eventually closed for over $510,000.
It should be noted that before listing, when my friend asked his agent “what is available in this neighborhood for under $500k” the answer was “nothing.” It is also worth pointing out that Zillow’s estimate of his home’s value came in at around $535k. While I don’t think the close-in neighborhoods are likely to slow as much as those further out, I think his “price low and see where the bidding process takes you” strategy was a good one (it’s what I recommended he do when he told me he was selling his home). As far as I can tell, that seems to be the best way of determining a home’s true “market value.”
So what have you been seeing “on the streets” lately?