Claim: Seattle Real Estate Market Suddenly Heating Up

Full disclosure: The Tim is employed by Redfin.

Wednesday afternoon, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman posted an interesting story on Redfin’s Seattle blog: "Everything Changed in the Past Six Weeks"

Bryon Ziegler, part of Redfin’s crack Capitol Hill team, just wandered into my office to talk about bidding wars. The last ten straight offers he has handled all turned into bidding wars. This isn’t just the usual $300,000 bank-owned property being auction-priced for a quick sale.

Except for maybe Belltown condos—which are like a vast, derelict Atlantis, all underwater—every decent listing seems to be getting multiple offers. Bryon just put in a multi-million dollar all-cash offer on a home that had been on the market for 300+ days, only to have two other offers turn up at the same time.

“Everything changed just in the past six weeks,” Bryon said. “In February, you were the savior if you came in with an offer. Now, the reaction is: take a number. And if you don’t come with all guns blazing, you’re usually a day late and a dollar short.”

Glenn & Bryon tipped off King5, who picked up the story and ran with it last night (although they inexplicably gave a Coldwell Banker agent a lot more face time than Redfin—what’s up with that?):

I haven’t seen any particularly strong uptick in any of the stats I watch on a regular basis, but the action that Bryon and this Coldwell agent are describing seems to be a very recent phenomenon, so it might take a month or two to show up in the closed sales data if it’s a real trend. Redfin isn’t the type to perennially make claims like “open house traffic is up” and other vague sales pitches in a shameless attempt to pump the market (which is a large part of why I joined them), so I’m inclined to believe that there’s at least something to the claim.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has actually been shopping for a home close-in to Seattle in recent weeks. Are you seeing the kind of intense market that is described in the above video, or is that kind of action limited to a specific, narrow band of property types and locations?

  

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

191 comments:

  1. 1
    Pegasus says:

    It’s all good! Through the roof, baby! Don’t you recognize marketing hype even if it is from your own firm? House is on the market for 300 days. Suddenly a buyer appears, magically there are two more after a 300 day wait. What does that tell you? The listing agent is trying to pump the price. Just wait until the delayed foreclosures restart. Then you can see the real market in action.

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  2. 2
    ray pepper says:

    It has definitely gotten ALOT busier in recent weeks.

    Bryon (the Red Fin Agent) looked like a Buyer or someone walking down the street. The Coldwell Banker Agent looked like THE REAL DEAL commanding respect from the viewer of King 5 thereby producing more believability of the story.

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  3. 3
    S-Crow says:

    It does not make a trend, but with short sales moving quicker from our experience and discussing transactions with the clients and customers, good properties, priced well are being taken. Others just languish. I’m exceptionally wary of a home being considered “under market” in this market but, admittedly, I am seeing a couple of them here and there. Of the property I track in Snohomish Co. many are going pending. A couple of builders and speculators we work with are moving inventory in Snohomish Co. As a side note I’m seeing property being placed on market for mid-late 90’s valuations–many though in need of work.

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  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    By Pegasus @ 1:

    House is on the market for 300 days. Suddenly a buyer appears, magically there are two more after a 300 day wait. What does that tell you? The listing agent is trying to pump the price.

    I guess Glenn/Bryon didn’t make it clear, but in the example given Redfin’s client did not get the home due to the other offers. So if these are fictitious offers being made up by the listing agent to “pump the price,” they’re doing it wrong.

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  5. 5
    Pegasus says:

    RE: The Tim @ 4 – Doesn’t have to be fictitious. Agent gets on the phone to every buyers agent that looked at the home and tells em it’s now or never. Get your bid in before your buyer is priced out forever. Don’t forget despite our unseasonable spring weather that it is also time to see some upticks in sales based on historical patterns. Yawn.

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  6. 6
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 4

    When the offer comes in the listing agent gets on the phone with other interested buyer’s agents. That’s what a good listing agent is supposed to do.

    Buyer’s agents are looking for any excuse to get the buyer to make an offer, any offer. Creating a sense of urgency is a part of sales technique, “you better jump on this!, there are other offers on this baby!!!”

    Once one person wants the property it becomes a good buy. It’s the herd mentality people here talk about.

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  7. 7
    David Losh says:

    Actually it’s interesting Glenn and Byron thought this was news worthy and made a press release by contacting King 5 News. Once again looking for that free advertising.

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  8. 8
    Matt says:

    As a buyer seeking a house in the city, I can say that in the area I’m looking in (basically I-90 up to Northgate), there are well-prepped and well-priced houses popping up daily, which go pending within days. The rest are basically unsellable at the price that’s set on them. And since a good chunk of them are short sales, there’s no room to talk them down or get glaring problems fixed. They’ll sit there until they’re foreclosures. I have yet to see a single home that’s a reasonable value for the price, that’s been on the market for more than a month.

    I think the main effect of the bubble is that those who bought in while it was going on are holding on to their properties as long as they can afford to in order to keep some hope of breaking even alive. (I’m also one of those: I’m renting out my Capitol Hill condo.) If those prices they paid have been inflated all this time, then only distressed properties, estate properties, and a few hand-me-downs are going to come on to the market. It’s like going to the flea market: buyers go looking for a bargain, and sellers go to unload all of their junk. Except in this case, the sellers won’t haggle. Can you imagine what an awful flea market that’d be?

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  9. 9
    The Tim says:

    By Pegasus @ 5:

    Agent gets on the phone to every buyers agent that looked at the home and tells em it’s now or never. Get your bid in before your buyer is priced out forever.

    By David Losh @ 6:

    When the offer comes in the listing agent gets on the phone with other interested buyer’s agents. That’s what a good listing agent is supposed to do.

    I have a hard time imagining someone who is in a position to buy a $2+ million home suddenly jumping in with a serious offer just because a listing agent rang them up on the phone. It’s not as if there are no other options if you’re shopping in that price range…

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  10. 10
    Ian says:

    I have been searching for a home quite regularly for the past few years while renting. Our lease is up at the end of the summer, so a lot of folks might be in the same boat in terms of timing, but I did notice that about 4 weeks ago, MANY houses, both new and those that have been on the market for some time started popping up with sold signs. During a tour about 3 weeks ago, the RedFin agent said he has shown up to several properties a few days after listing and they were pending already. My roommate found a listing about 2 weeks ago, jumped on it on the first day, and needed to escalate his bid due to competing offers. I finally had a bank-owned property agree to a price and will be closing in a few weeks as well. I think it’s true that decent quality homes priced well are selling very quick, but it’s also just a month or 2 from peak summer, and people need homes, big companies have been hiring, so we’ll see if the heat lasts into the late summer…

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  11. 11
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 9

    The way the conversation between agents goes is: “let me know if there is any activity on this property.” Agents talk to each other all the time. It’s still a very small community.

    The other thing is that in the Coldwell Banker example the people were relocated. There is also the list them low and watch them go mentality among agents right now to get those multiple offers.

    A good example for me is a property in Mount Baker, for lack of a better term. It’s been on the market for ever, it needs work, and I hope they lower the price closer to an offer I think is fair. However, if it got an offer, there is no reason to lose the deal over a few thousand dollars, so that would be a time to act.

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  12. 12

    In Leavenworth we are seeing a variation on this trend. About 75% of the transactions we have been involved in this year have been multiple offer scenarios. Strangely, it’s not just for well priced properties that are new to the market. We are also seeing it on properties that have sat on the market for 6 months to a year or more. Sellers aren’t getting above asking price, but they are getting the listing price or closer to it than they would without multiple offers. The non-winning bidders don’t seem to be quick about finding replacement purchases so I think this trend may slightly increase sale prices without having much effect on the volume of sold properties.

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  13. 13
    Greg says:

    Here in Portland, the issue is that the available inventory sucks. Mostly overpriced stuff that has been on the market a long time… and I suspect there are a fair number of spring time buyers who jump whenever a fairly priced home pops up. In fact, that’s exactly what I see here… if a home is priced fairly, it gets snapped up pretty quickly (and even some of the garbage is starting to move, through some combination of price drops and impatient buyers).

    I’m not sure if that’s indicative of a longer term trend though. At some point the would be sellers will also come out of the woodwork, and there should be more of them than there are buyers.

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  14. 14

    My Neighborhood is Full of For Sale Signs for the Last 6-12 Months

    Haven’t see ‘em come down or the vacant house filled with an occupant to date.

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  15. 15
    ChrisM says:

    I was under the impression this is happening in the better parts of San Diego, too. “Properly” priced homes in decent condition are selling very fast – many to cash buyers. Everything else is languishing.

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  16. 17

    RE: Ian @ 10

    Big Companies Have Been Hiring?

    What planet are you from?

    http://www.layoffwatch.com/2011/03/boeing-to-lay-off-about-220-employees/

    You got some evidence for your wild allegation?

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  17. 18

    RE: softwarengineer @ 17

    The Layoffs at Boeing This Year are Fulltime Employees

    The total Boeing Company you may be referencing have numbers that include P/T and contingent employees, albeit how many of these [that can be butcher axed quickly] are segregated is not documented by Boeing. The Boeing data base does not specify the pay differences between the P/T and contingent [interns?] employees compared to the fulltime either.

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  18. 19
    Ian says:

    Ok, maybe big companies are not hiring consistently (I thought Amazon was just hiring a bunch), but the larger point is that people move in and out of Seattle, (and within), and tend to do so most during summer months…

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  19. 20
    Flotown says:

    My friend just put in a offer and needed to bump it by 30k to get it under contract in Phinney. I’m bummed by this fact, as I may be in the market soon and am pulling for lower prices. But as I’ve commented previously, there is a whole segment of the seattle economy that’s doing really well right now and I think its trickling through to the close-in home market. If prices rise – which one would assume would be the outcome of this scenario, it will be interesting to see how long it will take for currently-underwater houses to hit the market. I have to imagine that there’s a lot of latent inventory.

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  20. 21

    RE: Ian @ 10

    I Found a Big Company Hiring in Seattle

    “…McDonald’s and its franchisees hired 62,000 people in the U.S. after receiving more than one million applications, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Previously, it said it planned to hire 50,000….”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-28/mcdonald-s-hires-62-000-during-national-event-24-more-than-planned.html

    Too bad there was about 200 job applicants for each of the 62,000 jobs…LOL

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  21. 22
    Steve says:

    I don’t know about Seattle, but over in Bellevue I came across a multiple (at least 5) offer bidding war. The high bidder waived inspection. I felt like I was back in 2006.

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  22. 23
    Flotown says:

    Softwarengineer – A lot of companies in seattle proper are hiring. Amazon has perhaps 800 positions to fill locally, Google and facebook both are implementing an “outsource to seattle” strategy, which will be made more evident as big leases are announced later this year. Biotechs like Dendreon and Omeros are hiring. Gates is hiring. I’m less familiar with Bellevue, but I know Expedia is expanding there. Investment in tech is up year on year nationwide, and all thing health care related are doing well. Other parts of the economy- finance, construction, some areas of manufacturing – are not doing that well.

    as for layoffwatch, they are obviously talking their book, as a referral for career placement firms. Its a pretty one-sided view of the world.

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  23. 25
    David S says:

    I’m just not buying it. Am I missing something?

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  24. 26
    Julie Lyda says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 21

    I bit of a disinfo agent aren’t you?

    A few hundred jobs lost in a missle project in Alabama doesn’t really pass as a crisis.

    However the new Boeing Tanker contract that is said to bring 50,000 new jobs around the country with 11,000 in Washington State may satisfy the argument.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703408604576164642983838266.html
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/2010/05/10/boeing-tanker-would-mean-11000-jobs-in-washington/

    Amazon on Hiring Spree up to 1,900 new jobs in Seattle
    http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110307/amazons-hiring-spree-will-fill-1-7-million-square-feet-of-office-space-in-seattle/?mod=googlenews

    Microsoft Says It’s True: Nearly 3,000 Software Engineers and Others Needed
    http://career-resources.dice.com/articles/content/entry/microsoft_hiring_thousands

    I could go on…. but I’m saving the rest for my blog article.

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  25. 27
    Spokane says:

    Here in Spokane, I see properties in my neighborhood that have been on the market since the fall of 2009. On my street, one home has been on the market since July 1st last year. A total of 2 people have looked at it in all that time. It’s a decent house and price is what the real estate people recommended she should list it at. There is a dead 77 home development right behind me. Over the last 3 years they built about 13 homes, half of which are now for sale. Two of those are previously sold homes but the buyers lost the homes. The developer has not paid property taxes since 2007. Additional homes are just now coming on the market (hey, its spring – sort of – its snowing again today) as are homes being posted as “for rent”. I have seen a total of 2 sold signs in the past 9 months.

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  26. 28
    Rob says:

    It seems to me to be _at least_ neighborhood specific. We were trying to get into Maple Leaf earlier this year (February/March) but the good properties seemed to be going quickly with multiple offers, selling above list. We started visiting properties the day the were listed only to find others doing the same.

    We ended up closing on a house a few weeks ago just outside Maple Leaf that had been on the market since late fall, fits our needs very well, and we feel like we got a good deal.

    I’ll be willing to bet there’s a strong correlation between neighborhoods that are “hot” and those with perceived good schools.

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  27. 29
    Real World Express says:

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…

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  28. 30

    RE: Flotown @ 20

    Please Explain With facts and Evidence:

    “…there is a whole segment of the seattle economy that’s doing really well right now….”

    I can also allegate there is a HUGER segment going down the toilet…..only with some evidence, like even the heathcare hiring for nurses at Everett Clinic’s opennings, same data as McDonalds…200 applicant nurses for each openning….got this information from an unemployed nurse [she’s older and middle aged, so prbably made too much money to get hired in today’s economy BTW]

    Another example, I know a CNA who just lost her job after a brain surgery hospitalization, the good news, she’s recovered and her doctor says she can work….the bad news there are no caregiver jobs out there….nada. I even helped her write her resume and gave her my best leads [I work voluntarily in the healthcare field as a comapny board member and complete voluntary bioengineering publications for a nusing contract service company].

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  29. 31
    Oberon says:

    Here’s my anecdote, though one sample does not a study make. I put my townhouse in Fremont on sale last year Oct/Nov, and got zero offers over two months. We then put it on in March, and had 2 offers in 3 days, selling at full list price. Our second listing price was 3.5% lower than what we listed it at in Oct/Nov, but that’s consistent with the reduction that happened over the intervening months.I’ll add that the tech industry is certainly hiring actively, and those with tech stock compensation components are doing really well. But this trend will likely only affect close-in areas (below 85th and above Downtown, and Redmond), not areas like Everett.

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  30. 32
    Pegasus says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 14 – Those blighted neighborhood homes are not easy to move. They are normally tear-downs in better times for builders.

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  31. 33

    RE: Rob @ 28

    Again, a Buyer’s Allegation

    My neighborhood is Pink Pony and somehow different? LOL, take a look at Tim’s foreclosure chart….the acne spots are spread equally all over Seattle…my neighborhood is special? One thing that a high priced Seattle neighborhood does,and SB has documented it, the foreclosed ones are kept off the market [bt the banks] so there’s absolutely no free market. They’re special alright….LOL, no foreclosure competition.

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  32. 34

    RE: Pegasus @ 32

    True Pegasus

    As the banks drag their feet with empty foreclosed stock in high priced Seattle neighborhoods, the following eventually happens:

    1. The banks go broke shielding them and are forced to sell.
    2. The rats, mildew and vacrants eventually destroy them….I notice a lot of this stock with plywood boarding the windows, albeit the gang spray paint is evident.

    The answer: bulldoze the excess stock….LOL

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  33. 35

    RE: Oberon @ 31

    The Highly Experienced Unemployed CNA Can’t Find a Job in Seattle City Limits

    Its not just Everett…..actually Seattle City Limit unemployment is worse.

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  34. 36
    patient says:

    I was wondering when the yearly “muliple offer” stories was going to show up. Check the archives, this has happened every year since the bubble burst. If you are a seller it could present an opportunity to hook a clueless or desperate buyer but if you are a buyer it could be a signal to stay out of the market until this seasonal madness has been flushed out.

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  35. 37
    Lee says:

    I take a broader viewpoint – demographics. Every year more people are graduating, getting married, having kids and dying. Accordingly there will be a pent-up demand. Those who get an inheritance will have more money to buy.

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  36. 38
    David S says:

    RE: patient @ 36 – Excellent observation.

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  37. 39
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By David Losh @ 7:

    Actually it’s interesting Glenn and Byron thought this was news worthy and made a press release by contacting King 5 News. Once again looking for that free advertising.

    As was said yesterday, you often hit the nail on the head.

    As I’ve said in the past, no agent or broker is going to have a sufficient exposure to the market to have a feel for where we are, let alone where we are headed.

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  38. 40
    Bryan says:

    Activity has actually been pretty strong since the first of the year. In January, I lost a well-priced house in Fremont to multiple offers with escalation clauses. I just watched a house down the street go for $300 sqft within a month…it is a NICE house, but not a $600k house.
    I am not in a position to know which houses get multiple offers, but I am seeing that anything that I find interesting (a non-fixer close-in with a decent floor-plan) is selling within weeks, even when the price seems inflated.
    The news story I heard on King 5 actually specifically called out $1MM+ homes as getting multiple offers. Having sat on a million-dollar home for two years while we lowered the price (ultimately) by 25% to sell it, I can tell you that just getting people to LOOK at a million dollar home a year ago was next to impossible – and two years ago was unthinkable. The issue then was high jumbo rates (in addition to myriad other factors like everyone sitting on their hands).
    I think today, people believe we are at bottom – so it’s not a bad time to buy. Latent demand is driving closures, as well as market fears (interest WILL rise sometime in the not too distant future). Inventory is still an issue, which makes demand for the few really quality properties that much higher.
    It’s frustrating enough that I am sitting on the sidelines – I don’t have the wherewithal to deal with multiple offers and bidding wars – just leads to inefficient pricing. And, to be sure, prices will drop again when higher interest rates reappear….

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  39. 42

    RE: Julie Lyda @ 26

    Whose Bogus, You or I?

    To quote a blogger from your Amazon hiring allegation article:

    “…This article is so bogus.
    The truth is that companies like Amazon, Google, Adobe, and even Microsoft (maybe not so much now, but definitely was the case with MS for many years) are ALWAYS hiring. The problem is that the people they are “hiring” and the positions they are offering are for rare or non-existing people. I.e., these are high paying positions for people whose qualifications either don’t exist or they are incredibly hard to find. How many times will humanity get an Albert Einstein type of a person? When they show up you can bet that there will be a powerful corporation ready to hire that person….”

    The MSFT article you used said “hiring worlwide”….China? India? LOL

    MSM always says there’s a shortage of engineers and nurses and its all hogwash to add more lower waged insourced workers into America…..nope, when manufacturing and Detroit almost went bankrupt, so did our engineering worforce….that Kia or Toyota you may drive hires engineers….in Japan and South Korea….LOL

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  40. 43
    Scotsman says:

    Wow- we’re going to get a bit of a spring bump after all. It’s spring, people know interest rates are probably going to be heading up soon and only see the monthly cost side, not the expected effect on future home prices. So some are coming off the fence, some just need to buy a house, some have too much money. And of course those who make a living selling real estate are doing exactly what one would expect- continuing to hype their product.

    Wake me up when unemployment is low enough to start driving wages up, budgets are stabilized, and we know if inflation will take hold or not.

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  41. 44
    Julie Lyda says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 42 -Oh please. Find a disgruntled blog post and call the article bogus based on no facts.

    We just sold a home to a new Amazon hiree. Nice young family, college grad with IT experience and working with another.

    Yes they are hiring. For those that are qualified…. AND no these are not McDonald jobs. Good jobs with good pay.

    What is your point in posting that garbage, it doesn’t help your argument.

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  42. 45

    RE: Julie Lyda @ 26

    The Boeing Tanker Contract May Employ 11,000 in Seattle Area

    But hire 11,000 additional Boeing Workers….LOL…a little birdy whispered in my ear that commercial airlines could be cancelling MASS orders soon….ya can’t make new aircraft payments operating at a loss. Thank God the Tanker Contract came when it did.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/apr/26/biggest-us-airlines-have-combined-1q-loss-over-1b/

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  43. 46
    Bryan says:

    RE: Lesley @ 41 – That has been my experience too.

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  44. 47
    Bryan says:

    RE: Julie Lyda @ 44 – What is a good job with good pay when houses are running $450+ for anything other than hobbit-hole fixers on busy streets…

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  45. 48

    RE: Julie Lyda @ 44 -I’m Not Selling Real Estate

    You are.

    Many people in Seattle are underwater and in dire strates listening to Pink Pony false allegations the last 10-15 years. I do hope you’re right and I’m wrong, irrespective, we need 100 Amazons to even put a small dent in this mess.And don’t offend the bottom 95% of America’s households….that McDonalds check puts hamburgers on a lot of their tables too….the world doesn’t revolve around the top 10% of households making 6 figures in the Seattle area….nor does first time home buyers, like my daughter’s Y generation.

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  46. 49
    David Losh says:

    RE: patient @ 36RE: Rob @ 28

    Maple Leaf is hot because of the Olympic View school. When our kids got to middle school age we moved from there to the other side of Lake City to be closer to Nathan Hale. I’ve always liked that school. My daughter now goes to Echstien as did my son, next year they will both be at Nathan Hale.

    There are 35 days left in the Seattle Public School year, ask any kid. Parents move at the end of the school year, that’s what we did when we moved. We closed March 20th and moved in driving the extra few blocks to the elementary school.

    We had to commit to our Middle School at that time.

    So parents will pay a premium to be in the right school at the right time. This year Seattle Public schools are specific that you have to live in the proximity of the school you want to attend.

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  47. 50
    Drone says:

    Anyone at Microsoft who hasn’t bought yet now has more $ to do so:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/microsoft/2014841923_microsoft22.html

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  48. 52
    Drshort says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 48

    http://www.snohomishcountybusinessjournal.com/article/20110428/SCBJ04/704289831/-1/SCBJ

    Snohomish County tops U.S. in income growth

    EVERETT — During the past five years, no major county in the United States had a greater increase in personal income growth than Snohomish County.

    “This is not by accident,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “We’ve made the conscious effort to make Snohomish County the most competitive county in the state.”

    Snohomish County’s personal income expanded by 40 percent, the largest five-year increase among major counties.

    “This is not just about a job, it’s about high-paying job,” Reardon said. “It’s about creating jobs that allow our residents to afford a home and send their children to college.”

    In 2009, Snohomish County residents earned a total of $30.3 billion, according to research conducted by the American City Business Journals. That was an increase from $29.8 billion in 2008 and $21.6 billion in 2004.

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  49. 53
    fubarrio says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 16 – the last paragraph was very insightful. thanks.

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  50. 54

    RE: Drone @ 50

    Most Older Experienced Employees With Higher Wages at MSFT

    Bought into RE many years or decades ago….they’re simply mostly not in the RE market.

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  51. 56

    RE: Drshort @ 52

    LOL Using Depression 2008 Snohomish county Data as a 1.7% Increase Base to 2009

    Its like saying a lion’s share of us are unemployed in 2008 and today, a lion’s share of us are still unemployed [probably not counted] in 2009, but its 1.7% better than doom.

    Where’s the 2011/2010 data? LOL -10% drop? LOL

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  52. 57

    RE: Lurker @ 55

    I Agree With Your Take

    I’d add a possible caveat, the buyers for the over priced units tend to be naive, ill-informed and/or swayed by MSM phony psychology [either that, or the “rich elite” top 2% of household incomes with money to burn and no investment savvy]….Hades, several remorsed buyers admitted they’d wished the read SB years ago, they were foreclosed on recently.

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  53. 58
    Drshort says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 56

    The comparison was to 2004, not 2008.

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  54. 59
    patient says:

    RE: David Losh @ 49 -We used to think it was worth paying a premium for areas with good schools but we just made a 180 on that one. We just signed up one of our kids for private school and the rest will follow since we believe the public school cuts will be deep and hit all public schools one way or another, when the time comes to buy we will likely stay away from areas inflated by “good” schools.

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  55. 60
    The Tim says:

    Guys, the employment anecdote article potshot contest is off-topic, so I “buried” all of the posts related to that thread. Please try to stay on-topic. It makes the comments a lot more useful and easier to read for everyone. Thanks.

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  56. 61
    Lurker says:

    @SWE – Well if you plan on living anywhere long enough and you can afford it, it can make sense, right? If you are seeking maximum return for your home dollars then it might be a different story. I’m sure a lot of people are just sick of waiting and I don’t blame them. I suspect we might not see “normal” (whatever that means anymore) until maybe near the end of this decade.

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  57. 62
    Julie Lyda says:

    Oh Tim, it was just getting good!
    A little Friday fun.

    Okay back on topic.

    I think we are just seeing a normal spring bump.

    Just for comparison – Last 10 years $1M+ Sales 1st Qtr. # sold.
    Year/1st Qtr/April
    2011 137/55
    2010 162/80
    2009 83/44
    2008 207/97
    2007 325/173
    2006 253/140
    2005 197/101
    2004 131/57
    2003 76/31
    2002 84/34
    2001 48/33

    What I found interesting is that most these years 50% of the $1M+ for the quarter are in April.

    April appears to be the hot month for Million dollar home sales.

    Keep in mind that the reporting period for April 2011 is not over and that number could go up a little. I should check against the 2nd qtr…

    Stats not compiled nor published by NWMLS.

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  58. 63
    2kt says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 43

    NO, this can not be true! You wrote so many times we have much more downside ahead of us, eh, sport?

    Rents are going higher and they are putting a market bottom in a close-in areas first. This is happening at the expense of long-commute-to areas that will continue to suffer due to higher gas prices. We may have two different markets at the same time. Close-in going up, further away going down.

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  59. 64
    Cheap South says:

    June 2004 prices = the bottom??

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  60. 65
    hoary says:

    I had two friends in my age cohort (educated/late 20’s) just buy houses at 25% off peak. They had both previously lost bidding wars and when they finally bought both had two other offers they had to beat.

    Not sure it means anything, but I’d thought I’d share the anecdote. Life goes on and some young people starting families want to buy homes regardless of environment.

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  61. 66
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: The Tim @ 60 – Thank you.

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  62. 67

    This has been the worst spring in years in terms of inventory. There’s just not a lot of nice houses out there to look at.
    And it does appear that rents have stopped dropping, and may be going up. When that ratio narrows, it pushes some people toward buying.
    Most houses in the Seattle area, in most neighborhoods/areas, are still lingering on the market.
    Certain Seattle neighborhoods are still hot. If you own a charming 1920’s Craftsman on Phinney Ridge,for example, and you price it low enough, it’ll sell very quickly.
    But places like Bonney Lake or Skyway have homes for sale ,for cheap, that have lingered on the market for what seems like decades:)

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  63. 68
    David North says:

    In the first quarter of 2011 I received for sellers and sent for buyers a total of 14 offers, every one of which was in a multiple offer situation. I also wrote one additional offer during that time that the buyer decided not to have me send when we learned that there was already another offer. Altogether, these 15 offers involved 6 properties in Newcastle, Redmond, Kirkland, Duvall, Snohomish and Monroe, a pretty widespread sample of the eastside. This stuff that’s being reported about multiple offers is very much true. But prices are not escalating. Of all of the multiple offer situations I’ve been involved with since the beginning of the year, none has escalated above the listing price, and most have materialized after price reductions.

    I do believe the brokerage firms are taking advantage of the phenomenon to generate some hype and spur more short term activity, and that may work to some degree. It is important for the public to understand that multiple offers are not necessarily indicators of rising prices, and that’s the part of the story that’s being left out. The broader economic and political realities that weigh heavily on price trends will outlast any short term hype.

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  64. 69
    jim says:

    RE: The Tim @ 9

    Tim, unless you are in mill creek, every home is different, even in the 2 million dollar range…so yes, if they are sitting watching a house that they want and someone else shows interest, it does cause you to step up to the plate

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  65. 70
    Yakima_Hick says:

    If you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen folks! Let the real buyers stay in action instead of regular talking heads!

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  66. 71
    D. in Ballard says:

    I wonder if losing out on a multiple offer situation makes more people want to sit out the market or be more aggressive on the next house they like. In my case, it made me more aggressive on the next house.

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  67. 72
    Matthew says:

    Looks pretty anecdotal to me. Wake me up when C/S is showing YOY increases.

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  68. 73
    johnnybigspenda says:

    Low inventory of “good quality homes” would indicate that market forces are beginning to work properly. (This is an improvement since there was a point where even a good quality property at a good price received limited interest from buyers.) The supply side has made the decision not to sell their home at what the demand side is offering.

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  69. 74
    Aeaneas says:

    RE: D. in Ballard @ 71
    +1. I lost 7 out of 8bids in Redmond, Kirlkland, Bellevue, Woodinville. In each case, the house was new on the market or the price has been recently reduced and 3 out of 6 were bank owned.I refrained from getting to a bidding war in 6 out of 8 offers and lost the bid in each case. With the limited number of well priced homes on the market, I did go through the bidding on the 7th and the 8th one.We finally got the house we wanted for a price lower then what it was worth in 2003, but we had to increase the price 15k up from our original offer.I do not interpret my case as a situation where bidding pushes prices up relative to the fair price of the house given the current market condition, though I think it is slowing down how fast prices would otherwise have dropped.

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  70. 75
    Waiting says:

    RE: johnnybigspenda @ 73 –

    The “supply side” might have decided to not pay their mortgages. Then it’s just a waiting game.

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  71. 76
    Ross says:

    RE: patient @ 36 – I am hopeful that you are right. I won’t be moving to Seattle until early next year and had planned to rent for at least a year to learn about the place before buying anything. I can’t help but wonder where Seattle will be in late 2012.

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  72. 77
    Ian says:

    Also, RedFin has a feature where you can select pending sales, and also select criteria for how long the listing has been on RedFin… this might give an indicator of how quick the properties are moving, but you can;t back-date it to compare, so I’m guessing you might have more sensitive tools for this as well…

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  73. 78

    By Matthew @ 72:

    Looks pretty anecdotal to me.

    Makes me wonder what you think would be “really really” anecdotal. ;-)

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  74. 79
    David Losh says:

    RE: patient @ 59

    You probably have a point, with some exceptions.

    If you are Saint Joe’s on Capitol Hill then going to Prep there may be some truth to the private school argument. It is all about the relationships you make in the schools.

    In Bryant / Assumption you have that choice, can still go to Roosevelt, then on the University of Washington. Some kids have the same friends from grade school through college.

    I know it’s sounds elitist, but many parents figure that it’s best to be in the right situation for the good of the kids.

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  75. 80
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Ross @ 76

    Good Call!!

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  76. 81
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 16

    Well you are right as usual, but: Glenn & Bryon tipped off King5, who picked up the story and ran with it last night (although they inexplicably gave a Coldwell Banker agent a lot more face time than Redfin—what’s up with that?):

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  77. 82
    observer says:

    The market was already heating up back in January. When I was searching for a place to buy, any underpriced home would go pending in a few days. They went pending so fast that once, the buyer was inspecting the home when I got there to tour it. On redfin, I made a list of about 30 underpriced houses, and in January, about 80% of them were pending. That list had existed for months before and almost none were pending before then.

    Because of this “quick pending” signal, I made a offer quick for an underprice short sale at listing price and bought it. Best decision I ever made. Now, if I were to relist it for 20% more, I think it would go pending quite quickly, since it is in an excellent neighborhood and I bought it cheap.

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  78. 83
    ESS says:

    In any recovering market – there are going to be the hot” areas that will sell first and multiple buyers will bid up the price. And when bidding wars transpire – all the better for all markets – because multiple bidding wars results in losers that still must find housing. They will either bid higher in the same location, or locate a house in a less desireable location for the same price that they lost out on. That in turn will force prices of houses up in other, less desireable areas. As they say – all boats elevate in a rising tide. Furthermore, for every buyer that MUST have that perfect house in Greenlake or Fremont for 600,000 dollars – there are plenty of buyers who will be content to buy ten miles north and pay half for both the house and the taxes that accompany it.Those who try to “time” the real estate market will have as much success as those who try to “time” the stock market. Usually a losing proposition. Furthermore, one must always worry about interest rates, and where they are heading. These are historic interest rates – much lower than anyone who has been in the housing market for a few decades (such as myself) has seen. Paying an extra ten or fifteen thousand dollars over the absolute low for a house may be a loss on paper at first – but if interest rates rise half to one percent – that extra ten thousand dollars will be irrelevant over the years. And those higher payments due to increase interest rates will be a real loss – month after month.Because of the natural and artificial bondaries (mountains, sound, urban growth management act), there isn’t a great deal of new construction for the gold standard of desired housing in the Seattle area – a single family house with a front and back yard. Thus when the real estate slide finally ends, it may really end quickly with very little warning. But who knows – there are no guarantees in life – and everything is a calculated risk. But experience and history has taught that real estate, in areas of limited availability, will usually bounce back after a while.ESS – resides in one house – rents out two others

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  79. 84
    lost buyer says:

    This is also happening at Somerset in Bellevue – decent house at reasonable price (range from 600K to 1M) sells within a couple of weeks (only this spring – last winter the market was much slower). We made an offer on a house offered at 1.08M only after 2 days on the market, yet still lost to three other offers. There are very few good houses to look at. I guess lots of buyers have been looking for a couple of years and decide not to wait any more, especially those working in the IT industry.

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  80. 85
    Kaiser says:

    Zillow is about to IPO. Perhaps this is the reason for Redfin’s sudden bullishness on the local market. Will Redfin’s IPO be far behind Zillow’s? I think not.

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  81. 86
    Leigh says:

    Wow, multi-million dollar homes, $700-900K price range…y’all make Portland feel like small town Iowa. I am surrounded by $500-900K homes just sitting on the market. Beautiful old homes in a very desirable ‘hood, Mount Tabor. Bring your cash down here, and your jobs, LOL. On second thought, let Portland market continue to slide, we have another 10% to go, IMO. Good, quality, affordable inventory is lacking. The bubble sitters are now watching the Alt-A crash take hold.

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  82. 87
    ARDELL says:

    RE: fubarrio @ 53

    You’re welcome. I had a few calls from people who are not my clients who bought a house in March and April “to catch the tax credit” who HATE their homes or where they live. I think that’s where the saying “penny wise and pound foolish” came from.

    Better to be in a bidding war on a great house, than suffer in a great buy that you hate.

    I had a call not too long ago from a former client of mine who bought in the last recession back in the early 90s and paid $20,000 too much (per my then calculation) for the house to get a good long term house. He said “Ardell, I’m going to be here at least 10 years, and I’m willing to pay the extra $2,000 a year”. He’s still there, so it cost him an extra $1,000 per year, and the house is worth about 1/3rd more than he paid.

    My client’s idea was to take the $ amount he was overpaying and divide it by the # of years he planned to be in the house, and then decide whether or not to buy it. Better to be realistic than to pretend that “any old house will do” as long as it’s a
    good buy”.

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  83. 88
    Scotsman says:

    Wow, a little bump up in the action for high end homes brings all the bulls out of the closet. It’s still a sucker’s bet. Mix up a punch of spring seasonality, generally tired and undesirable inventory, possible increases in financing costs and pent up maternal instincts. Then give it to the very few qualified buyers chasing even fewer decent homes and suddenly some think you’ve got a market recovery that will take us back to the days of 15% annual appreciation.

    Get a grip, people.Tell me which of the fundamentals have changed for the better, let alone significantly, over the past year. Incomes up, unemployment down, financing getting easier, expectations about the future coming off of record lows, wages rising? Not that I’ve been able to read about. I’m sorry- what sustainable action do you think is driving this multiple bidding fury? Do you have some data to suggest anything but anecdotal wishful thinking is ruling the day?

    Two years from now most of today’s buyers will have lost their down payments, unemployment will be higher, wages stagnant, rents down, inventory up, interest rates up, and the people who look back and read these comments will wonder what in the world it was that made folks think this was even close to bottom. My only explanation is that the potential for a couple of 65 degree sunny days has caused normally sane Seattlites to completely lose it. Reality, along with the rain, returns in June.

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  84. 89
    LocalYokel says:

    This reminds me of the scene from the movie, “Trading Places”,

    Randolph Duke: Exactly why do you think the price of pork bellies is going to keep going down, William?

    Billy Ray Valentine: Okay, pork belly prices have been dropping all morning, which means that everybody is waiting for it to hit rock bottom, so they can buy low. Which means that the people who own the pork belly contracts are saying, “Hey, we’re losing all our golly money, and Christmas is around the corner, and I ain’t gonna have no money to buy my son the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip! And my wife ain’t gonna f… my wife ain’t gonna make love to me if I got no money!” So they’re panicking right now, they’re screaming “SELL! SELL!” to get out before the price keeps dropping. They’re panicking out there right now, I can feel it.
    [on the ticker machine, the price keeps dropping]

    Randolph Duke: He’s right, Mortimer! My God, look at it!

    So, what I think, “It ain’t cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving. ”

    Keep your powder dry.

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  85. 90
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ESS @ 83

    “These are historic interest rates – much lower than anyone who has been in the housing market for a few decades (such as myself) has seen”

    “Because of the natural and artificial bondaries (mountains, sound, urban growth management act)”

    “there isn’t a great deal of new construction”

    “But experience and history has taught that real estate. . . will usually bounce back after a while.”

    Congratulations- you’ve hit all the main talking points. Unfortunately, they’ve all pretty much been disproven over time on this site. But in the spirit of endlessly repeated talking points I’ll add one of my own: This time, it really is different. A world deleveraging is a bit#h.

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  86. 91
    Macro Investor says:

    By Ross @ 76:

    RE: patient @ 36 – I am hopeful that you are right. I won’t be moving to Seattle until early next year and had planned to rent for at least a year to learn about the place before buying anything. I can’t help but wonder where Seattle will be in late 2012.

    According to the geologists, it will be about 1 inch further south.

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  87. 92
    Macro Investor says:

    Folks, none of this is surprising or unusual. Just look back at the comments buyers made a few days ago —

    http://seattlebubble.com/blog/2011/04/25/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-great-time-to-buy/

    This one is typical (I don’t mean to pick on anyone):

    “The main reason we began looking was that we are about to start a family and want a place to settle down, remodel, paint and design.”

    Over and over again the comments centered around being tired of waiting. Buyers are tired of waiting. Sellers are tired of being stuck in one place. Investors are tired of being stuck in a money loser. Over time, some give in. Remember, nobody said the market was dead. There were always 1000-1200 king county sales each month. Yet prices have continued to spiral down, except when “helicopter” Ben was dropping $8k checks out of the sky.

    I’m shocked by how many buyers said they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to be able to paint or have a cat. Most landlords will let you have a pet for a small deposit, and many will let you paint if you supply it. You don’t have to spend $500,000 to do those things. Though I suspect those reasons were really justifications for being impatient.

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  88. 93
    Jonness says:

    For the most part, there’s nothing but crap on the market. When a decent home lists, low-IQ’d types who think with their emotions instead of their brains jump all over it. RE agents with good conning skills can bait these suckers and get more for the homes then they are presently worth. This tactic works particularly well in Spring selling season, and a fluffy news conference can increase the hit ratio dramatically. Soon enough, reality bites, and buyer’s remorse sets in as the idiots continue to spend 50% of their income trying to buy enough equity to get rid of the PMI costs. Unfortunately for these uninformed suckers, they end up barely keeping pace with the loss rate.

    Meanwhile high-IQ types sit on the fence and continue to save substantial down payments while house prices continue to the downside and stock prices rage upward. Patience comes easy, because they understand the need for the low-IQ idiots to continue to buy houses at this point in time. They don’t want these giddy suckers to be around propping up the market when the banks start unleashing the good deals and it’s time to pull the plug on the massive stock market profits.

    The high-IQ’s know when the good house deals finally start to pop, the low-IQ’s will be finally figuring out they need to walk away from their disastrous decisions. Thus, not only will the high-IQ’s be able to pick and choose the homes they want, they will get them at a steep discount on the already steeply discounted list price.

    June 30th, Bernanke will push the off button on the printing press. Only at that time will we begin to get the vaguest idea of what the real economy looks like beneath all the temporary band-aids.

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  89. 94
    Jonness says:

    Those who try to “time” the real estate market will have as much success as those who try to “time” the stock market. Usually a losing proposition. Furthermore, one must always worry about interest rates, and where they are heading. These are historic interest rates – much lower than anyone who has been in the housing market for a few decades (such as myself) has seen. Paying an extra ten or fifteen thousand dollars over the absolute low for a house may be a loss on paper at first – but if interest rates rise half to one percent – that extra ten thousand dollars will be irrelevant over the years.

    Yawn. I heard your spiel in 2007 over 30% ago and every passing day since that point. Not one of the incorrect people who have given that horrible advice really wants to cop to it these days.

    My advice is to never attempt to catch a falling knife. Instead, wait for it to hit the floor and then simply pick it up if you want it so bad.

    Money is always looking to flow somewhere. But most non-professionals tend to get caught with their pants down letting their emotions control their decision-making while they wait around for yesterday’s hot potato to get hot again as opposed to simply trading their money into and out of potatoes as they get hot and cold.

    Your analysis is way too simple, and every person who has given this advice since 2007 (like Kary’s RE agent friend from AZ) has since lost their pants.

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  90. 95
    corncob says:

    It is the chocolate inventory out there, people getting desperate and bidding on anything that isn’t rotting to the ground. I’ve been looking on the Eastside 400-500k range and you see *maybe* one decent house come on the market each week. Due to this lack of inventory coming in, I have seen several crappier houses that have been sitting go pending in the last couple of weeks all of the sudden. I think this is people basically giving up and buying something they don’t like that much because there isn’t much of a selection. It is very easy to fall into that trap if you have some external factor pushing a specific timeline (baby, have to move from old house, etc).

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  91. 96
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Jonness @ 93

    Really? Are you seriously inferring that people who buy a house must have a low IQ and anyone who doesn’t has a high IQ? Is there some public record showing County property recordings and their relationship to the buyer’s IQ?

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  92. 97
    David Losh says:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 92

    I do say the market is dead. Ray says they are all coming back, and I agree.

    I was talking with a financial advisor today and he coined a phrase: he likes “hard core” Real Estate, so do I.

    You can keep the data flowing, but it’s actually the data, the sales statistics, that created the Bubble, and continues to keep it inflated.

    We’ve hashed the macro economics, both nationally, and globally to death. Housing has lost it’s place as a prized portfolio asset.

    Locally we have over built, and the fact people still talk about the “Eastside” like it still has some value is the same comparison people used for Everett. The jobs are there so the housing must be worth something. Well, the jobs are transitory. We’re in a computer, internet age. If you think we have lost our manufacturing edge, what are you thinking about Intellectual Technology?

    The only thing keeping us going, today, is Paul Allen, and a promise of some future corporate welfare State.

    If you are buying today you need to buy Hard Core, low ball, deals that will last your life time. There are no Pink Ponies. We have shot ‘em, hung them up by the hooves, and mounted the heads above our fireplace. We’re going to jerk the meat in case the going gets really tough.

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  93. 98
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Jonness @ 93

    I think you missed a dose tonight Jonness. ” RE agents with good conning skills can bait these suckers and get more for the homes then they are presently worth. ”

    There is not a real estate Agent around in 2011 that can bait anyone into paying more. The fact is the banks are gonna do their appraisal and if it doesn’t come in at value that price is coming down down down. This is not 2005!! Banks are VERY conservative and rightly so! Lending money in a deteriorating asset environment is loaded with risk and the appraisals I see week after week reflect this.

    Your statement is 5 years too late to be of any value.

    If your talking CASH BUYERS your even more grossly mistaken. They are among the MOST saavy around and an Agent putting lipstick on a pig will be laughed at incessantly.

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  94. 99

    RE: ARDELL @ 96
    I’ve known some extremely smart people who spent way too much when they bought a house, yet a clod I went to high school with, who can barely tie his shoes and barely speaks without drooling , made a bunch of money fixing up, renting, and then selling houses.

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  95. 100
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Kaiser @ 85

    “Perhaps this is the reason for Redfin’s sudden bullishness on the local market. Will Redfin’s IPO be far behind Zillow’s? I think not”

    Red Fin had their chance to IPO and now their fate is sealed. Zillow will not fair much better and I suggest looking at ZIPR and LEDR. Real Estate is as toxic as they come in 2011. Insiders will SELL relentlessly any company that profits off Buyers purchasing real estate over this decade.

    Its all about deleveraging and that will take many many years. Red Fin will not survive in its present form because commissions will continue to be sliced down down down. Employees of real estate companies and all industries must be bullish on their revenue generation or they will be terminated.

    Red Fin is a real estate company and they must sell to survive. In an era where people are deleveraging there will be very few survivors in the real estate arena.

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  96. 101
    Chuck C says:

    By LocalYokel @ 89:

    This reminds me of the scene from the movie, “Trading Places”,

    Randolph Duke: Exactly why do you think the price of pork bellies is going to keep going down, William?

    Billy Ray Valentine: Okay, pork belly prices have been dropping all morning, which means that everybody is waiting for it to hit rock bottom, so they can buy low. Which means that the people who own the pork belly contracts are saying, “Hey, we’re losing all our “golly” money, and Christmas is around the corner, and I ain’t gonna have no money to buy my son the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip! And my wife ain’t gonna f… my wife ain’t gonna make love to me if I got no money!” So they’re panicking right now, they’re screaming “SELL! SELL!” to get out before the price keeps dropping. They’re panicking out there right now, I can feel it.
    [on the ticker machine, the price keeps dropping]

    Randolph Duke: He’s right, Mortimer! My God, look at it!

    So, what I think, “It ain’t cool being no jive turkey so close to Thanksgiving. ”

    Keep your powder dry.

    Awesome!

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  97. 102
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 90

    Dear Mr. Scotsman,

    I’ve been asked to address your recent comment on behave of my client, a Realtor, who desires to remain anonymous. My client would like to remind you that there weren’t any hawks on the last FOMC vote. Given that fact, and Mr. Bernanke’s academic and professional history, don’t you think that we’ll quickly see QE3 If unemployment begins to move materially back up or GDP growth significantly deteriorates as you’ve suggested appears likely? And if the market players sell in May and go away, won’t Ben’s air cav quickly be raining dollar destruction once again as the only weapon left in their arsenal?

    If you think real inflation is already at Shadowstat’s 6%+, what will it be when the Dollar Index drops to a 6 handle or perhaps even a 5. And I believe hourly wages are moving up according to all the sources I’ve seen including BEA.

    If you already think that inflation is at shadowstat’s 6%+ then the lenders are already theoretically paying borrowers to take out a 5% 30 yr fixed. And even 6% inflation will theoretically eat up that forecasted 20% additional real estate price drop in 3 yrs. If all those numbers are true and just hold constant, a current buyer would probably be in the black based upon rent vs own analysis in less than 10 yrs even with a current 200 Gross Rent Multiplier (although I haven’t done the math to check it). And I’m sure my client can cherry pick you a good condition home with a150 (or less) GRM in Kent, Lynnwood or Federal Way if you can handle the social stigma of being in a blue collar neighborhood with mediocre schools.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to suggest that the average housing market participant has considered the above issues in even the rudimentary fashion outlined above. But even if you think it doesn’t currently make fundamental economic sense to purchase real estate, the market lemmings might turn and stampede leaving Jonness’s high IQ constituents wondering why they missed the bottom when we never even reached an historic long term mean in the funamental ratios, much less over shot. I believe the Bay Area and LA both perennially run fundamental ratios that are more absurd than Seattles. But then again, everyone knows that unlike Seattle, they actually are special.

    I’m not saying that the above scenario is what is happening, or what will happen, or that a prospective buyer shouldn’t continue to wait if possible. Of course Jonness might have to buy just to keep from losing his girl to some mouth breather with a house. But notwithstanding that fact, I personally believe the probability is that the anecdotes are just a belated spring bounce and the CS and median will most likely continue to drift down over the next year if not several years. But if you completely discount the possibility that a market turn could happen (whether rational or not), you’re being intellectually dishonest purely for the purpose of promoting what you believe will be the most probable outcome. Black swans may be rare, but chocolate happens all the time without much warning whether the swans are black or white. And the chance of a premature turn in the market might not be as improbable as you make it sound.

    My client therefore requests that you temper the tone of your rhetoric or face the wrath of his minions in both the Federal and State governments.

    So if you meet my client
    Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politesse
    Or he’ll lay your soul to waste,

    Sincerely Yours,

    OEM
    Regional Counsel to the Prince of Darkness
    (aka the devil’s advocate)

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  98. 103
    Chuck C says:

    By Jonness @ 93:

    For the most part, there’s nothing but crap on the market. When a decent home lists, low-IQ’d types who think with their emotions instead of their brains jump all over it.

    The problem is….that’s the competition which drives your comps.

    Don’t misunderstand, I’m in the “prices will continue to decline” camp….

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  99. 104
    Chuck C says:

    By David Losh @ 97:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 92

    If you are buying today you need to buy Hard Core, low ball, deals that will last your life time. There are no Pink Ponies. We have shot ‘em, hung them up by the hooves, and mounted the heads above our fireplace. We’re going to jerk the meat in case the going gets really tough.

    Priceless!!!!!

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  100. 105
    David Losh says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 98

    You are usually right, but not in this case.

    Maybe you aren’t seeing the darling little houses in Seattle. They are so cute it takes your breath away. Loans?, Appraisals? Well you have your 20% down to start with, and sterling credit, FICO 800!!! Some people are so smart that they put 30% down to get the best rates.

    Ray, it’s the same tired business as usual. You should spend some time with a “higher” class of real estate agents. They’ll tell ya’ the market is hot, hot, hot.

    Well, I’m glad it was you that beat me to the 100 comment mark.

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  101. 106
    David Losh says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 102

    See you in court counselor.

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  102. 107
    ; says:

    By ARDELL @ 87:

    RE: fubarrio @ 53
    I had a few calls from people who are not my clients who bought a house in March and April “to catch the tax credit” who HATE their homes or where they live.

    i suspect at least some of the people buying now will have the same sentiment in a couple of years.

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  103. 108

    i just can’t believe that nobody else is frightened of an impending doom to come. maybe i missed the good news about the shadowed inventory that’s still lingering…i’m told it’s just my age, but it can only be a couple more decades before the most desired urban amenity is that the rooftop deck and/or fitness center has been converted to a pea patch right? yeah. stuff is selling but we’re all just pretending things are grand aren’t we? did that reporter say, “the market has changed drastically in the last couple months?” i enjoy the news almost as much as i enjoy watching peter popoff and don stewart.

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  104. 109
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 96

    Let’s look at the evidence- starting with the $6 trillion the collective of “real estate always goes up” has lost over the last few years. And continue on to the $3 trillion or more likely to be lost between now and the bottom. Is that the work of geniuses? Who knows. But let’s forget past mistakes, even yours. The important question is, given what we know now, what should people decide going forward? We can chart the results. I have long expired memberships in Mensa and Intertel, would love to own a house, but very much doubt that I’ll allow myself to buy one for a couple of years. That supports Jonness’ point. On the other hand there’s a large group of people who are convinced I’m a total idiot, and they may be right. But most of them own houses. Or used to.

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  105. 110
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 97

    Clarity and wit- you’ve been on a roll lately. ;-)

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  106. 111
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 109

    Scotsman,

    Why wouldn’t people hedge their bets by buying with the lowest possible down instead of everyone pushing for 20% down or more? If the market is going to go down, why not buy the insurance (PMI) against the loss? Wouldn’t that be the smarter move?

    Also, the lowest downpayment mortgage also has an assumable interest rate, a hedge against loss of value due to rates increasing.

    I had a client who bought minimum down FHA end of September 2009 (short sale) who did a refinance in Summer of 2010 with a high enough appraised value to dump the PMI in less than a year. He has very little money invested, no PMI and an assumable low rate in case he wants to sell at a time when interest rates are higher.

    I have no idea what his IQ is, but he clearly handled his desire to own that place vs renting very well. I’m sure IQ has very little to do with who is buying and who is not. He is a very young man by the way…even younger than The Tim. :)

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  107. 112
    ARDELL says:

    RE: David Losh @ 6

    David Losh said: “When the offer comes in the listing agent gets on the phone with other interested buyer’s agents. That’s what a good listing agent is supposed to do.”

    I only do that if I’m getting a crappy offer. If it’s a good offer I don’t play games with it.

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  108. 113
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 102

    Oh gawd. Cabernet or Chablis?

    OK, in four sentences or less: I actually think we’ll see QE3, etc. (out of .gov necessity, and perhaps in a less direct form) but the result will surprise all for decades to come. Deflation will continue in large often discretionary asset classes while necessities inflate. The resulting loss of the wealth effect, coupled with a squeeze on discretionary consumer spending and a tightening of .gov expenditures will result in stagnation for years to come. The situation will be compounded by capital flight (thanks to low interest rates and continued currency destruction) and a redirection of what profits remain from R+D and recapitalization to debt service and ever increasing energy (imported) costs.

    Tell your client real estate as a vice is dead, but the opportunity to rule over 20 years of domestic hell is just around the corner. But he probably already knows that.

    On the bright side I ate at one of the downtown Seattle clubs the other night and had the best piece of prime rib of my life. I’m still thinking about it. So we can still find a little bit of heaven here on earth.

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  109. 114
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 111

    If I did buy, it would be FHA or other very minimum down non recourse for the very reasons you mention. It might work out, but if everything went south one could walk. Smart?- yes. Moral?- what is moral these days seems to depend on who or what you are- bank, government, individual, poor or wealthy. Life’s a lot harder now than when I was a Boy Scout.

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  110. 115
    Lurker says:

    RE: Chuck C @ 103

    True, and for now while comps for the few well priced & quality listings stay level (and may even get the spring bounce) the rest get left behind and forced to lower price further which ultimately corrodes the comp base for everyone. Wouldn’t it?

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  111. 116
    Lurker says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 112

    Really? If a good offer came in for your listing you wouldn’t call up other interested parties to give them an opportunity to compete?

    Like what David said, from my shallow experience by visiting open houses I many times got the push from listing agents to “make an offer, any offer” not that the seller would accept it but so they could actually tell other parties they had an offer. It’s a leg up from that very common line “Oh, there has been a lot of interest on this home and we’re expecting an offer in later today. If you are interested you better move fast!”

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  112. 117

    By Lurker @ 116:

    [Ardell,]
    Really? If a good offer came in for your listing you wouldn’t call up other interested parties to give them an opportunity to compete?

    It really should be the client’s call, and I suspect that’s Ardell’s position too. But if you get a good offer in you don’t necessarily want to stir the pot to see what comes up. When I say “good offer” (and presumably Ardell says it too) remember offers are not evaluated solely by the price offered. It can be many factors. I once had two good offers come in and the deciding factor was the house one of them currently lived in (and neither offer was contingent on the sale of their existing house, since it would be hard to call a contingent offer a good offer).

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  113. 118
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 112

    This goes back to, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know.” You talk a lot about transparency, but Real Estate is still a very small, closed community.

    As Kary points out a good offer is more than just full price, it also needs to be closable.

    OK, so let’s open that can of worms, and see where it goes.

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  114. 119
    Dirty Renter says:

    RE: LocalYokel @ 89
    BRV to the Dukes – you sound like a couple of bookies to me.
    My favorite comedy of all time.

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  115. 120

    David Losh said:
    “You should spend some time with a “higher” class of real estate agents.”

    What do they call that? A contradiction in terms? Mutually exclusive?

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  116. 121
    S-Crow says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 100 – “Red Fin is a real estate company and they must sell to survive.”

    I disagree. They just have to provide better service, better unique offerings and provide a better mechanism than the other brokers to get eyeballs. They do it better than anything I’ve seen. In other words, while commissions are earned on sales, no commission is guaranteed if you don’t serve the customer. That is a principle for any business.

    How does a small independent shop like our escrow company survive in a world of far lower volume? I’d say it is because of the principle outlined above. Why do I take my Honda to a specialized shop in Monroe vs. the dealerships (aka Title Companies).

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  117. 122
    Dirty Renter says:

    RE: David Losh @ 97
    “If you are buying today you need to buy Hard Core, low ball, deals that will last your life time. There are no Pink Ponies. We have shot ‘em, hung them up by the hooves, and mounted the heads above our fireplace. We’re going to jerk the meat in case the going gets really tough.”

    Best golly paragraph I’ve read on SB in years.

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  118. 123
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 114

    Since when is it “immoral” to utilize insurance you bought against loss of value? That’s what people don’t “get”. During the past brief period in history, the lenders decided to be self insured and replace insurance with risk based pricing. They gambled…they lost. The borrower paid a higher interest rate instead of buying insurance at the lenders direction.

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  119. 124

    RE: ARDELL @ 123 – Ardell, PMI isn’t insurance against declining market values, it’s insurance against a buyer default. And it’s not obtained by the buyer, it’s obtained by the bank, but the bank effectively requires the buyer to pay for it.

    If it were insurance that the buyer obtained to protect against declining market values, then a buyer with PMI could default and have no worries at all about a deficiency, even if they were extremely wealthy.

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  120. 125
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Lurker @ 116

    Lurker asks: “If a good offer came in for your listing you wouldn’t call up other interested parties to give them an opportunity to compete?”

    Define “interested parties”. Generally you don’t want to *golly* around with the buyer that “stepped up to the plate”. Why drag a donkey into the horse race that has to be dragged in on a rope?

    Never would I call to give a buyer “the opportunity to compete”. If I do call…it would not be for that reason. The opportunity exists, I don’t “create” it. The buyer either steps up to the plate or doesn’t.

    There are exceptions and reasonable time frames. While I don’t like the “who you know” line David Losh throws around, what buyers and sellers don’t realize is agents do a whole lot of talking between things actually happening. Often the Agent for the Seller is sizing up the Agent for the Buyer and choosing what to do based on that agent’s behavior and skill level.

    I’m not going to call up an agent with an “interested buyer” who had sufficient time to write an offer and whose agent has whined to me that their client has been looking at houses for a year and can’t seem to pull the trigger.

    Most often what an agent does when they know their buyer client is interested is call the Listing Agent to find out if there are offers in hand. If another offer comes in within 24 hours of that call, yes I MAY call that agent back and give them a heads up. But if 3 or more days has passed…a week…NO. “Reasonable Timeframe” is generally 48 hours. Some exceptions.

    As to your experience at Open Houses…an experienced agent can hear the tone of BS from a mile away, no matter how hard the other agent tries to seem “genuine”. You either have an offer in hand…or you don’t. If the property has been on market for more than 30 days and there was REALLY a lot of interest, as in agents actually writing an offer but it isn’t in yet, the agent would not likely be standing around in an Open House telling you to hurry.

    If the house has been on market for only a couple of days, I likely would call the agents who showed it to determine how hard to push on the offer in hand, not to give their buyers “an opportunity to compete”.

    On Listing 170811 closed about a week ago I had a lot of buyers circling and not landing. Dropped the price slightly based on the immediate factors at hand and got a full price offer. Yes, there were at least 3 agents talking about maybe making an offer. No I didn’t call them. That wouldn’t be fair to “the buyer that stepped up to the plate” and the offer in hand was likely $10,000 higher than any other offer that might come in, based on the conversations I had with agents during the listing term of 71 days.

    On Listing #155063 I did not call the 40+ buyers who had seen it, I dropped the price as soon as the “noise” of a low offer was coming started, giving other buyers 48 hours or so to react to the lower price. No, I didn’t “call” any of them.

    If you have a good offer, you take it. If you have a low offer, you drop the price as soon as you are entertaining it. Some exceptions. But standing around calling people trying to “make them” do stuff is not usually the best course of action.

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  121. 126
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 117

    No…that’s not my position. You know it isn’t. Do you think if you say that often enough you will convince me to work and talk the way you do? LOL! It’s been almost 5 years that you’ve tried, and it’s not working. You may want to rethink your wasted efforts to convince me to be like you.

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  122. 127
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 125

    So instead of direct contact you would lower the price on a low offer. Rather than keep in touch with interested agents you are waiting for a buyer to “step up to the plate.”

    You have a long response indicating that you play the same games, in other ways. The game is to get the property sold with the best offer for your clients best interests in mind.

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  123. 128
    David Losh says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 121

    An escrow office needs to make sales.

    Escrow is best in a small office. An independent small, local office with experienced closing staff is always, well in most cases, the best choice for buyers, sellers, and agents.

    There is absolutely no comparison between your escrow office and redfin.

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  124. 129

    By ARDELL @ 126:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 117 -No…that’s not my position. You know it isn’t. Do you think if you say that often enough you will convince me to work and talk the way you do? LOL! It’s been almost 5 years that you’ve tried, and it’s not working. You may want to rethink your wasted efforts to convince me to be like you.

    Sorry, I was just giving you the benefit of the doubt, because it never occurred to me that you wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be the client’s call.

    Sorry, I’ll never assume you’re somewhat reasonable or that you understand what the role of an agent is ever again.

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  125. 130
    ARDELL says:

    RE: David Losh @ 127

    David, I would not presume to know who all the “interested” buyers may be. Some may be buyers without an agent who have the listing “saved as a favorite” on Redfin. It is more likely that an interested buyer is someone who has not revealed their interest, than someone who looked at the house a month ago.

    It’s a fine line we walk when we have an offer in hand. On one I knew for fact that the other “interested” buyer liked a different house better. Creating a bigger spread between the two was necessary. On the other I was 99% sure price was not the issue, but the house itself, so I lowered the price just in case, but I was correct. The price being lowered did not “peak the interest” of the other buyers, as it wasn’t price holding them back.

    You have to play all of the factors and you have to pay very close attention so as to actually know all the factors. It’s not a game…but you do have to “play” it well. Clients best interests are rarely served by monkeying around with a good offer in this market. 3 years ago…you always had another buyer in the wings. Today…that’s not a safe bet for the seller.

    I’m also factoring in the seller’s holding costs. On one they were low so I played it through to the full price offer. On the other they were very high, so *gollying* around would cost the seller at least as much in carrying costs as a potential higher offer.

    How much it is costing the seller per month to carry the house (both were vacant properties) is a big part of the equation.

    On a side note…it is getting much harder to insure a vacant house. Liability issues on vacants is not a small consideration as well.

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  126. 131
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 129

    I’m gonna save this for when you do it again. :) My clients don’t pay me the big bucks to pass paper around and ask them what I should do. YMMV But then, we’ve had this conversation more than once before.

    On the last one I reserved $1,800 of “my money” to address the inspection. When the inspection request came in I told the seller to sign it, as they would receive $500 by doing so after the buyer also got everything they wanted. No, I didn’t leave room for the buyer and seller to argue over a $300 item. You call that “wrong”…my clients call it “great!”. :)

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  127. 132

    RE: ARDELL @ 131 – I’m not sure how totally changing the question and fact pattern changes what you’ve already said.

    The issue was when you get an offer in do you want to take any action to try to generate a second offer. IMHO there’s no way that’s not the client’s call, and that whether to do that is not affected by the quality of the first offer.

    But in your world, who knows what the result is. Do your clients even get to decide whether the price is acceptable to them, or do you decide that for them too? :-D

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  128. 133
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 130

    Long comment about the same thing. Multiple offers happen because listing agents are creating activity. I think the word is a “buzz” about a property.

    However we have this same conversation every year about this time, I mean at the end of the school year.

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  129. 134
    Macro Investor says:

    By ARDELL @ 96:

    RE: Jonness @ 93

    Really? Are you seriously inferring that people who buy a house must have a low IQ and anyone who doesn’t has a high IQ? Is there some public record showing County property recordings and their relationship to the buyer’s IQ?

    I bought a house and I’m not stupid. Suzanne crunched the numbers and said I could make it work.

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  130. 135
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Macro Investor @ 134

    Well that’s a whole different issue. I”m OK with it if he’s saying “Stupid is as Stupid Does” ala Forrest Gump. But to relate it directly to an IQ level…as if…not credible. Let’s assume he was meaning it in the Forrest Gump version.

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  131. 136
    Scott Weitz says:

    - Catching a falling knife

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  132. 137
    ARDELL says:

    RE: David Losh @ 133

    David, if agents could “create” it….it would happen in October and November. An agent may be able to stoke the embers…but you have to have something to work with.

    Rarely does an agent “create” multiple offers on a new listing. I would say at least half of all sellers would rather have one really good offer quickly than 30 offers.

    Maybe there are a lot of agents who play “chicken” and list it low to get multiple offers. It’s too easy for the seller to get beat at their own game for that to be in the best interest of the seller in most cases.

    If it’s “worth” $405,000 I’ll usually go with $399,950 than $409,000. If it’s worth $412,000 I may still go with $399,950 vs $409,000 or $419,000. It depends on the seller’s needs vs wants. But that’s not about trying to “lure” multiple offers.

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  133. 138
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132

    That’s decided before we list the house, not at time of offer.

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  134. 139

    By ARDELL @ 138:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 132

    That’s decided before we list the house, not at time of offer.

    You’re really being unusually dense today. Assuming you’re talking about the amount of an offer, are you really saying that is determined before the property is even listed? It’s somehow written in stone?

    But the issue raised as a joke wasn’t the amount of the offer, it was whether you decide if the amount is acceptable, or your client makes that determination.

    Let’s try to stay on track. The original discussion was whether or not a second offer should be sought/encouraged when one comes in. I said that would be the client’s decision, and should be based in part on the quality of the first offer. You disagreed with that in a somewhat extreme manner.

    So I’m just trying to decide how much control you think you have your your clients’ decisions. At this point I’m thinking you probably think you control their entire lives! ;-)

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  135. 140
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 139

    You’re going too far off topic, Kary. I already answered that. Yes. We run through acceptable scenarios before we pick the list price. A “good” offer is one that “fits” that initial expectation established and agreed upon before the property is listed for sale.

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  136. 141
    Aaron says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 130

    Not terribly important, but it’s “pique the interest”, not “peak the interest”.

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  137. 142
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 139 – If you could change the past it would have been interesting if you and Ardell had married. You could start your own reality show.

    “Ardell…get me a brewski”

    “Get your own beer Kary”

    “When will dinner be ready Ardell?”

    “When you fix it Kary”

    “That’s not fair Ardell. You know I cooked dinner every night for the last month except when we ate at Target”

    “Let me check my charts Kary. Nope. Last time I was wrong was when I called the real estate bottom back in oh eight. Still your turn to cook. Besides I am working on creating a multiple bidding war on that double wide that I listed”

    ” Maybe we should just buy it Ardell and have a roof over our heads?

    “Don’t you like living in our truck camper, Kary?

    “You’re really being unusually dense today, Ardell.”

    “Maybe we should buy a new truck first, Kary”

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  138. 143
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 137

    You are creating activity at all times, some times it catchs.

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  139. 144
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Aaron @ 141

    Thanks Aaron. I was going to look it up after I typed it, as it didn’t look quite right. Appreciate the heads up on that.

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  140. 145
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 142 -LOL! You know that’s not all that far from the truth! …except I have never listed a double-wide…or even a single-wide.

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  141. 146

    RE: Pegasus @ 142 – LOL, but it’s not quite realistic because you have Ardell staying on topic.

    It would be more:

    Me: Ardell, get me a beer!

    Ardell: I fixed dinner all last month.

    Me: What’s that have to do with beer?

    Ardell: I want to go to Target.

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  142. 147
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 146

    You know how this always ends, Kary. I say Black so you can say White and feel like a big man.

    Black.

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  143. 148
    Jason says:

    Realtor Ron Sparks “now is a great time to buy frontman” from the video saying the same thing in 2008. Broken records repeat until the record player dies. Nothing new here.

    http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=cf8af409-8b37-4afe-a0da-e2c9d75f648e

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  144. 149
    Scotsman says:

    I’m not gonna read all of it- just tell me who’s ahead- Kary or Ardell. Did Ardell call a bottom? How many hairs has Kary split? TIA.

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  145. 150
    Scotsman says:

    More on the big spring recovery:

    “2010 was the perfect opportunity for housing in desirable areas to turn up. Instead, price declines accelerated to the downside despite record-low mortgage rates and a supposedly “firming” economy. It looks as if home buyers are voting on the “recovery” story with their feet.”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapril11/housing-recovery-4-11.html

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  146. 151

    RE: Scotsman @ 149 – It’s pretty simple. Ardell mis-read what I wrote in post 117 and responded in post 126. Then she’s not addressed the topic since then and gone off on irrelevant tangents. I still suspect she doesn’t disagree w/ post 117. How could an agent possibly not agree with the position that it’s the client’s decision as to what to do when an offer comes in?

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  147. 152

    By ARDELL @ 147:

    You know how this always ends, Kary. I say Black so you can say White and feel like a big man..

    I respond to your posts because you are frequently 100% wrong and I don’t want others to be mislead by your advice. Most recently it was how you claimed that as a buyer’s agent you can simply give the escrow the inspection response form 35R and get your client’s money back from the escrow without the seller signing anything. And in case you’ve forgotten, that’s form 21, paragraph b which covers that, not Form 35R.

    You sound convincing, so I don’t want others to be mislead.

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  148. 153
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 152

    Kary…”There Are a Thousand Stories in the Naked City”…mine are apparently not the same as yours. You want your buyer clients to go through holy hell to get their Earnest Money back if they need to cancel on inspection?…go for it! I choose not to subject my clients to unnecessary delays when it comes to getting their Earnest Money returned. Is that right according to Kary? I really don’t give a RA. Works for me and my cleints. That’s all I need to know.

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  149. 154
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 149

    Apparently there no bottom. Just a big hole that goes as far as it wants to. :)

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  150. 155
    GrizzlyBear says:

    I’m calling bullsh!t on everything. Sure, a few people are making great money. The rest, not so much. Housing is in the sh!tter. It will be for a long, long time.

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  151. 156
    Scotsman says:

    RE: GrizzlyBear @ 155

    Hey, while you’re here- I’ve always wanted to ask- does a bear sh#t in the woods?

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  152. 157
    Lurker says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 125

    Thank you for your reply, Ardell, It was informative. Yes, when I said “interested parties” I meant parties you felt might be serious in buying. Not just anybody that perhaps liked the place.

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 117

    Thanks, Kary. Yes, afterwards I realized it would likely be a call made by the client. The type of market (buyer or seller) could also affect the decision on whether to “stir the pot” or not.

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  153. 158
    Mikal says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 99 – I thought you were talking about me, but we didn’t go to school together.

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  154. 159

    RE: Lurker @ 157 – The “interested parties” would likely be limited to those agents who have either recently viewed the property or have viewed the property multiple times.

    I’ve had offers that really stunk up the place, typically because the agent clearly didn’t know what they were doing. For a seller that’s a bad situation because you don’t want to turn down an offer with a good price, but you don’t want to take your property off the market for a transaction that is not going to close. Sometime though the seller has no choice. I had one situation where just paying the utilities was a challenge and we got in that stinky offer. Having no choice we held our nose and fortunately it only required a one week extension to close, but it did close.

    On the other hand, if the offer looks good in all regards, I’d be unlikely to suggest the necessity of calling other parties through the property recently unless perhaps I’d had a conversation with one of the agents and felt that would be prudent. Some clients though are going to expect that, and I’m fine with that–it’s their call.

    Finally, I would say nothing comes of such calls far more often than something, unless there was that prior call from an agent asking to be called if an offer came in.

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  155. 160

    RE: ARDELL @ 153 – Your escrow is going to care when they get sued for improperly returning the money. That’s who you are placing at risk.

    It’s interesting how often your analysis is based solely on what is best either for you (e.g. need to disclosure of short sale status, deficiency on second mortgage, etc.) or your client (this earnest money situation), while at other times you’re willing to throw your client under a bus for no good reason, even if you’re virtually the only person who thinks that’s what needs to be done.

    Compare your analysis:

    http://raincityguide.com/2011/01/20/short-sales-the-new-mortgage-fraud/

    To mine:

    http://www.trulia.com/blog/kary_l_krismer/2011/01/real_estate_agents_are_not_licensed_to_practice_law–part_iii_arm_s_length_transaction_notices

    In the thread that started that discussion there were over 100 posts, no one agreed with your analysis, but in your blog you ask: “Am I right or am I right.” Classic.

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  156. 161
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 160

    No…I don’t think helping a client commit fraud is part of my agent duties. No, I don’t care if every agent in the Country disagrees with me on that. I guess I never bought into “the herd mentality”. If that works for you, great!

    If you’re playing the “How Far Off Topic Can I Go? game…you won.

    Black.

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  157. 162

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 146:

    RE: Pegasus @ 142 – LOL, but it’s not quite realistic because you have Ardell staying on topic.

    It would be more:

    Me: Ardell, get me a beer!

    Ardell: I fixed dinner all last month.

    Me: What’s that have to do with beer?

    Ardell: I want to go to Target.

    Ardell will get Kary a beer when hell freezes over.

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  158. 163
    ray pepper says:

    RE: S-Crow @ 121
    Good God! Kary and Ardell. I stopped reading your posts. I didn’t even know what the topic was anymore.

    ” That is a principle for any business. ”

    It goes without saying customer service for virtually any business (unless its funded by another entity) must be good. However, if Red Fin doesn’t sell they go down. If their product is NOT used by enough customers they go down. Red Fin must answer to the investors that funded their business. If they are given no return their life span will be short lived.

    All real estate companies and Yes you, Title/Escrow, must have closings to survive. In this long period of deleveraging we have coming I hope its not earth shattering news to anyone that Red Fin and many others simply will NOT make it in their present form. Many title and escrow companies will continue to suffer and also close their doors.

    Just entering 3rd inning Tim..

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  159. 164
    David North says:

    I’m surprised that the original topic couldn’t hold a more prominent share of this discussion. The anecdotal evidence seems compelling, that multiple offer situations are widespread and frequent in the current Greater Seattle real estate market. The degree to which some folk don’t want that to be the case because it doesn’t fit their model of what should be going on in the market is interesting, as is the widespread assumption that multiple offers inherently translate to escalating prices.

    Multiple offer situations can be common in a declining (prices) market, which is exactly the scenario I am seeing. The market can be hot (activity) and still be declining (prices), and it is. This is why the phenomenon hasn’t impacted the statistics, though it has been going on for several months. There aren’t dramatically more sales or dramatically higher prices, just more scurrying for the sales that are likely to be made whether there is only one offer or multiple offers.

    Overall quality of inventory is extremely diverse in this market, adding complexity to market valuation and activity. There are segments of the market that are stone cold (activity and prices) with good reason, and others that are very active, also with good reason. The segmentation cuts across multiple dimensions, such as location, price brackets, property types and property quality.

    While the multiple offer phenomenon is true and current, equally true and current is the fact that a majority of qualified buyers are still cautious and patient in this market. For every legitimate motivated buyer I am serving with reasonably short finite timeframes, there are at least 8 legitimate buyers I am also serving whose timeframes are indefinitely long. There’s nothing wrong with either the reasonably short or indefinitely long timeframes, provided that they are based on the matching of good information and honest advice to the goals and situations of the buyers, which are extremely diverse.

    Any apparent attempts to spin the multiple offer wave into publicity hype don’t really bother me that much, because with the currently high ratio of patient buyers to impatient buyers, I think any multiple offer hype is more likely to push far more buyers to the sidelines than to push more buyers to impulsive action. There’s a lot more fear in the market that the bottom (prices) hasn’t yet been seen than there is fear that the bottom (prices) might be missed. Let any hypesters continue to accumulate their credibility deficits, as they’ve been doing for several years now. It mostly serves to build the businesses of those who serve information and advice that is unbiased, in either direction. Believe it or not, there are honest brokers appropriately advising clients to remain patient, and not pushing for the quick sale.

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  160. 165
    Lurker says:

    RE: David North @ 164

    Thank you for your perspective, David, I enjoyed reading that.

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  161. 166
    Julie Lyda says:

    RE: David North @ 164

    Very well said David. A voice with reason and common sense, how refreshing.

    “Let any hypesters continue to accumulate their credibility deficits, as they’ve been doing for several years now. It mostly serves to build the businesses of those who serve information and advice that is unbiased, in either direction. Believe it or not, there are honest brokers appropriately advising clients to remain patient, and not pushing for the quick sale.”

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  162. 167
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 149 – Just a lover’s quarrel.

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  163. 168

    By ARDELL @ 161:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 160 -No…I don’t think helping a client commit fraud is part of my agent duties. No, I don’t care if every agent in the Country disagrees with me on that. I guess I never bought into “the herd mentality”. If that works for you, great!If you’re playing the “How Far Off Topic Can I Go? game…you won.Black.

    It’s just part of your pattern of not being able to understand relatively simple legal terms in contracts and statutes, insisting repeatedly that you do, and disagreeing with everyone else about it. Again, that Arm’s Length piece of yours was classic Ardell. Being the only one who thinks something and insisting everyone else is wrong.

    BTW, the situation was described in those links was clearly not fraud. At best it would be a breach of contract term, assuming an inability of the judge to understand simple English.

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  164. 169
    David Losh says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 163

    redfin is a rebate Brokerage that can put money into escrow. It surprises me that more Brokerages haven’t adapted the business model.

    Zillow for all it’s faults got to be a larger platform for a National Real Estate Listing system which I think was the stated goal of all internet Brokerage models.

    There are a lot of sites we don’t look at because redfin did emphasis being a user friendly place to search for homes, in more market places. In time though the over all business model of redfin is a Real Estate sales site, with the rebate.

    In my opinion redfin was built on the McDonald’s business model. Products sold quick, and easy so you can saturate a market place. The problem with Real Estate is the transactional commissions are few, and far between. You would have to dominate a market place in order to have it pay off. You would have to make strategic partnerships, which they are trying to do.

    redfin has a reputation problem amonst Brokerages, and a stigma, that would need to change. You nailed it with:

    “Bryon (the Red Fin Agent) looked like a Buyer or someone walking down the street. The Coldwell Banker Agent looked like THE REAL DEAL commanding respect from the viewer of King 5 thereby producing more believability of the story.”

    Real Estate is a small community. Ray, you fit in better than redfin does. You adapted to a niche. You saw the opportunity, and you made the transition.

    redfin would need to become more inclusive with the Real Estate community in order to survive. They are, as you point out, a corporate structure backed by venture capital. Some consumers may take advantage of that, but more buyers, and sellers need a full set of services that are already packaged into the commission price point.

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  165. 170

    By Scotsman @ 149:

    I’m not gonna read all of it- just tell me who’s ahead- Kary or Ardell. Did Ardell call a bottom? How many hairs has Kary split? TIA.

    BTW, you should be aware this isn’t the only site I deal with Ardell. Here’s the other one going on currently:

    http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Selling/If_staging_items_on_a_vacant_listing_are_not_remov-286342-p_1-recent?answerId=1056613#left_content

    There after another agent from out of state posted the correct result, Ardell took the position that a buyer of a house could simply dispose of staging property left after closing and that the stager could only sue the seller.

    And you Mack McCoy fans will also like the link because he’s there too! It’s like old times on SREP. ;-)

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  166. 171
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 170

    Which is exactly why I never go to Trulia Voices.

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  167. 172

    By David Losh @ 171:

    Which is exactly why I never go to Trulia Voices.

    Trulia voices has plenty of good examples of why real estate agents are not legally allowed to give legal advice or explain the terms of a real estate contract.

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  168. 173
    CMDCMF says:

    Searching West Seattle three months – competitively priced properties in good condition sell quickly. That’s probably 5% to 10% of properties for sale. The rest just moulder and grow stale. I can’t believe some of the absolute garbage homes that are for sale. There are sweet blossoms among the turds, though.

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  169. 174
    CMDCMF says:

    After searching West Seattle three months – I find competitively priced properties in good condition sell quickly. That’s probably 5% to 10% of properties for sale. The rest just moulder and grow stale. I can’t believe some of the absolute garbage homes that are for sale. There are sweet blossoms among the turds, though.

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  170. 175
    mukoh says:

    RE: Lesley @ 41 – I know which house you are talking about. Heard from the listing agent it was a battle for buyers on that one.

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  171. 176
    Voight-kampff says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 163

    RAY PEPPER,
    Im slightly off topic, but Ive read your posts for years and
    I already know that the answer to life the universe and everything is 42,
    but what I don’t Know is what constitutes a “GEM”?
    Is it a simple answer, like it pencils for rent?
    would you have to kill me if you tell me :-)

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  172. 177
    The Desponder says:

    Dear The Tim,
    Please approach TLC about turning seattlebubble.com into a reality TV show. I would pay seriously leveraged $$$ to see what happens when all of your commenters have to work in the same realty office/home financing counseling office. Perhaps it could replace “Flip that House.” I will donate my underwater condo to be sold/foreclosed/demolished/recycled on the first episode.

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  173. 178
    DeeDee says:

    RE: lost buyer @ 84 – can’t believe some people STILL think that price range is affordable..to refer to a decent house at reasonable price (range from 600K to 1M) is insane…I can’t wait for the reality check ahead, because I have security and a great job…but also have common sense and would never settle with a DECENT house in that price range. I have no doubt there are buyers thinking they had better scoop up these deals, but the fundamentals have not changed..these prices are not affordable to people with great jobs…

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  174. 179
    Colby Boles says:

    Just a data point for you:

    We listed our Capitol Hill home using a flat fee MLS service for $1.35M on 4/28, had instant interest from many parties, and had signed an offer 3 days later. From our perspective, there are surprisingly a lot of well qualified buyers hiding in the woodwork for the right house in this price range. Buyers were very specific about the criteria they were looking for, had been looking for a year or more, and were ready to make an offer right away for the right house. Here is our listing for reference:

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/337-17th-Ave-E-98112/home/144024
    http://337.17thaveeast.com/

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  175. 180
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Colby Boles @ 179

    WOW! Good job on that.

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  176. 181
    Jake says:

    Who are we to believe? The realtors who tell us the market is heating up? Or, the non-partisan analysts and watchdogs who tell us “The Seattle area is seeing prices declining faster than other places…” and “..prices in the Seattle area were the lowest they’ve been since June 2004″???

    Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/Home-prices-continue-to-slide-nationwide-more-so-1353033.php#ixzz1LUIsFgg1

    Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/Home-prices-continue-to-slide-nationwide-more-so-1353033.php#ixzz1LUIlbWIs

    http://www.seattlepi.com/realestate/article/Home-prices-continue-to-slide-nationwide-more-so-1353033.php

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  177. 182

    RE: Jake @ 181 – Neither?

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  178. 183
    David North says:

    RE: Jake @ 181

    Both. But “heating up” is a pretty ambiguous phrase, which along with its many variations gets misused and misinterpreted a lot.

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  179. 184
    D. in Ballard says:

    Is it just me, or is that the same link repeated 3 times?

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  180. 185
    David Losh says:

    RE: D. in Ballard @ 184RE: Jake @ 181

    Yeah, it’s the same link, but the point is well taken. All of a sudden, like I think every year, the National Association of Realtors cranks up the hype machine and off we go!!!

    Multiple offers!!! better buy now. It’s a complete farce that adds to the side show Real Estate agents put on.

    It’s absolutely disgusting what Real Estate sales, sales, sales has become. It’s like putting spinners on a Cadillac to sell it to the hip crowd. It’s still grandmas daily driver, but a little more chrome and sound system makes a better buy.

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  181. 186
    Jake says:

    Sorry about the multi-paste. Dunno what happened. I had to move cross-country for a job but still have a house in Ballard so I am starting to keep an eye on where the market is moving. Luckily, I have it rented! I do not plan on putting it on the market until next Spring/Summer so I like getting a sense of where we, collectively, sit. Completely agree that realtor ‘spin’ on the market is less than helpful, so figuring out the balance between agnostic reporting and realtor rah-rah is the challenge. Any insight you folks can lend is greatly appreciated!

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  182. 187
    David North says:

    I’m involved in another eastside multiple offer situation today, representing a buyer.

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  183. 188
    David North says:

    By Jake @ 186:

    …so figuring out the balance between agnostic reporting and realtor rah-rah is the challenge. Any insight you folks can lend is greatly appreciated!

    It is true that multiple offer situations are rampant, much more so than at any time since 2007. It is absolutely true, as some here point out, that this is in part due to the season. But it’s not just the season. It’s due to a shortage of reasonably priced quality inventory among a sea of overpriced junk. It is also absolutely true that market values are not being driven up, generally speaking, by these multiple offer situations. Although in some cases prices are escalating above listing prices, that is still the exception rather than the rule. As the poll in another thread here indicates reasonably accurately, a majority of buyers react adversely to any pressure to escalate. As a Realtor, I agree with most of the anti-Realtor sentiment here that market values are still headed lower. That doesn’t mean multiple offer situations aren’t cropping up. Both are true.

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  184. 189
    annon says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 111
    YOU are the REASON the country’s real estate is in the toliet!

    Let’s see…

    Why wouldn’t people hedge their bets by buying with the lowest possible down instead of everyone pushing for 20% down or more? UMMM, BECAUSE a. they can’t qualify and b. that is IDIOTIC and is what got us into this mess MORON!!!

    If the market is going to go down, why not buy the insurance (PMI) against the loss? Wouldn’t that be the smarter move? WHY is that SMART????? AND WHY would you put the loss on someone else????

    YOU are a MORON…STOP giving ANYONE advice

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  185. 190

    […] 189 comments, 04/29: Claim: Seattle Real Estate Market Suddenly Heating Up […]

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  186. 191

    […] 3,676 pageviews, 04/29: Claim: Seattle Real Estate Market Suddenly Heating Up […]

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